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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.
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.
Celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the most popular and enduring band ever: “Even the most hardcore Deadheads will be impressed by this obsessively complete look at the Grateful Dead’s lyrics” (Publishers Weekly). The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics is an authoritative text, providing standard versions of all the original songs you thought you knew forwards and backwards. These are some of the best-loved songs in the modern American songbook. They are hummed and spoken among thousands as counterculture code and recorded by musicians of all stripes for their inimitable singability and obscure accessibility. How do they do all this? To provide a context for this formidable body of work, of which his part is primary, Robert Hunter has written a foreword that goes to the heart of the matter. And the annotations on sources provide a gloss on the lyrics, which goes to the roots of Western culture as they are incorporated into them. An avid Grateful Dead concertgoer for more than two decades, David Dodd is a librarian who brings to the work a detective’s love of following a clue as far as it will take him. Including essays by Dead lyricists Robert Hunter and John Perry and Jim Carpenter’s original illustrations, whimsical elements in the lyrics are brought to light, showcasing the American legend that is present in so many songs. A gorgeous keepsake edition of the Dead’s official annotated lyrics, The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics is an absolute must-have for the fiftieth anniversary—you won’t think of this cultural icon the same way again. In fact, founding band member Bob Weir said: “This book is great. Now I’ll never have to explain myself.”
The Pop, Rock, and Soul Reader is a collection of readings that traces the evolution of American popular music from the 1920s to the present. Pulling together articles, excerpts, and critical commentary from scholarly journals, popular magazines, newspapers, and biographies, this volumeintroduces students to important social and cultural issues raised by the study of popular music. Chapter introductions and headnotes supply contextual background for the documents, provide links among different eras and genres, explain the issues raised by the documents, and clarify the culturaland historical importance of the selections.
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.
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.
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.
All Graceful Instruments: The Contexts of the Grateful Dead Phenomenon gathers thirteen representative essays from a wide array of fields into an interdisciplinary anthology that reveals the depth and extent of this fascinating, variegated cultural phenomenon. Contributors use the techniques of literary criticism, musicology, sociology, philosophy, business theory, and more to explore the meaning and significance of the music of the Grateful Dead, the implications of their artistic and commercial success, and the social dimensions of their following, the Deadheads. For scholars and students of American history and culture, this book makes a convincing case for why the Grateful Dead phenomenon is worthy of academic attention and what that study can offer. By focusing a wide array of critical approaches on a single, discrete subject, All Graceful Instruments provides a refreshing approach to interdisciplinary studies that should appeal to a wide audience.
The Grateful Dead-rock legends, marketing pioneers The Grateful Dead broke almost every rule in the music industry book. They encouraged their fans to record shows and trade tapes; they built a mailing list and sold concert tickets directly to fans; and they built their business model on live concerts, not album sales. By cultivating a dedicated, active community, collaborating with their audience to co-create the Deadhead lifestyle, and giving away "freemium" content, the Dead pioneered many social media and inbound marketing concepts successfully used by businesses across all industries today. Written by marketing gurus and lifelong Deadheads David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan, Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead gives you key innovations from the Dead's approach you can apply to your business. Find out how to make your fans equal partners in your journey, "lose control" to win, create passionate loyalty, and experience the kind of marketing gains that will not fade away!
More than fifteen years since the death of lead guitarist and singer Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead stand as a symbol of the unresolved cultural clashes of the 1960s. The band s thirty-year odyssey is a testament to the American imagination, with thousands of live concert recordings by fans and the band itself, preserved alongside an impressive array of images, artwork, and paraphernalia. Most recently, the Grateful Dead have released from their vault their entire 1972 European tour, one of the largest boxed sets of live music seventy-three compact discs ever released. This publicly available archive of recorded music lays the groundwork for David Malvinni s exploration of the band s musical signature as the ultimate jam band in Grateful Dead and the Art of Rock Improvisation. Malvinni considers a select group of songs from the Dead s early repertoire, from its unique covers of Viola Lee Blues, Midnight Hour, and Love Light to original masterpieces like Dark Star. Marrying basic music analysis to philosophical frames offered by improvisatory musings of Heidegger, Derrida, and Deleuze, Malvinni presents the core aesthetic underlying the Dead s musical styling. In tracing the evolution of the band s unique jam style, Malvinni outlines the Dead s gift as gatherers and inventors of old and new soundscapes in their multifaceted improvisations. Like no other band, the Dead brought together a variety of styles from roots and folk to country and modal jazz to postmodern European art music. Devoted Deadheads reveled in the band s polyglot, risk-filled approach to playing live and the joint band-audience quest to reach a type of sonic cosmic ecstasy, commonly described as the X factor. Although fans and scholars alike recognize the Grateful Dead as icons of psychedelic music, the band s improvisatory approach still remains an enigma to the uninitiated. In Grateful Dead and the Art of Rock Improvisation, Malvinni unravels this mystery, walking readers through the band s musical decision-making process. Written for rock music fans with little to no background in music theory, as well as scholars and students of popular music culture, the book reveals the method behind the seeming chaos of America s greatest jam band."
A collection of articles originally printed in Rolling Stone magazine.
For almost three decades, the Grateful Dead was America's most popular touring band. No Simple Highway is the first book to ask the simple question of why—and attempt to answer it. Drawing on new research, interviews, and a fresh supply of material from the Grateful Dead archives, author Peter Richardson vividly recounts the Dead's colorful history, adding new insight into everything from the Acid Tests to the band's formation of their own record label to their massive late career success, while probing the riddle of the Dead's vast and durable appeal. Arguing that the band successfully tapped three powerful utopian ideals—for ecstasy, mobility, and community—it also shows how the Dead's lived experience with these ideals struck deep chords with two generations of American youth and continues today. Routinely caricatured by the mainstream media, the Grateful Dead are often portrayed as grizzled hippy throwbacks with a cult following of burned-out stoners. No Simple Highway corrects that impression, revealing them to be one of the most popular, versatile, and resilient music ensembles in the second half of the twentieth century. The band's history has been well-documented by insiders, but its unique and sustained appeal has yet to be explored fully. At last, this legendary American musical institution is given the serious and entertaining examination it richly deserves.
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.
Listening for the Secret is a critical assessment of the Grateful Dead and the distinct culture that grew out of the group’s music, politics, and performance. With roots in popular music traditions, improvisation, and the avant-garde, the Grateful Dead provides a unique lens through which we can better understand the meaning and creation of the counterculture community. Marshaling the critical and aesthetic theories of Adorno, Benjamin, Foucault and others, Ulf Olsson places the music group within discourses of the political, specifically the band’s capacity to create a unique social environment. Analyzing the Grateful Dead’s music as well as the forms of subjectivity and practices that the band generated, Olsson examines the wider significance and impact of its politics of improvisation. Ultimately, Listening for the Secret is about how the Grateful Dead Phenomenon was possible in the first place, what its social and aesthetic conditions of possibility were, and its results. This is the first book in a new series, Studies and Texts of the Grateful Dead Phenomenon.
Assesses the musical and cultural legacy of the Grateful Dead through a variety of writings that span disciplines such as philosophy, theology, literary criticism, law, and statistics.
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.
Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain...these are the people who helped shape the history of music. Their stories and others are told in Musicians and Composers of the 20th Century. This five volume set offers biographical and critical essays on over 600 musicians in just about every genre imaginable, from Accordion Players to Musical Theater Composers to World Music, and everything in between.
The ultimate keepsake for the Dead fans--including rare articles, interviews, and writings about the Grateful Dead from the mid-'60s to today. 45 photos. Discography.

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