I almost abandoned this about 20 or 30 pages in because it started off as just a bunch of happy horseshit about the "phenomenon" of the Grateful DeadI almost abandoned this about 20 or 30 pages in because it started off as just a bunch of happy horseshit about the "phenomenon" of the Grateful Dead and dead shows and deadheads, etc., and like it was written for a sunday newspaper's magazine section to introduce the phenomenon to people who didn't know anything about it. But I'm glad I kept reading because (except for the final chapter--more fluff) it turned into a pretty good and serious history after that, albeit only up to 1983 (when the book was published), which of course was not nearly the end of The Dead.
There's probably not a single fact in here that I didn't know at the height of my Grateful Dead infatuation ca. 1979-1986, but I've since killed lots of brain cells, so it was a good Dead trivia brush-up for me ... who knows when I might be called upon to know some of this!
Finally, it was a nice trip down memory lane hearing about some of these great shows (some of which I still listen to regularly on i-tunes thanks to Dick's Picks). My first Dead show was Halloween 1979 at Nassau Coliseum, and my last was June 16, 1991 at Giants Stadium, and between those two shows, I saw either 25 or 26 more.
At the beginning of my senior year in high school, when I was starting to get the college applications together, I presented a proposal to my parents that I would delay my first year of college by one year in order to follow the Dead around the country for one year (financed completely by myself, of course). My parents only needed to deliberate for about one second before rejecting the proposal. I still occasionally regret that lost opportunity, and probably always will....more
This was really great, and if possible, I'd recommend that you read this particular edition of it. (My library has 21 different editions of this (!),This was really great, and if possible, I'd recommend that you read this particular edition of it. (My library has 21 different editions of this (!), so I could be a little choosy, but if you can get this edition by interlibrary loan, I think it would be worth your and your library's staff's trouble.)
The seafaring parts of this (Boston-California) are good, but my favorite parts in fact were where they were in California, up and down that coast, getting furs and smoking hides, etc, and whatever. Not for that action itself, but for the great descriptions of the various ports there (San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, especially) in the 1830's.
The very best chapter for my money is the one where he goes back 33 years later (1859-60). Loved that.
This edition has lots of great pictures (especially from 1859-60) and the author's journals and a lot of his correspondence from 1934 and also 1859. ...more
I liked this right from the beginning and never stopped liking it right to the end. I kept waiting for a letdown, because it has not been well receiveI liked this right from the beginning and never stopped liking it right to the end. I kept waiting for a letdown, because it has not been well received by my goodreads friends so far, but the letdown never came. ...more