By: Bob Ruggiero
Don LaVange via Flickr The cover art of the Grateful Dead's Winterland 1973: The Complete Recordings three-LP set
No Simple Highway: A Cultural History of the Grateful Dead
By Peter Richardson
St. Martin's, 384 pp., $26.99
With 2015 marking the 50th anniversary of their formation, expect a lot of attention paid this year to the musical and cultural legacy of the Grateful Dead. The four surviving members of the classic lineup (Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart) have announced a "that's all, folks!" series of final shows under the banner of "Fare Thee Well" July 3-5 at Chicago's Soldier Field.
According to a published report, the band has already received requests for 350,000 tickets even though the capacity for all shows is just under 200,000 -- and that's just from their in-house mail order service. Phish's Trey Anastasio will fill in on guitar and vocals for the late Jerry Garcia, and Jeff Chimenti (keyboards) and previous Dead compatriot Bruce Hornsby (piano) will augment the lineup.
Author Peter Richardson's No Simple Highway mainly looks and the musical, social, and political influences that surrounded the group, as well as its own unique models of traveling, touring and community which developed (and were not always successful) over the course of decades.More »