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Grateful Dead Gear - The Band's Instruments, Sound Systems, and Recording Sessions, From 1965 to 1995 (Softcover) Paperback – November 1, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
It may seem a tad pricey, but the printing job is deluxe. Mark my words: it's a fantastic gift idea for any Deadhead you love, but will probably fly under the radar of most casual Dead enthusiasts because of the off-putting premise of being all about the hardware. As it turns out, this witty book is actually more about the human software: the passion for discovery and exploration that drove the evolution of this music and this sound, and made the Grateful Dead the *new* best band on Earth nearly every time they went out on tour ('till '91 or so, at least -- so shoot me for saying it.)
I'm not just raving about this book because Blair and I have worked together on projects like the "So Many Roads" box set. Frankly, I wasn't even sure I was going to buy it, since I'm so not the target demographic for a book about whether 'tis better to use graphite for a guitar neck or not. But I'm sure glad I did, because I feel like I have a much deeper picture of what the band was up to on the other side of the Laminated Curtain, all those many years.
Overall, the book is well written and researched. However they should change the title/description to something more generic geared towards the common fan. At first glance, the book seems to be about the technical aspects of the Dead's instruments and equipment but it is really more of a historical background of what they used and played and why. I was hoping for real tech information such as: close-ups of Garcia's pedals and wiring diagrams, close-ups of each member's racks. In-depth information about each rack unit/processor and why it was used and selected, more on Irwin's guitar customization for Garcia's guitars, A detailed review of how each member got their tone and sound. In other words it would be great to see an in-depth book about the real tech stuff rather then the background of why, when and what the band used. I also noticed that several Dicks Picks album covers and other dead cover art was used thru-out the book. I failed to understand why these were necessary other then adding visual filler and visually enhancing the era being discussed. I would have rather seen more in-depth close-ups of the equipment, cables, cabinets, etc. There are several shots of the band using the equipment but not many specifically of the equipment. I did enjoy the pages on studio recording techniques and aspects. I also enjoyed that the book is chronological in presentation showing the progression of equipment over the years. I just felt that there should have been more about the equipment and hook-up, etc rather then the history behind the selection and usage.
As other reviewers have noted, this is not a book to take gearheads into techie heaven. It does take the general student of the Grateful Dead to a more comprehensive understanding of the broad sweep of instruments and equipment used across their 30 year career. As such, it is most valuable addition to the Grateful Dead library. It is well written and easily understood.
There is probably a book of equal length just in Garcia's Irwin guitars, or Mickey Hart's drums, or the Wall of Sound and on and on. Hopefully, Jackson will inspire specialists to delve into those subjects and more in greater depth. Certainly, this is an excellent overview of a space that needs deeper exploration.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Overall enjoyable & informative, maybe could have been more in depth.Published 11 months ago by Leo Giovanoni
Great info and I love the book. I was really hoping for color pictures of the gear. But this seems more like photo copy quality rather than published book quality. Read morePublished on January 31, 2014 by Derek Burrell
I had seen the hard copy with great color pictures and thought the paperback would be the same and the price was right. I should have read the reviews. My bad. Buyer beware. Read morePublished on December 19, 2013 by Kurt
There were a few pages out of place at the beginning. The table of contents is mixed in with the Acknowledgements and difficult to navigate. Read morePublished on December 2, 2013 by Dan Dempsey
I received a photo copied book also. Not what is shown as the book offered. It is shown with colored pages(photographs). I called Amazon. and was offered a replacement. Read morePublished on October 18, 2013 by Allen T
This book is not the original. I don't see how this can even be legal to photocopy a book and resell it? Sending it back.Published on June 24, 2013 by Amazon Customer