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A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead Paperback – August 12, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Library Journal
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
I believe there are many more books which do more of the gossip thing, but this book is intentionally not about that. It carefully develops and follows the Dead, their music, and their cultural and musical upbringing. McNally does a great job of putting just the right amount of generic historical information within the story to give it some context and relevance.
The only thing I didn't understand, and wish he would have developed further are some internal conflicts within the band early on. He spends a good amount of time explaining that Jerry and Phil were pretty set on 'firing' pigpen and Weir. He never really explains why, except for a brief mention of Weir's general spaciness, and uninspired guitar playing. Pigpen was co-frontman in the early days, and for good reason. He was a great performer, and gave a side to the dead that was never replaced. McNally mentions they wanted a better keyboardist, but personally I loved Pig's minimalist approach, and organ sound.Read more ›
Told from the point of view of an insider, rather than a biographer outside of the Dead community, McNally's book gives a great deal of insight into the multiple personalities, conflicts, exploits, and adventures that made the Dead Family who they were. His story, coming from someone who was there, is told in a very honest manner, and it is one that any fan of the Dead will doubtless find addictive and entertaining.
He doesn't write from the perspective of a fanatic, and doesn't sugar-coat anything. His stories are honest, yet he doesn't try and pass them off as fact, aknowledging frequently that other versions of the stories exist (honestly, who could actually expect anyone inside the Dead community to remember every little detail?). When times were good, McNally tells the story and takes the reader along on an adventure. When times were rough, he tells it, and while some of the stories, like those from the 90s, are hard for a fan like myself to read, he tells it like it is.
The structure of the book is very well done, using an obvious chronological organization, with occasional chapters acting as interludes that describe a Grateful Dead show from the unloading of the equipment, through the setbreaks, and to the band getting on their flight for the next gig. The organization is well done, and makes for a very interesting read.
The balance of the novel, however, gets off a little bit. He starts off with the very beginnings of each musician, and goes into great detail about how the Grateful Dead was formed, and about how they became the travelling behemoth that they were.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dennis McNally's "A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead" provides a valuable context for Dead Heads to better understand the phenomenon that provided... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Peter G. Chronis
I haven't read a ton of books on the Dead.. in fact this was my first one... it kept my interest and was a good read.Published 5 months ago by Joshua Y.
This book was enjoyable from the first to the last page. I truly did not want it to end.
If you are a fan of The Dead, you will love it.
A must read for any anyone interested in the evolution of the Grateful Dead. I read this after No Simple Highway by Peter Richardson... Read morePublished 10 months ago by William A Young
This is a five star work since it's so complete, well researched, lovingly worked over. It's the place to start reading about the Dead in a complete way. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Brian J. Smith
This book arrived damaged. Serious folds on the cover and all the pages of the book. This review is not for the content, it's a great book and my favorite of the Dead biographies. Read morePublished 11 months ago by KEITH DSOUZA
I read the book before going to the Fare The Well shows and I couldn't have been happier. Lots and lots of information on the band, their influences and much much more. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Brian M Webb
As full of an account of the phenomenon of the Grateful Dead as humanly possible. A monumental effort, full of incredible detail.Published 13 months ago by Tom Cohen