09 December 2008

17. Goin' Down the Road by Blair Jackson

I liked this book so much that after I read a library copy I bought a copy on the amazon. For $2!

Subtitled as "A Grateful Dead Traveling Companion," this is a collection of some articles and interviews from the Golden Road newsletter, a fan newsletter organized for the fans of the Grateful Dead. The book has an interview with each of the band members, a section on the history of all the traditional folk songs songs that the Dead have covered/reinterpreted, and a section that highlights concerts of note for every year the band played shows.

This last section is what drove me to buy the book. I mean, I surf the Archive every day, looking for specific songs, shows, or song combinations, and see what interesting shows were recorded that day. And I'm sure that I could have found some sort of comprehensive review of concerts online instead of buying the book. But having a copy, with the pics of the band, and Jackson's comments on some of the shows, is interesting. What I especially liked was knowing when the first Stella Blue was (1972), or the first show after Pigpen died (3/15/1973, at our very own Nassau Coliseum). Stuff like that.

It's a good reference book, especially if you are a collector of Grateful Dead shows. Like, say, you want to hear Janis Joplin singing with the Dead, or the darkest Dark Star, or the very first live version of Eyes of the World, or a 17 song first set. You could find these things surfing the Archive, and reading the comments, but that takes so freaking long.

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