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 Dead...moreI 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.(less)
This was so great. I loved this. It took me 6 weeks to read because I only felt like reading it 10-15 pages at a time, but it was so fun to read, for...moreThis was so great. I loved this. It took me 6 weeks to read because I only felt like reading it 10-15 pages at a time, but it was so fun to read, for lots of reasons. One is that it starts in 1976 and goes right up to Andy's unexpected and sudden death in 1987, and of course those were probably the funnest 12 years of my life, so it's such a fun trip down memory lane ... just the various news events he mentions in passing in his entries, and the songs and bands and celebrities. And Manhattan was really different in 1976 than it is now, and it changed a lot from 1976 to 1987, and you can really feel that here, and remember how it used to be. And Andy's studio (and the offices of his magazine, Interview) were at 860 B'way, just right around the corner from my high school (16th St. bet. 5th and 6th), so the diary starts right off right in my old stomping grounds and while I was still stomping there. Also, the entries are really funny. There's almost no entry where you don't laugh at least once. He's funniest when describing his closest companions, like Bridget Berlin, Bianca Jagger, Halston, Steve Rubell, and a bunch of other people that he ran around with, a lot of whom worked for him in some way or another. (less)