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Growing Up Dead: The Hallucinated Confessions of a Teenage Deadhead Paperback – March 31, 2009
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“Offers a perspective often missing from other Dead chronicles: that of one of the suburban teens who dropped out of high school and/or college to follow a band…Earnest and often hilarious…What really went on at a typical Dead show in the 1980s.”
“Insightful and entertaining.”
Dennis McNally, author of A Long Strange Trip
“The hardest part of being the Grateful Dead’s publicist was convincing the media that Deadheads were diverse, thoughtful, and not infrequently accomplished. If I’d just had a copy of Growing Up Dead, I could have simply handed it out. The Deadhead subculture was rich and fascinating, and this book is a terrific documentation of it.”
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There are some negative reviews out there that seem more the reviewer's distaste for the author's personal lifestyle at that time than they are an acknowledgement of the writing or the quality of the content. Understand the title. This is a book about the life of a stoner teen who falls in love with the Grateful Dead. He and his friends do drugs while following the band around a bit. Spoiler alert: sometimes he sold drugs as well. If you don't approve of that sort of thing, okay, but please don't pretend to read the book and then give it a bad 'review' to support your own viewpoint. Thank you.
Meanwhile, I loved all the descriptions about what it was like to be a Deadhead: the parking lot action, pre-show apprehension, tripping, group-tripping, show(not 'concert')location strategy, Touch-heads, Tour-heads, the collapse of the scene, etc.
There are lots of good insights throughout, like not all Deadheads are hippies and not all hippies are Deadheads. He poignantly writes about what it's like being a Deadhead 25 years after Jerry Garcia's death, and his own growth and maturity.
The one drawback is that I don't know if someone who wasn't into the scene and didn't know anything about it would enjoy the book? I read it looking for friends that might crop up, things I would remember, etc. but not sure if someone from the outside who is interested in learning about The Dead and Deadheads would be satisfied and find it entertaining. I would hope so.
See you all on the road this summer! Time to go Furthur :)