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Conversations with the Dead: The Grateful Dead Interview Book Paperback – April 16, 2002


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Conversations with the Dead: The Grateful Dead Interview Book + Dark Star: An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia + Searching for the Sound: My Life with the Grateful Dead
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Product Details

  • Series: Grateful Dead Interview Book
  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Reprint edition (April 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306810999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306810992
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #346,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This volume is considered the definitive interview book with the band the Grateful Dead. Gans is a noted expert on the Dead, with several books to his credit, and was the producer of a few of their albums. The volume essentially is a collection of interviews with members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Dan Healy, Mickey Hart, and Jerry Garcia, who, alas, is no longer grateful, just dead. The interviews range from 1977 to 1991, and the text is buttressed with numerous photos. This edition also includes a new introduction. The band remains immensely popular, making this a solid purchase.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

David Gans is a musician, author of Playing in the Band, and host of the nationally syndicated radio show "The Grateful Dead Hour." He has also produced three albums, including the Grateful Dead's gold-record-winning boxed set, So Many Roads (1965–1995). He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 9, 1997
Format: Paperback
This is probably the single best book I've ever read about the Dead. It's so much more immediate and satisfying to hear how things went down from the Dead themselves than from a faceless biographer. David Gans asks the questions *I* would have asked Jerry & Bob & Phil & Mickey & Billy. You'll feel like you're there hanging out in their living room with them. A wonderful insight into what made that magical machine run for over 30 years...
--Mike Dobbs
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robin Russell on December 22, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the best collection of primary material available on the Grateful Dead. David Gans is a well informed interviewer who asks the right questions. As a musician, Gans is able to delve into what made the music of the Grateful Dead so arresting. Insights galore on every page, plus excellent photographs, often by the great Herb Greene.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tyler Roy-Hart on February 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Which are you more interested in: what some random bozo who came along later has to say about the Grateful Dead, how it all happened and what it all meant, or what the people who were there have to say about it themselves? Do you want a series of plausible facts and anecdotes and outside interpretations, or would you like a series of views from inside, however oblique and idiosyncratic?

These are interesting, intelligent people, and this book is the best collection you'll find of them speaking for themselves. If you want a sense of what it meant to the people who were doing it, this is the right book for you.

Note: hilariously, someone apparently replaced every instance of the word "kind" with "land" when making the kindle version. It confused the hell out of me for a bit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JEzrine on March 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
I think years from now the book will be pointed to as a benchmark in the art of interviewing-- at the very least. It's of course by far the most revealing portrait of these people, what makes them tick, what they are about, that has ever been produced.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Suchow on November 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
5 stars for the Owsley, Lagin, and new Hunter interviews. But I read this on a Kindle so I'm deducting 3 stars for charging $10 for a book you forgot to proofread. It reminded me of listening to Steal Your Face for the first time. Embarrassing. But you got Garcia to say the problem with the Dead was that he was the only beatnik in the group. Add a star for that. Every one of your subjects let you know in the nicest of ways that the Grateful Dead wasn't about Deadheads and that your questions were missing the mark. Add a star for that. Did I mention you charged $10 and forgot to proofread it? Oh yeah...I did.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lori L Dauncey on November 4, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My cousin Craig is 45 years old this year and he has spent many of his years as a huge fan. I still have the books to give to him, but I know he will enjoy them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By toughmama on September 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for my husband for his birthday, he isn't an avid redaer as I am but is a Deadhead.He loves Gans' show on Sirius so I thought he would dig this. I hoped it wasn't same stories he has already heard.I was right,he digs it he picks it up from time to time and loves sharing the stories, he even took it on phishtour with us this year and read to me during the relaxing afternoons of chilling time. A great change from Dr Suess and textbooks for me from the land of parenthood and nursing school! Always leaves us SMILIN'
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