Coming soon: an Oral History of the Grateful Dead

This Is All a Dream We Dreamed

Publication date is November 10.

Here is the Goodreads page for the book, and here is the publisher’s page. Both include links to several purchase options.

Publisher’s Weekly gave us a good review:

This Is All a Dream We Dreamed: An Oral History of the Grateful Dead
Blair Jackson and David Gans
Flatiron, $32.99 (528p) ISBN 978·1·250·05856·0

This epic oral history of the 50-year-old band is timed to coincide with five massively hyped “Fare Thee Well” concerts. The straightforward approach by Jackson and Gans (who collectively boast almost 80 years of Grateful Dead journalism) uses multiple perspectives to tell the story of a group that began as a San Francisco jug band of penniless hippies, morphed through multiple musical incarnations, and created a colorful psychedelic subculture. The more than 100 voices here include members of the Dead – including deceased guitarist/ de facto leader Jerry Garcia, and keyboardists Ron “Pigpen” McKernan and Brent Mydland – and their collaborators as well as business partners and fans. Jackson and Gans relied on new and archival interviews, as well as other published and unpublished sources. To their credit, the authors focus as much on the creation, recording, and marketing of music as they do on the ingestion of hallucinogens. The result is a solid, engaging chronicle.

Kirkus Reviews: also quite favorable!

THIS IS ALL A DREAM WE DREAMED [STARRED REVIEW!] An Oral History of the Grateful Dead
Author: Blair Jackson
Author: David Gans

Review Issue Date: September 1, 2015
Online Publish Date: August 15, 2015
Publisher:Flatiron Books
Pages: 528
Price ( Hardcover ): $32.99
Publication Date: November 10, 2015
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-1-250-05856-0
Category: Nonfiction

Coming on its 50th anniversary and just after the band’s farewell tour, an engaging, near-comprehensive oral history of the Grateful Dead. If “the Grateful Dead” and “disco” are not phrases that go together, it’s not for want of their trying. As Jackson (Grateful Dead Gear—The Band’s Instruments, Sound Systems, and Recording Sessions, from 1965 to 1995, 2006, etc.) and musician Gans (Conversations with the Dead: The Grateful Dead Interview Book, 1991, etc.) — collectors and archivists who know as much as nearly anyone alive about the storied band—chronicle, midway into the 1970s, with albums such as “From the Mars Hotel” and “Wake of the Flood” under their belts, the Dead were enough under the sway of Saturday Night Fever to attempt a disco-ish take on “Dancing in the Street.” Chalk it up to Mickey Hart, one of the many thorns in this thorny narrative hide, whose return to the band wrought big changes. “We had to tell him [what to play],” said guitarist Bob Weir in 1977, “which means we had to be thinking about it, which means while we were thinking about it, we might as well rethink things in general.” As fans already know but will further note, the superficially peace-and-love demeanor of the Dead disguised all sorts of tensions, from personality clashes to money worries and differences over musical direction. But it all worked, despite Jerry Garcia’s drug use and increasingly erratic behavior. Says sound tech Bob Bralove, “The energy around [the last tour with Garcia] was kind of confusing, because there was this really positive energy coming from the band, but it was missing a key ingredient.” For all that, there’s plenty of peace and love here and lots of smoke and psychedelia, as well as the usual Altamont regrets, all voiced by people in and close to the band. Worthy of Studs Terkel and an essential addition to the books of the Dead.

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