Blair Jackson Garcia : An American Life

ISBN 13: 9780670886609

Garcia : An American Life

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9780670886609: Garcia : An American Life
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Examines the life and times of Jerry Garcia, capturing the psychedelic world of the musician and songwriter, his relationship with members of the Grateful Dead, his battle with drug addiction, and his lasting influence on popular music

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Anyone who ever attended a Grateful Dead show knows all too well how many "fans" virtually ignored the music in their pursuit of fun. What's worse, scores of closed-minded music critics dismissed the music out of hand simply because of the antics of these so-called fans. Author Blair Jackson sets out on a commendable mission to bring Jerry Garcia the musician into clear focus. Tapping his experience as both a devout Deadhead and a veteran journalist, Jackson's mission is a roaring success. He painstakingly details every musical turn that the Dead took and discusses every side project Garcia embarked on--from the endless stream of bluegrass, old-time, and jug bands of the early 1960s through collaborations both famous and obscure. (Even dedicated fans may not know of Garcia's futile attempt at joining Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys.) Garcia emerges as a talented, versatile, and obsessive musician with a voracious appetite for all forms of music--as long as it came from the heart.

In the process of documenting his musical career, Jackson also presents a picture of Garcia's fascinating offstage life, including the events and inspiration that translated into songs and solos. The author conducted scores of interviews with Garcia himself and with anyone else who could provide insight into Garcia's personality. While never glossing over the unseemly aspects of Garcia's life, Jackson doesn't dwell on them either. In fact, he openly offers connections between Garcia's drug use and his music when they prove appropriate. Neophytes may be turned off by the constant detailed references to specific songs and shows--even particular sound effects--but for the avid follower, Jackson's comprehensive book is a wonderful celebration of an underrated and misunderstood musician. --Marc Greilsamer

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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 worshiped 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 forty photographs, many of them previously unpublished, Garcia: An American Life is the ultimate tribute to the man who, as Bob Dylan said, "had no equal".

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9780140291995: Garcia : An American Life

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ISBN 10:  0140291997 ISBN 13:  9780140291995
Publisher: Penguin Books, 2000
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