The Grateful Dead were one of the most fascinating rock bands and cultural phenomena of the twentieth century. Despite having few mainstream hits, from 1965 to 1995 the Dead blazed an extraordinary incendiary trail across the rock firmament. Exploding from the roots and folk scene of the early 1960s, the Dead went on to provide the soundtrack to the Dionysiac revels of the burgeoning counterculture. Their history is the history of the modern American Revolution in the years of rage and rebellion, which were to change the country forever.
Here, for the first time, is the band's full story. Not just a brilliant rock biography, it forms a compelling portrait of America's West Coast from the halcyon days of Magic Buses and Merry Pranksters to the corporate dawn of the Twenty-first Century.
‘Some of the most vivid writing about the rock ‘n’ roll experience…A fascinating glimpse into a side of American culture that is still thriving, still evolving, and will simply not fade away’
‘[McNally] uses his unique access and intimacy to tell a gripping story that even the most inventive novelist really would have struggled to make up…Combining the objectivity of the trained historian with the commitment of a true believer, McNally has surely written the best Dead book ever’
'No novelist, sane or otherwise, could have invented the ethereal saga of the Grateful Dead. Dennis McNally's backstage portrait of the world's most liberated rock band is full of unforgettable images, wild and funny and fascinating'
Carl Hiaasenshow more