The Grateful Dead were one of the most fascinating rock bands and cultural phenomena of the twentieth century. Despite having few mainstream hits, from 1965 to 1995 the Dead blazed an extraordinary incendiary trail across the rock firmament. Exploding from the roots and folk scene of the early 1960s, the Dead went on to provide the soundtrack to the Dionysiac revels of the burgeoning counterculture. Their history is the history of the modern American Revolution in the years of rage and rebellion, which were to change the country forever.
Here is the band's full story. Not just a brilliant rock biography, it forms a compelling portrait of America's West Coast from the halcyon days of Magic Buses and Merry Pranksters to the corporate dawn of the twenty-first century.
Dennis McNally has a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Massachusetts. After being selected as the Grateful Dead's official historian in 1980, he assumed head publicity duties in 1984 and has been running that post ever since. He is the author of one previous book, Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, the Beat Generation and America. He lives with his wife in San Francisco.
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