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The Grateful Dead is big business




SANTA CLARA, CA - JUNE 27: Grateful Dead fans gather in the parking lot before the Grateful Dead show at Levi's Stadium on June 27, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. The Grateful Dead is kicking off their 50th anniversary tour with shows in Santa Clara, California and Chicago. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - JUNE 27: Grateful Dead fans gather in the parking lot before the Grateful Dead show at Levi's Stadium on June 27, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. The Grateful Dead is kicking off their 50th anniversary tour with shows in Santa Clara, California and Chicago. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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The Grateful Dead are celebrating their 50th anniversary. Starting tomorrow, they’ll play three concerts in Chicago.

The band is known for its psychedelic sound and an incredibly loyal following, but few people know that the Grateful Dead are also very savvy businessmen.

Barry Barnes is the author of the book "Everything I know about business I learned from the Grateful Dead.” He says that the band’s ability to adapt to changing times helped them remain successful, even when album sales were slow. He tells Take Two, “The Grateful Dead didn’t hit the mark right off the bat. They just never had any super successful singles, but what they could do is sell tickets. So they came up with this strategic improvisational model of touring and selling tickets instead of selling records. That’s what put them in the bigtime."

Click the play button above to hear more about how the Grateful Dead made their money.