The life of rock band roadie would hardly inspire the likes of say, Emile Zola. But Steve Parish's 30+ year tenure with the Grateful Dead, the Jerry Garcia Band, and its survivors makes for compelling reading, even if his low-key, often self-deprecating reportorial style can't hope to begin to unravel the complex psychology that drove the symptomatic excesses---and all too many tragedies--of the 60's most enduringly emblematic American band. There's more here than sex, drugs, and rock and roll, even if Parish's writing struggles to encompass the meaning of it all. And make no mistake; The Dead and their coterie were, in the estimation of unlikely Deadhead Joseph Campbell, nothing short of potent modern mythology evolving before his very eyes. In the fallout of one memorable backstage incident, the author even found himself parodied by John Belushi in an SNL
skit written by Deadheads Al Franken and Tom Davis. Parish casts little judgment on the oft-debauched actions of his cohorts here, though he often stops to note the brightness of their humanity. A paradoxical marriage of unrestrained hedonism and radical Christian social conscience, The Dead's world seems to still baffle Parish. His continued wonderment at it all is one of the book's charms; his tortured sense of helplessness in the addiction-fueled decline and death of Jerry Garcia, its spiritual and musical leader, its most tragic mystery. --Jerry McCulley
From the Back Cover
Never before has a true insider, a member of the Grateful Dead family from the band's early days through today, told the story of life on the road with the Grateful Dead. From San Francisco to Europe to Egypt and back again; from wild parties and horrible tragedies; from laughter to heartbreak--this is the inside story of the most legendary American rock 'n' roll band of all time and the tale of a man who lived it, from roadie to manager and brother.
"The Grateful Dead was all about improvisation, and Steve spoke that language with flourish...Steve was a central figure, often in the lead of what was going on backstage, in the hotels, on the airplanes, busses, boats, or whatever. If ever I get around to writing a book, you'll be reading plenty more about Steve."
--Bob Weir, from the foreword