An American Life

Book - 2000
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This is an unparalleled portrait of Jerry Garcia - the musical genius, the brilliant songwriter, and ultimately, the tortured soul plagued by his own addiction. He was there when Dylan went electric, when a generation danced naked at Woodstock, and when Ken Kesey started experimenting with acid. He was one of the most gifted musicians of all times, and he was a member of one of the most worshipped rock 'n' roll bands in history. Now, veteran rock journalist Blair Jackson has stitched together Garcia's story from more than a hundred of his own interviews with Garcia and his friends, lovers, and bandmates, and from thousands of pages of source material from the '50s through the '90s. With more than 40 photographs, many of them previously unpublished, this is the ultimate tribute to the man who, as Bob Dylan said, "had no equal".

'A heartfelt biography... What remains constant throughout the book... is Jackson's ability to elucidate Garcia and the Dead's already overanalyzed musical style with an extraordinary freshness.'
The Boston Globe
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2000
Edition: Pbk. ed.
ISBN: 9780140291995
Call Number: 780.2 G1645j 2000
Characteristics: xiii, 520 p., [24] p. of plates : ill., ports. ; 24 cm


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Mar 12, 2018

This is a good biography of Garcia. It tells things I didn't know before. I thought the book delved too deep into the band. Most of the stuff in the book I already knew. I also thought that the book should have told us more about how Garcia suffered toward the end of his life. It was so obvious seeing him in concert toward the end, that this guy was a mess.

Nov 13, 2014

A fascinating portrayal of one of America's most influential and brilliant musicians. Jerry's voracious musical appetite for all styles of Americana music are examined along with the summer of love and its negative effects on the Haight- Ashbury scene. Highly recommended!

Nov 24, 2012

Even if you have a passing interest in the Grateful Dead or Jerry Garcia you should give this book a read. Blair Jackson is a great writer and few know the subject as well.

Great book about a great guy!


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