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Grateful Dead Scrapbook: The Long, Strange Trip in Stories, Photos, and Memorabilia Hardcover – September 23, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (September 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811870898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811870894
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 9.8 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #809,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Grateful Dead fans are legendary for their Dead-ication to the band and its enduring legacy of freewheeling musical exploration. The Grateful Dead Scrapbook collects rare removable memorabilia and evocative images culled from the Grateful Dead Archives at the University of California, Santa Cruz, including never-before-published photos, flyers, fan letters, and other ephemera. To accompany the eye-popping visuals, renowned journalist Ben Fong-Torres draws on his personal knowledge of the San Francisco music scene in a rich text that conveys the Grateful Dead's story in a fresh way, centering each chapter on a pivotal song that encapsulates a certain era of the group's songwriting, performance, and community. An attractive slipcase and an audio CD* round out the book's beautiful design, delivering a richly illustrated volume as colorful as the band itself.

*The audio CD contains interviews & press conference recordings.



Q&A with Ben Fong-Torres, Author of The Grateful Dead Scrapbook

When did you first become interested in The Grateful Dead?

I first saw the Dead at the Fillmore… or maybe it was the Avalon Ballroom, and knew them from the beginning as part of the fabric of the still-evolving San Francisco scene.

Do you have a favorite Grateful Dead album? What is it, and why is it a favorite?

Workingman’s Dead. The surprise factor. Acoustic; gorgeous harmonies on beautifully-crafted songs that chronicled both the Dead and their times. I played cuts from that album and American Beauty endlessly on my Sunday show on KSAN.

What is the most interesting thing that you learned about the Grateful Dead as you were writing the book?

I enjoyed learning the stories behind some of the best-known Dead songs and relaying them in the book; I was fascinated how the members all got together, coming from widely varied strains of music, thus explaining the band’s eclectic, ever-changing musical offerings. But the most interesting thing--the saddest, too--was to learn how many health difficulties Jerry went through over the years, and how his passion for music drove him on through many of his ailments.

Are there any Grateful Dead reproductions that didn’t make in into the book that you wish had?

Hmm…A life-size Pigpen stand-up would’ve been nice. No, I can't say there are, since I have access to various fave Fillmore & Avalon posters in other books. I think the Scrapbook offers a nice trove of GD treasures.

You write in the bibliography of The Grateful Dead Scrapbook that "The Grateful Dead were a journalist's dream (and, on occasion, a nightmare; it was a matter of when you caught them)." How were the Dead dream subjects to you as a journalist?

All the guys were/are bright, articulate and passionate about their music and about life. They knew exactly what they were doing and the impact it was having on the larger community. They took their responsibilities as artists seriously. And they always were striving to something different every time out; to surprise their audiences and to surpass themselves--no matter how long they’d been doing it. That’s true artistry.

About the Author

Ben Fong-Torres is the author of 6 books. He began writing for Rolling Stone with its 8th issue in 1968, and his writing has been published in numerous other magazines. He contributed the main biography of Jerry Garcia for People Magazine's tribute issue on the occasion of the singer's death in 1995. Ben lives in San Francisco.

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Cabral on November 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The writer Ben Fong-Torres makes the difference in this book about the Grateful Dead. To date there have been dozens of books written about the band. This one is very special and different.

Fong-Torres started covering the band for Rolling Stone Magazine when he was a young reporter in 1968. He has been watching the band ever since. Ben became a Senior editor for Rolling Stone and was with them for many years. He was portrayed as himself in the movie ALMOST FAMOUS. He has also penned 6 books on a variety of subjects. Ben does a radio news column in the San Francisco Chronicle Datebook and he has a radio show on KFRC in San Francisco.

For the Scrapbook he did a complete history of the band starting when they were known as the Warlocks in Palo Alto. The history (25,000 words) wraps around great photos and art work plus it has many removable memorabilia pieces like a program and guest pass from their concerts in Egypt, schedules, letters, several rare posters, and even a bumper sticker. You can remove some of the posters and frame them - they would look great hanging on a wall in your house or office.

To make things even more interesting a CD with rare interviews with Jerry Garcia is included. This book is a treasure of information and insight into San Francisco's most famous and beloved band. It is truly a one of a kind feast for the eyes.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Fee the Weasel on September 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
You can still get these at the Official Grateful Dead Store ONLINE. They are only $75.00. Don't pay these ridiculous prices for them. They are no different than the ones at the store. The run hasn't sold out yet.
So buy from a trusted source other than a con-artist. These sellers should be driven to Ebay & keep Amazon clean & trustworthy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Philip S. Wolf on November 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this scrapbook on the cheap and was very happy and surprised by it's contents. Under the slipcase is a 64 page volume with lots of inserts of fun Dead stuff that you get to play with. You get a bumper sticker that would look great on 64 Volkswagon Beetle, a press release from Dead Heads Newsletter # 20, Feb 1975, a program from the Cairo shows of Sept 1978, stickers, a flyer from the 20th anniversary show with Hunter's lyrics to "20th Anniversary Rag" a letter from Hugh Hefner after the band appeared on Playboy After Dark in 1969, a Christmas card from the band and a bunch more playthings.

The overview of the band is good (but brief) as this is not a huge book of information, this is indeed a scrapbook of interesting thingies to see and enjoy. This one is very different from other Dead books as this is a Dead playground of sorts to keep your die-tye fresh and bright. A fun stop for old Pranksters this Grateful Dead Scrapbook is....I really enjoyed this!
Four & 1/2 Stars!

PLAY DEAD!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steven Travis on October 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I saw this sitting in a bookshop and being a sucker for both the Dead and concert memorabilia, this is sort of the ultimate visual, aural and tactile treasure box for me. The CD of interview excerpts is pure fun. Just listening to Jerry ramble on about the Haight, acid tests, and all things music is enough to pick this up, but then you get reproductions of concert posters, bumper stickers, and letters to and from the band. It's a completely different way to look at the history of the Dead. The book portion is a good read, but probably not going to shed a lot of new light on the band for those who have been into them for so long. To sum it up, like what you'd find in a Rock 'n Roll museum collection, but you can carry it around with you. I love it!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jerry jeff on December 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Got it as a gift ..love it..my friends got this one from grateful dead merchandising..includes dvd..well worth it...see it.., I do not think this version has DVD..Thanks
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a gift for my brother who is a real "dead head". He was planning to use it as a scrapbook for his tickets and other stuff he had accumulated. He was really happy with the gift!
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By proudmama on December 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a great idea my son found to get for his Dad for Christmas! My husband absolutely loved it and I know it will keep him occupied for hours! Thanks!
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By mary j on February 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my "Dead head" husband for his birthday! He really enjoyed looking at the pictures and reading the captions. I would recommend this to anyone who is a Grateful Dead fan!
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