Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Book Review - A Jerry Garcia Biography

I just finished reading a book that I received as a gift back in 1996. It’s called “Dark Star – An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia” by Robert Greenfield (who has also written biographies of Bill Graham and Timothy Leary). It’s a fascinating look into the life of Jerry Garcia, as told to the author in a series of interviews with a lot of the people who were close to him, including several of his wives/girlfriends. It’s gives a very good feel for what it was like to know Jerry. Unlike some other Garcia bios, this one focused more on his addictions and his relationships than his musicianship. The interviews are arranged in a way that it flows chronologically through Jerry's life, starting with his childhood, and ending with his untimely but hardly unexpected demise in 1995. There are several very nice thoughts about Jerry at the end of the book. Here are a couple:

Wavy Gravy
A haiku on the Day of Jerry’s Demise

The fat man rocks out
Hinges fall of heaven’s door
Come on in, sez Bill


Robert Hunter
An Elegy for Jerry

I feel your silent laughter
at sentiments so bold
that dare to step across the line
to tell what must be told
so I’ll just say I love you
which I’ve never said before
and let it go at that old friend
the rest you may ignore


I don't think I can provide a good "literary review" of the book (see the amazon link above or google for some more in-depth critique), but I can say that I recommend this book to deadheads and non-deadheads alike. It’s a very interesting read. And I’ll end with a bizarre coincidence. While I was on the bus ride home reading the last words of the book, I was listening to Jerry’s “Pizza Tapes” CD (with David Grisman and Tony Rice). The song that was playing as I finished the book – “Amazing Grace.” How sweet the sound…

2 comments:

Candyman said...

The Bill Graham biography is one of the best rock & roll books out there. Love the format of interviews and snippets Greenfield uses with both the Graham and Garcia books. The Garcia book is great in that it delves into one man, one great man at that, but the Graham book gives a look into not only Wolfgang, but into the rock and roll business and some of the major acts and players of the time. Get it if you can find it - I believe it is out of print.

Buy Viagra online said...

It was an important gift. I will read everything about it, specially if we are talking about those kind of books.

Jerry Garcia has been rising my knowledge because he did an important development, specially with addictions as a main topic.