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The Grateful Dead are perhaps the most legendary American rock band of all time. For 30 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.
Bill Kreutzmann, one of their founding members and drummer for every one of their over 2,300-odd 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, which 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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By catsunflower on 08-25-15
Awesome 1st hand account of the long strange trip!
Who was your favorite character and why?
Billy, of course!! I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the music meant the same thing to him as it does to me!
Have you listened to any of Peter Berkrot’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I was a little disappointed that Billy didn't do the narration but I thought Peter Berkrot did a fine job! He captured the important emotions toward the end of the book for sure.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
My husband and I listened to it traveling to all the shows we went to this summer (Chicago and Phish shows after that). It was a long read but full of beautiful memories and tales from the road. It was never boring or boastful. Great to share the listen with someone so we could discuss what we were hearing!
Any additional comments?
This is a MUST READ for any deadhead. It offers a unique perspective that you won't find when you read Phil's "Search for the Sound". I definitely came away from it with a newfound love and appreciation for Billy K.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful