Dark Star, an Oral Biography by Robert Greenfield

This story, by Robert Greenfield, is an oral biography of Jerry Garcia, as told by those who knew and loved him, and while the surviving Grateful Dead members did not talk to Greenfield, voices in the piece include John Perry Barlow, Merl Saunders, Mountain Girl, David Grisman, Jorma Kaukonen and Owsley Stanley.

While this could be seen as an exploitative book, I found the stories told very lovingly. Even when we hear things we may find disturbing about this man who was so important to all of us, it is told in a non-tabloid, sensitive way.

from the inside cover of the book:

Dark Star
An Oral Biography
of Jerry Garcia
Robert Greenfield

For more than thirty years, Jerome John Garcia played guitar and sang in the traveling menagerie and living social experiment called the Grateful Dead. What started as a jug band in Palo Alto evolved into a rock and rol institution, playing to audiences composed of both gray-bearded boomers and tie-dyed baby Deadheads. At the center of this phenomenon was Jerry, whose musical gifts and affable manner made him the symbol of all things magical.

In Dark Star, we see Garcia through the eyes of those closest to him, who speak fro the first time since his death: the ex-wives and lovers who did their best to make him happy but in the end always seemed to lose him to the road; the close friends who watched in helpless frustration as he battled a long-running heroin habit he tried again to kick; the children of fellow members of the Grateful Dead for whom he was the father he could never be to his own daughters; the musicians who looked up to him as a guru and an older brother.

Together, these voices present a striking portrait of a compelling artist and complex personality ------ part psychadelic guru, part ironic observer of the scene, part addict, part outlaw ------ and enduring rock and roll icon.

"It was not LSD or the sixties that made Jerry Garcia who he was," writes Greenfield. "Jerry was always Jerry. Seemingly, he came into the world not only fully formed, but, as Bruce Springsteen once sang, with 'the diamond-hard look of a cobra.' That never changed. In his beginning may well have been his end. More importantly, both were always cloaked in mystery, perhaps even to him."

Robert Greenfield is an award-winning novelist, screenwriter, playwright, and the author of Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock and Out. He lives in California.

Speakers (in alphabetical order)

Peter Albin
Ken Babba
Dr. Randy Baker
Sonny Barger
John Perry Barlow
Bob Barsotti
Peter Barsotti
Jerilyn Lee Brandelius
Steve Brown
Yen-Wei Choong
Tom Constanten
Tom Davis
John "Marmaduke" Dawson
Len Dell'amico
Gloria Dibiase
Vince Dibiase
Rev. Matthew Fox
David Freiberg
Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Garcia
Clifford "Tiff" Garcia
Manasha Matheson Garcia
Sara Ruppenthal Garcia
Bill Graham
David Graham
Laird Grant
David Grisman
Gary Gutierrez
Mickey Hart
Dexter Johnson
Hal Kant
Jorma Kaukonen
Ken Kesey
Sat Santokh Singh Khalsa
Justin Kreutzmann
Stacy Kreutzmann
Cassidy Law
Eileen Law
Celeste Lear
Marshall Leicester
Richard Loren
Jon Mcintire
Donna Godchaux Mckay
Barbara Meier
Chesley Millikin
David Nelson
Harry Popick
Ron Rakow
Sandy Rothman
Peter Rowan
Merl Saunders
Nicki Scully
Rock Scully
Sage Scully
Grace Slick
Joe Smith
Owsley Stanley
Sue Stephens
Sue Swanson
Bill Thompson
Pete Townshend
Alan Trist
Michael Walker
Wavy Gravy
Bob Weir
Joshua White
Suzy Wood
Elanna Wyn-Ellis


Price: $22.00


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