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Living with the Dead: Twenty Years on the Bus with Garcia and the Grateful Deadby Rock Scully
Synopses & Reviews
From the first Acid Tests in 1965, Rock Scully was "on the bus" with the Grateful Dead. As manager, confidant, and co-conspirator, he was a linchpin of the Dead family and privy to their every deed. Now, for the first time, he gives us the full rambunctious story of rock's longest-running road show. Starting amid the mayhem of Haight-Ashbury, he tells of rehearsals in Owsley's acid factory, Jerry Garcia's musical mastery, the band's evolution from folk revivalists to lysergic journeymen, the creation of their signature songs, decades of tours through the U.S. and Europe - the whole amazing story is here, up through Scully's departure from the band in 1985 and Garcia's tragic death. It's a magnificent trip, in the inspiring company of Neal Cassady, Ken Kesey, Owsley Stanley III, Janis Joplin, and the band's many fellow travelers. Scully gives intimate portraits of Pigpen, a founding spirit who lost his way; of Bob Weir's unlikely partnership with Garcia and his iron will; of Phil Lesh's endless experimentalism; of the powerful drumming team of Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart; plus sketches of Tom Constanten, Keith and Donna Godchaux, and other members of the Dead family. The center of the memoir, of course, is Jerry Garcia, the musical genius who was the band's true soul. Living with the Dead captures his endless inventiveness, vision, and contrary humor - at the same time that it chronicles his harrowing descent into drug addiction. It's a revealing and powerful picture that could be drawn only by one who was with him, day and night, through decades.
"Former Grateful Dead manager Scully presents a biography of the late Jerry Garcia both worshipful and smearing....Yet, despite musical and personal travails, Garcia's likability and innate goodness shine through....as an insider's view of a significant hunk of rock and pop culture history, Scully's report is valuable stuff." Mike Tribby, Booklist
"When Scully first saw the Grateful Dead perform, in San Francisco in 1965, he thought they were the 'world's ugliest band.' He promptly signed on as their manager and lived with them for the next 20 years....His account of those years...is not addressed exclusively to an audience of Deadheads....Scully is more interested in the Dead as a social phenomenon." Publishers Weekly
"An extraordinarily candid picture of the band's rollicking times." Details
"The first real insider look behind the scenes with the Dead." The Los Angeles Times
"Living With The Dead" follows the story of Toast Murphy from 1978 to 1995. Toast is a "Dead Head"--a dedicated fan of the San Francisco rock group, the Grateful Dead. Events take a terrible turn when Toast's best friend Jimi is killed in a road accident, shortly after Jimi's girlfriend Burn Out discovers that she is pregnant.
This memoir chronicles the Dead's seminal years: 1965-1985.
As a manager for the Grateful Dead, Rock Scully was with the band from its early days in San Francisco to the years it spent touring the globe as one of the most enduring legends in music history. In Living with the Dead , Scully gives a complete account of his outrageous experiences with the band, during years that saw the Grateful Dead transform from a folksy revivalist band to psychedelic explorers of outer space. In addition to close-up portraits of band members Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Pigpen, Phil Lesh, Micky Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, Scully brings into the story many of the people the Dead encountered in their journeys across America's musical landscape, including Ken Kesey, Janis Joplin, Etta James, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and the Jefferson Airplane. Scully tells the story of the band with genuine feeling; the tour disasters, acid trips, and burnouts, but most importantly the exaltation of delivering fantastic music.
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