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This Is All a Dream We Dreamed

An Oral History of the Grateful Dead

Blair Jackson and David Gans

Flatiron Books

This Is All a Dream We Dreamed Download image

ISBN10: 1250098165
ISBN13: 9781250098160

Trade Paperback

512 Pages

$21.99

CA$29.99

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In This Is All a Dream We Dreamed, two of the most well-respected chroniclers of the Grateful Dead, Blair Jackson and David Gans, reveal the band’s story through the words of its members, their creative collaborators and peers, and a number of diverse fans, stitching together a multitude of voices into a seamless oral tapestry. Capturing the ebullient spirit at the group’s core, Jackson and Gans weave together a musical saga that examines the music and subculture that developed into its own economy, touching fans from all walks of life, from penniless hippies to celebrities, and at least one U.S. vice president.

This definitive book traces the Dead’s evolution from its humble beginnings as a folk/bluegrass band playing small venues in Palo Alto to the feral psychedelic warriors and stadium-filling Americana jam band that blazed all the way through to the 90s. Along the way, we hear from many who were touched by the Dead—from David Crosby and Miles Davis, to Ken Kesey, Carolyn “Mountain Girl” Garcia, and a host of Merry Pranksters, to legendary concert promoter Bill Graham, and others.

Throughout their journey the Dead broke (and sometimes rewrote) just about every rule of the rock business, defying conventional wisdom and charting their own often unusual course, in the process creating a business model unlike any seen before. Musically, too, they were pioneers, fusing inspired ideas and techniques with intuition and fearlessness to craft an utterly unique and instantly recognizable sound. Their music centered on collective improvisation, spiritual and social democracy, trust, generosity, and fun. They believed that you can make something real, spontaneous, and compelling happen with other musicians if you trust and encourage each other, and jam as if your life depended on it. And when it worked, there was nothing else like it.

Whether you’re part of the new generation of Deadheads who are just discovering their music or a devoted fan who has traded Dead tapes for decades, you will want to listen in on the irresistible conversations and anecdotes shared in these pages. You’ll hear stories you haven’t heard before, possibly from voices that may be unfamiliar to you, and the tales that unfold will shed a whole new light on a long and inspiring musical odyssey.

Reviews

Praise for This Is All a Dream We Dreamed

"You could hardly ask for a more ideal configuration for a retelling of the Grateful Dead's story than an oral history, which is, after all, the jam band of biographical formats . . . [T]he editors have pulled off the pretty neat hat trick of filling in plenty of cracks for the hard core while providing a basic education for novices. Best of all, they've provided a celebration that never feels remotely like hagiography. Even a nominal fan has to appreciate the wonder and unlikeliness of how the band sustained that first quarter-century or so of magic."San Francisco Chronicle

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Blair Jackson and David Gans

BLAIR JACKSON penned Grateful Dead: The Music Never Stopped and wrote and published 27 issues of the acclaimed fanzine The Golden Road. He is also the author of the definitive biography Garcia: An American Life.

DAVID GANS has published three books on the Dead. He is the producer and host of the nationally syndicatedGrateful Dead Hour, is cohost of SiriusXM's Tales from the Golden Road, and is a working musician who has incorporated Grateful Dead songs and improvisation into his own work.

Rita Hurault

Blair Jackson

Official Links

Rita Hurault