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Professor Digs Up Live Music History At San Diego State

From Ella Fitzgerald to the Grateful Dead, Bob Marley and Madonna, anthropology professor explains how live music concerts changed San Diego State.

Professor Digs Up Live Music History at San Diego State


Seth Mallios, anthropology professor, San Diego State University


Photo caption: The Grateful Dead is pictured at San Diego State University, 1969.

Photo credit: San Diego State University

The Grateful Dead is pictured at San Diego State University, 1969.

Music fans for years have flocked to San Diego State University to watch some of the biggest names in music from reggae singer Bob Marley to the Grammy Award-winning duo The Black Keys to heavy metal band Metallica.

A new set of books by anthropology professor Seth Mallios will explore the rich history of live popular music SDSU.

The five-volume set will be published in September and Mallios will preview the books in a lecture Thursday on campus.

“It’s just spectacular,” Mallios told KPBS Midday Edition on Wednesday. “Just in the ‘60s alone you have this who’s who list — not only of music but of social activists.”

RELATED: Saving A Music Lover’s Mural At SDSU

Mallios spoke about a 1969 rock festival that took place at the Aztec Bowl. The event, organized by former San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock, featured the Grateful Dead and Santana.

“We did Woodstock before Woodstock did Woodstock,” Mallios said.

His talk, “Rock at State: A History of Live Popular Music at SDSU from 1931 to Now,” starts at 1:30 p.m. inside the theater of the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.

Check out Mallios’ list of the “20 Most Important Rock 'n' Roll Concerts at San Diego State.”

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