From School Library Journal
Grade 6 Up. The story of the Grateful Dead is primarily the story of its founder and lead singer, the late Jerry Garcia. Piccoli begins with a pivotal event in the singer's childhood?losing half of his finger in an accident. The band's story is put into the context of the whole San Francisco hippie milieu and the Haight-Ashbury scene of the early '60s, a background that is important in understanding the group's roots and eventual impact. The later history of the band is also presented, including the rise of the fanatical fans known as Deadheads and the Dead concert experience that became a kind of traveling caravan show. The book covers events through Garcia's death, but does not include the group's decision to disband. Black-and-white photos chart the band through all its different phases, showing the transformation of Garcia himself from dark-haired kid to bearded, white-haired rock patriarch.?Tim Wadham, Dallas Public Library, TX
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 7^-9. This look at the Grateful Dead is as much a portrait of an era as of the legendary band. Better written than many series biographies, the book will capture the attention of Deadheads as well as young people more casually interested in rock. Piccoli's focus is often Jerry Garcia, but he also introduces the other band members and vividly describes life in San Francisco at the time the band was being formed. Piccoli doesn't pull any punches about the band's drug use; in fact, one of the most interesting parts of the book is Piccoli's discussion of the evolution of LSD, first used in experiments by the U.S. military (which is where author Ken Kesey first got the drug). He also makes it clear that Garcia's early death was a cumulative result of years of drug use. Various (if innocuous) antidrug messages by other band members are worked into the text. The black-and-white photos are unfailingly interesting, but the best part of the art is the reproductions of Stanley Mouse's skull-and-roses designs that are synonymous with the Dead. One factual (and hilarious) error--Piccoli refers to The Donna Reed Show
as The Donna Mills Show
. Discography and chronology appended. Ilene Cooper
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.