Description : Arranged in chronological order, these pieces add up to nothing less than a full-scale history of the greatest tour band in the history of rock. From Tom Wolfe's account of the Dead's first performance as the Grateful Dead (at an Acid Test in 1965), to Ralph Gleason's 1967 interview with the 24-year-old Jerry Garcia, to Mary Eisenhart's obituary of the beloved leader of the band, these selections include not only outstanding writing on the band itself, but also superb pieces on music and pop culture generally. Fans will be fascinated by the poetry, fiction, drawings, and rare and revealing photographs featured in the book, as well as the anthology's many interviews and profiles, interpretations of lyrics, and concert and record reviews. Still, The Grateful Dead was more than a band--it was a cultural phenomenon. For three decades it remained on one unending tour, followed everywhere by a small army of nomadic fans. This phenomenon is both analyzed and celebrated here, in such pieces as Ed McClanahan's groundbreaking article in Playboy in 1972, fan-magazine editor Blair Jackson's 1990 essay on the seriousness of the drug situation at Dead concerts, and Steve Silberman's insightful essays on the music and its fans.
Description : In Reading the Grateful Dead: A Critical Survey, Nicholas G. Meriwether has assembled a collection of essays that examine the development of Grateful Dead studies. This volume includes work from three generations of scholars and includes a wide variety of perspectives on the band and its cultural significance. Organized into four sections, each describes an aspect or approach to Dead studies, along with an overview of the nature and extent of Dead studies: how it evolved and what it comprises today.
Description : A complete collection of annotated lyrics by the prolific rock band, published to coincide with their fiftieth anniversary, features literary, historical, and cultural references for every original song.
Description : The complete history of one of the most long-lived and legendary bands in rock history, written by its official historian and publicist–a must-have chronicle for all Dead Heads, and for students of rock and the 1960s’ counterculture. From 1965 to 1995, the Grateful Dead flourished as one of the most beloved, unusual, and accomplished musical entities to ever grace American culture. The creative synchronicity among Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, and Ron “Pigpen” McKernan exploded out of the artistic ferment of the early sixties’ roots and folk scene, providing the soundtrack for the Dionysian revels of the counterculture. To those in the know, the Dead was an ongoing tour de force: a band whose constant commitment to exploring new realms lay at the center of a thirty-year journey through an ever-shifting array of musical, cultural, and mental landscapes. Dennis McNally, the band’s historian and publicist for more than twenty years, takes readers back through the Dead’s history in A Long Strange Trip. In a kaleidoscopic narrative, McNally not only chronicles their experiences in a fascinatingly detailed fashion, but veers off into side trips on the band’s intricate stage setup, the magic of the Grateful Dead concert experience, or metaphysical musings excerpted from a conversation among band members. He brings to vivid life the Dead’s early days in late-sixties San Francisco–an era of astounding creativity and change that reverberates to this day. Here we see the group at its most raw and powerful, playing as the house band at Ken Kesey’s acid tests, mingling with such legendary psychonauts as Neal Cassady and Owsley “Bear” Stanley, and performing the alchemical experiments, both live and in the studio, that produced some of their most searing and evocative music. But McNally carries the Dead’s saga through the seventies and into the more recent years of constant touring and incessant musical exploration, which have cemented a unique bond between performers and audience, and created the business enterprise that is much more a family than a corporation. Written with the same zeal and spirit that the Grateful Dead brought to its music for more than thirty years, the book takes readers on a personal tour through the band’s inner circle, highlighting its frenetic and very human faces. A Long Strange Trip is not only a wide-ranging cultural history, it is a definitive musical biography.
Description : The Tragic Odes of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead is a multifaceted study of tragedy in the group’s live performances showing how Garcia brought about catharsis through dance by leading songs of grief, mortality, and ironic fate in a collective theatrical context. This musical, literary, and historical analysis of thirty-five songs with tragic dimensions performed by Garcia in concert with the Grateful Dead illustrates the syncretic approach and acute editorial ear he applied in adapting songs of Robert Hunter, Bob Dylan, and folk tradition. Tragically ironic situations in which Garcia found himself when performing these songs are revealed, including those related to his opiate addiction and final decline. This book examines Garcia’s musical craftsmanship and the Grateful Dead’s collective art in terms of the mystery-rites of ancient Greece, Friedrich Nietzsche’s Dionysus, 20th century American music rooted in New Orleans, Hermann Hesse’s Magic Theater, and the Greek Theatre at Berkeley, offering a clear prospect on an often misunderstood phenomenon. Featuring interdisciplinary analysis, close attention to musical and poetic strategies, and historical and critical contexts, this book will be of interest to scholars and researchers of Popular Music, Musicology, Cultural Studies, and American Studies, as well as to the Grateful Dead’s avid listeners.
Description : Extensive research into the band members and families of the Grateful Dead, as well as interviews with staff and Deadheads, enlivens this chronicle of one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Reprint.
Description : The Grateful Dead’s 100 Essential Songs examines the band’s remarkable musical legacy, delving into 100 songs (plus a few extras) performed by the Dead throughout their career. It includes a playlist of performance and studio recordings, as well as other song analyses and first-hand narratives of hundreds of Dead concerts.
Description : Although academic study of the Grateful Dead began shortly after the group’s formation, the dramatic growth of scholarly literature only occurred after the band’s formal retirement of the name in 1995. One major incubator of much of this work has been the Grateful Dead area of the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Association. Inaugurated as a separate section in 1998 and nicknamed the Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus, it has produced almost three hundred papers over fifteen years, nearly a third of which have been revised for publication. Caucus presenters have also edited a dozen books and periodical volumes, all of which have drawn on Caucus presentations, some almost exclusively. Studying the Dead: The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus provides an informal history of the Caucus and sketches its significance as a scholarly community, focusing on its increasing self-awareness, its ability to span diverse disciplinary and theoretical perspectives, and most of all, its contribution to our understanding of the Grateful Dead phenomenon. For the academy as a whole, the Caucus is a fascinating model for the development of discourse communities, from the role of orality to its interrogation of the texts that are derived from them. Remarkable for its interdisciplinary dialogue, the Caucus demonstrates how the nature of the art—and the phenomenon that it studies—can shape these discourses. Though ostensibly aimed at scholars of the Grateful Dead, others who will find this book of interest include students and teachers of popular culture, as well as fans of the band.
Description : The Grateful Dead are perhaps the most legendary American rock band of all time. For thirty years, beginning in the hippie scene of San Francisco in 1965, they were a musical institution, the original jam band that broke new ground in so many ways. From the music to their live concert sound systems and fan recordings, they were forward-thinking champions of artistic control and outlaw artists who marched to the beat of their own drums. In Deal, Bill Kreutzmann, one of their founding members and drummer for every one of their over 2,300 concerts has written an unflinching and wild account of playing in the greatest improvisational band of all time. Everything a rock music fan would expect is here, but what sets this apart is Bill's incredible life of adventure that was at the heart of the Grateful Dead experience. This was a band that knew no limits and Bill lived life to the fullest, pushing the boundaries of drugs, drums and high times, through devastating tragedy and remarkable triumph. But at this book's beating heart is the music--theirs and others. Some of the greatest musicians and concerts were a part of the Grateful Dead's career, from sharing the stage with Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, and The Who, to playing in the Acid Tests, The Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock and Altamont. Bill's life is a chronicle of American music and pop culture history and his epic personal journey is one of sonic discovery and thrilling experiences.
Description : This book is another one of those late-night Grateful Dead inspired dorm room conversations with friends . . . only this time it’s your professors sitting cross-legged on the floor asking if anyone else wants to order a pizza. The Grateful Dead emerged from the San Francisco counter-culture movement of the late 1960s to become an American icon. Part of the reason they remain an institution four decades later is that they and their fans, the Deadheads, embody deviation from social, artistic, and industry norms. From the beginning, the Grateful Dead has represented rethinking what we do and how we do it. Their long, free-form jams stood in stark contrast to the three minute, radio friendly, formulaic rock that preceded them. Allowing their fans to tape and trade recordings of shows and distributing concert tickets themselves bucked the corporate control of popular music. The use of mind-altering chemicals questioned the nature of consciousness and reality. The practice of “touring,” following the band from city to city, living as modern day nomads presented a model distinct from the work-a-day option assumed by most in our corporate dominated culture. As a result, Deadheads are a quite introspective lot. The Grateful Dead and Philosophy contains essays from twenty professional philosophers whose love of the music and scene have led them to reflect on different philosophical questions that arise from the enigma that is the Grateful Dead. Coming from a variety of perspectives, ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, The Grateful Dead and Philosophy considers how the Grateful Dead fits into the broader trends of American thought running through pragmatism and the Beat poets, how the parking lot scene with its tie-dyed t-shirt and veggie burrito vendors was both a rejection and embrace of capitalism, and whether Jerry Garcia and the Buddha were more than just a couple of fat guys talking about peace. The lyrics of the Grateful Dead’s many songs are also the basis for several essays considering questions of fate and freedom, the nature-nurture debate, and gamblers’ ethics.