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The Grateful Dead are perhaps the most legendary American rock band of all time. For thirty years, beginning in the hippie scene of San Francisco in 1965, they were a musical institution, the original jam band that broke new ground in so many ways. From the music to their live concert sound systems and fan recordings, they were forward-thinking champions of artistic control and outlaw artists who marched to the beat of their own drums.
In Deal, Bill Kreutzmann, one of their founding members and drummer for every one of their over 2,300 concerts has written an unflinching and wild account of playing in the greatest improvisational band of all time. Everything a rock music fan would expect is here, but what sets this apart is Bill's incredible life of adventure that was at the heart of the Grateful Dead experience. This was a band that knew no limits and Bill lived life to the fullest, pushing the boundaries of drugs, drums and high times, through devastating tragedy and remarkable triumph.
But at this book's beating heart is the music--theirs and others. Some of the greatest musicians and concerts were a part of the Grateful Dead's career, from sharing the stage with Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, and The Who, to playing in the Acid Tests, The Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock and Altamont. Bill's life is a chronicle of American music and pop culture history and his epic personal journey is one of sonic discovery and thrilling experiences.
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BILL KREUTZMANN co-founded the Grateful Dead in 1965 with his musical cohorts Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, and Phil Lesh. As the drummer in that band for all 30 years until they disbanded in 1995, he performed more than 2,300 concerts and played on every one of their albums. He continues to play music in various bands including Billy and the Kids. He lives on an organic farm in Hawaii.
BENJY EISEN has written for Rolling Stone, Esquire, Relix and so on. He lives in San Francisco, where he is at work on a novel. Upon completion of Deal, he cut a deal with Kreutzmann and is now his manager.Review:
''Bill Kreutzmann, founding drummer of the Grateful Dead, has produced more than just a tourist's guide. What emanates, maybe more than he intended, is a testimony to friendship and profound sadness when it abruptly ends.'' --Chicago Tribune
''A memoir of his years with the anarchic band that became an unlikely American institution... Kreutzmann and co-author Benjy Eisen recount the Dead's formation, its zigzagging rise, and many low points. Unlike other books about the Grateful Dead's history, Mr. Kreutzmann homes in on his own experiences with the group. Deal chronicles partying with John Belushi, riding camels through the desert to a Bedouin musical jam, and encountering George McGovern's presidential campaign in 1972.'' --Wall Street Journal
''Readers dropping into Grateful Dead drummer Kreutzmann's stream of memory may be surprised by only one overriding theme: namely, the frequency of bitter episodes of discord, always roiling under the surface of a good-time psychedelic jug band that slowly emerged as a stadium filler.'' --Kirkus Reviews
''The book's last forty or so pages, which recount Jerry Garcia's death and its aftermath, are tremendously moving, and here the work finally hits its stride.'' --Library Journal
''Like one of the Dead's meandering, free-form jams...[Kreutzmann] provides his own history of the Dead through chronicles of the band's albums and the personnel involved in making them...Kreutzmann offers his take on each band member, recalling many of his long, strange trips on various hallucinogens, as well as the ups and downs of his personal life.'' --Publishers Weekly
''The uninhibited (of course) tale of the co-founder of the legendary rock band, who played drums at every single one of the Dead's 2,300 concerts and lived to tell about it all.'' --Tampa Bay Times
''Taking its title from a Jerry Garcia solo song the band was fond of playing, the book's understandable and blatant subjectivity of the Dead's story is a given...[and] offers plenty of insight, opinion, observations, and analysis that are unique and of great interest to fans.'' --Houston Press
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