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Posted at 05:30 PM ET, 03/15/2011

Tipper Gore steps back in the spotlight for Grateful Dead movie


Director Jim Kohlberg, Mickey Hart, Nancy Pelosi, Oliver Sacks and Tipper Gore at a screening of Kohlberg’s “The Music Never Stopped.” (Patrick G. Ryan)
Tipper Gore is back.

The former veep’s wife, who’s kept a very low profile since separating from husband Al last June, turned up at E Street Cinema Monday night to emcee a screening of “The Music Never Stopped,” a film about family, healing and the Grateful Dead.

Gore, wearing her blonde hair longer now, politely dodged questions about her life these days. Friends tell us she splits her time between California and D.C. Yes, she’s still wearing her wedding ring. No, she’s not talking about her marriage, even with pals.

But she was willing to make a public appearance alongside famous friends like Nancy Pelosi, Librarian of Congress Jim Billington, neurologist/author Oliver Sacks and the Dead’s drummer Mickey Hart, who helped with the movie’s soundtrack. (Famous but not above the law: The theater lobby bar denied Hart a glass of chardonnay because the 67-year-old couldn’t produce an ID. Yes, really.)

Based on a case study by Sacks, the film tells the story of a father and his estranged son who slowly rebuild a bond through the music of the Dead. Dad’s a mellow guy who favors crooners and classics, but the hemp-fueled hits of the ’60s (spoiler alert!) prove therapeutic for his neurologically disabled kid.

“I got involved with this because Mickey Hart, a longtime friend of the family and of mine, called and said ‘I’d love you to come and see it’,” Gore explained.

After the lights came up,she moderated a quick Q&A. “Do you have any explanation for why it was the Deadhead music, for [the son], rather than Paul Simon or some of the other iconic music?” harrumphed a puzzled Rep. Jim McDermott. Hart expounded on his band’s enduring relationship with fan, but, you know: “We’re not really dealing with music, we’re dealing with the vibratory world. It’s about what you’re nurtured with.”

Generational differences in music tastes — hmm, sounds familiar? Let’s ask the lady behind the infamous parental advisory stickers of the ’80s. Gore told our colleague Aaron Leitko her effort was simply about making consumers aware of content.

“I liked the music that my kids introduced me to, and I still like it,” she said. “My perfect gift from one of my children is for them to send me a CD or send me a song on iTunes.” So what do Karenna, Kristin, Sara h, and Al Jr. have pumping through her ear-buds these days?

“Um, Cee-Lo?” she tried gamely. “I don’t know.”

By  |  05:30 PM ET, 03/15/2011

 
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