G. Dead Books
Home ] Music Categories ] Artist Index ] MP3 etc. ] Allman Brothers Band ] The Band ] Eric Clapton ] Jerry Garcia ] Grateful Dead ] Lynyrd Skynyrd ] Led Zeppelin ] Music Resources ] Pink Floyd ] Django Reinhardt ] Steely Dan ] Yes ]

SEARCH
Home
Up
G. Dead Live
G. Dead Studio
G. Dead Books
G. Dead Links
G.  Dead Videos
G. Dead Misc.

Essential Reference Guides | Grateful Dead Songbooks | Jerry Garcia Songbooks | Others | Out of Print  

I have noted some of the best books about the Grateful Dead below in summary fashion. 

For more detailed information on some of the essential and best Grateful Dead books select a title from the links below.

GD and JGB tab
Searching for the Sound
A Long Strange Trip
Grateful Dead Gear
Garcia: An American Life
JG: The Collected Artwork
Deadbase
Deadhead's Taping Compendium
Comp. Annotated GD Lyrics

Home Before Daylight - Review Grateful Dead Books

 

New Book Releases about the Grateful Dead
Home Before Daylight - Review
Grateful Dead Scrapbook: 
Deluxe Edition


Book Description

Product Details:
· 64 pages of text, photos, and memorabilia
· CD of interviews with Jerry Garcia
· Exclusive DVD with live performances and more
· Authentic concert ticket
· Individually-numbered embossed slipcase

You only thought you knew everything there is to know about the Dead. The Grateful Dead Scrapbook, helmed by veteran rock writer Ben-Fong Torres, takes you on a guided tour through the Grateful Dead’s entire musical career. The beautifully designed 64-page hardcover album includes never-before-published photos, removable reproductions and interactive features like backstage passes, fold-out psychedelic posters, the full program from the Dead’s unprecedented Egyptian concerts, a letter of “special” thanks from Hugh Hefner, an early bumper sticker, a hand-drawn record of every set list the band played for a year, and more. 

Presented in a limited-edition embossed slipcase, each Deluxe Edition scrapbook is individually numbered and includes an original concert ticket, CD and DVD. The CD offers never-before-heard interviews with Jerry Garcia conducted by David Gans, the legendary host of Grateful Dead Radio Hour. The DVD contains the official music video for “Hell In A Bucket,” a short film about the band by Robert Nelson recorded in 1968, plus five live clips filmed between 1972 and 1989. The rare video spotlights several freewheeling jams, including a 1989 East Rutherford, N.J. performance that intertwines “Shakedown Street,” “Jack Straw” and “West L.A. Fadeaway.” 

The numbered slipcase, vintage concert ticket, and unreleased DVD are exclusive to Dead.net, so the only place to get the full package is right here. 

DVD Track Listing: 95 Minutes
1. Grateful Dead short film by Robert Nelson (1968)
2. “Hurts Me Too” – Copenhagen, Denmark (4/17/72)
3. “Estimated Prophet” – Passaic, NJ (11/24/78)
4. “China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider” – New York City, NY (10/29/80)
5. “Scarlet Begonias>Fire On The Mountain” – San Francisco, CA (12/27/83)
6. “Hell In A Bucket” – Official music video 
7. “Shakedown Street>Jack Straw>West LA Fadeaway” – E. Rutherford, NJ (7/9/89)

More and order at Dead.net

Note - A 2:00 minute clip of "Shakedown Street" was posted for previewing upon the release. 

Home Before Daylight - Review
Grateful Dead Gear
The Band's Instruments, Sound Systems, and Recording Sessions from 1965 to 1995 

by Blair Jackson

Book Description

From the “acid tests” of the '60s to the famous “wall of sound” in the ’70s and up to their exceptional later touring systems, the Grateful Dead were always on the cutting edge of technological innovation and experimentation. Grateful Dead Gear is an in-depth examination of every aspect of the Dead’s technical side. This exhaustive study includes clear and concise explanations of the band’s equipment technology, instrument design, and studio recording techniques, plus a history of the group.
More on Grateful Dead Gear

Home Before Daylight - Review
Searching for the Sound :

My Life in the Grateful Dead
by Phil Lesh 

 

 

More on Searching for the Sound

April 2005

Read Phil's comments and listen to samples of "Viola Lee Blues," "The Other One," "Dark Star," and "Dancing in the Street."

From Amazon:
The bass player for the greatest improvisational band in American history tells the full, true story of his life, Jerry Garcia, and the Dead. Phil Lesh first met Jerry Garcia in 1959 in the clubs of East Palo Alto, California. At Garcia’s suggestion, Lesh learned to play the electric bass, joining him in a new band that blended R&B, country, and rock and roll with an experimental fervor never before heard.

Now, in time for the Grateful Dead’s 40th anniversary, Phil Lesh offers the first behind-the-scenes history of the Dead--a story no one will ever know as he does. From their first gigs to the legendary Acid Tests, in San Francisco’s Summer of Love, at Woodstock, Monterey, Altamont, and the Pyramids, the Dead have been in the center of rock’s defining moments. Phil Lesh tells what it has been like to live at the heart of this whirlwind, making uncompromisingly original music with bandmates Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Pigpen, Mickey Hart, and especially Jerry Garcia, the charismatic, enigmatic soul of the band. He tells the stories behind songs like "Dark Star," "Friend of the Devil," "Truckin’," and his legendary composition "Box of Rain." And in intimate detail, Lesh describes what it was like to storm heaven night after night--and the price he and others have paid, up to and following Jerry Garcia’s tragic death in 1995.

SEARCHING FOR THE SOUND is a ruthlessly honest look inside one of the greatest American bands, written with humor, intelligence, and a deep affection that only Phil Lesh himself could provide.

Home Before Daylight - Review
The Complete Annotated

Grateful Dead Lyrics
by David Dodd 

Order: Amazon

 

512 Pages

Oct. 10, 2005

Do you know the way to Fennario? Or wonder where the Nuthatch winters? What is the "Buck Dancer's Choice?" And where do the four winds dwell? If these are questions that leave you wondering then David Dodd's The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics may just be the skeleton key you've been looking for. Every Deadhead knows there is something profound hidden within their lyrics, even if most of the nuances go by unnoticed. Why are the obscure tales of their characters' (Jack Straw, Black Peter, August West, et al) trials and tribulations on the psychedelic Americana landscape so intriguing? What is the deal with the reoccurring imagery that popped in and out of their songs for decades (the crows, light and darkness, rolling rivers, gambling, playing cards, space, and, of course, roses)? It is clear the Grateful Dead's lyricists Robert Hunter and John Barlow tapped into the well of the collective subconscious for material, but rarely were any explanations provided. Fans were basically on their own to put the pieces together themselves, until now. 

The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics began as a research project for David Dodd while he was working at the University of Colorado. Like many fans before him, Dodd spent hours passionately trying to find the deeper meanings in the Dead's songs. In 1994 the Internet may have been in its infancy, but Dodd knew the Web was the perfect to tool to help him annotate the entire Dead catalog. So began the building of his incredibly popular Web site. The fruits of his labors lie within the pages of this encyclopedic book. Where Robert Hunter's A Box of Rain only includes his lyrical contributions to the Dead's catalog, Dodd's book is expanded to include John Barlow's songs, as well as tunes the Dead covered so many times they became their own. It is worth mentioning, this book should not be viewed as a cheat sheet, but a tool giving lots of background and cross-references. The interpretations are still up to you. Be forewarned, this book can be extremely habit forming. --Rob Bracco

More info | Order: Amazon

Home Before Daylight - Review

Home Before Daylight : 

Home Before Daylight _grateful Dead Book

My Life on the Road with the Grateful Dead

by Steve Parish (Author), Joe Layden (Author)

Order  Amazon

An interview by David Gans on the Grateful Dead Hour with Steve Parish on September 24, 2003, about his book Home Before Daylight and more.  

A Long Strage Trip - The History of the Grateful Dead - Review

A Long Strange Trip:

What a Long Stage Trip: The History of the Grateful Dead

The History of the Grateful Dead

Dennis McNally - Aug. 2002

Order  Amazon

A first hand account from Grateful Dead historian and the Grateful Dead publicist for more than 20 years. More info

Garcia: An American Life by Blair Jackson - Review

Not new, but excellent 

A Long Strage Trip - The History of the Grateful Dead - Review

Garcia: An American Life

Garcia_An_American_Life_Grateful_Dead.

 

Blair Jackson - 1999

Order  Amazon

I enjoyed the former Grateful Dead magazine the Golden Road that was published by Blair Jackson, the author of this book. I thought it was the best of three major publications on the subject, the others being Relix and Dupree Diamond News.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise that his book Garcia - An American Life, IMO is the cream of the crop.

Blair Jackson's homepage has a section called the Cutting Room Floor. It has the "outtakes" to this book, which are the pages removed from the submitted manuscript, to meet the publisher demands.  

Blair Jackson has written liner notes for many Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band CD's releases, was on the box-set So Many Roads team.  
Grade  A +
More about Garcia:
An American Life

A Long Strage Trip - The History of the Grateful Dead - Review

Grateful Dead : 

The Illustrated Trip - by Robert Hunter Grateful Dead Book

The Illustrated Trip

by Robert Hunter

Order  Amazon

The book's unique, encyclopedic, timeline format tells the real story of the band from childhood to the present day, incorporating rare and unseen photography which captures pivotal moments, both large and small.

This is a coffee table style book, large, heavy, and great photos and stories.

The DeadHeads Tapers Compendium - Order

Essential Reference Material

Top of page

The DeadHeads Tapers Compendium Volume 1 - Order

The Dead Heads Taper's Compendium 1:

An in-depth guide to the music of the Grateful Dead on tape

by Michael M. Getz, John D. Dwork - 1998

Order Amazon 

The Taper's Compendium - Volume 1 is an in depth guide to the Grateful Dead's music focusing on their beginnings, 1959-1974. 

The Compendium does great analysis on each year of the Grateful Dead. Then, for each entry they review the show and include details such as the date, location, the songs played, the existing tapes and lineage, concert highlights, and a comments section. Dozens of great  photographs throughout the book give the pages a visual appeal enhancing it immensely. 

This volume includes rare and exclusive interviews with legendary early Dead soundman Oswley ("Bear") Stanley and Dick Latvala, the official archivist of the Grateful Dead.

This is an essential reference book for tape and CD collectors. Read what others have to say about The Deadheads Taper's Compendiums.
Grade 
More Compendium information

The DeadHeads Tapers Compendium Volume 2 - Order

The Dead Heads Taper's Compendium 2:

An in-depth guide to the music of the Grateful Dead on tape

by Michael M. Getz, John D. Dwork 1999

Order Amazon

The Taper's Compendium - Volume 2 is an in depth guide to the Grateful Dead's music focusing on 1975-1985. 

The Compendium does great analysis on each year of the Grateful Dead. Then, for each entry they review the show and include details such as the date, location, the songs played, the existing tapes and lineage, concert highlights, and a comments section. Dozens of great  photographs throughout the book give the pages a visual appeal enhancing it immensely .

This volume includes rare and exclusive interviews with Better Cantor Jackson, one of the Grateful Dead's primary recordist from 1967 - 1985.

This is an essential reference book for tape and CD collectors. 
Grade 

More Compendium information

The DeadHeads Tapers Compendium Volume 3 - Order

The Dead Heads Taper's Compendium 3:

An in-depth guide to the music of the Grateful Dead on tape

by Michael M. Getz, John D. Dwork 2000

Order Amazon

The Taper's Compendium - Volume 3 is an in depth guide to the Grateful Dead's music focusing on 1986-1995. 

The Compendium does great analysis on each year of the Grateful Dead. Then, for each entry they review the show and include details such as the date, location, the songs played, the existing tapes and lineage, concert highlights, and a comments section. Dozens of great  photographs throughout the book give the pages a visual appeal enhancing it immensely. 

This volume includes rare and exclusive interviews with Jeff Norman, Grateful Dead sound engineer that plays an integral part of vault releases.

This is an essential reference book for tape and CD collectors. 
Grade 

More Compendium information

The DeadHeads Tapers Addendum - Order

The Deadhead's Tapers Addendum: 

The follow-up to the award winning trilogy The Deadhead's Taping Compendium

by Michael M. Getz, John D. Dwork, Bryan Dyke - 2001

Order: The Compendium's website is here

Here is an excerpt from a The Tapers Addendum Press Release: "This final addition specifically addresses the onslaught of newly circulating music that has surfaced since our last publication, and is an essential companion to the first three volumes, containing a wealth of information and new data for both new tapers and old school veterans alike." The complete press release for the Tapers Addendum Compendium .

Grade 

More Compendium information

Deadbase

Deadbase X:

The Complete Guide to Grateful Dead Song lists

Authors: John W. Scott, Mike Dolgushkin, Stu Nixon

Order  Deadbase

This book is much more than set lists. Each version of Deadbase offers slightly different statistics. The last printed edition Deadbase XI is out of print. 
More Deadbase information

Grade 

Grateful Dead Tablature
Songbooks of the Grateful Dead Top of page

Grateful Dead Anthology I

 

Warner Brothers - 1979

 

Order  Amazon

Contains 260 pages of music, 48 songs: The Golden Road, Cream Puff War, The Other One, Cryptical Envelopment, New Potato Caboose, Born Cross-Eyed, Alligator, St. Stephen, Mountains of the Moon, China Cat Sunflower, Cosmic Charlie, Dark Star, Uncle John's Band, Casey Jones, Box of Rain, Friend of the Devil, Sugar Magnolia, Truckin', Operator, Wharf Rat, Bertha, Playing in the Band, Deal, Sugaree, One More Saturday Night, Cassidy, He's Gone, Jack Straw, Brown-Eyed Woman, Ramble on Rose, Tennessee Jed, Row Jimmy, Stella Blue, Eyes of the World, Scarlet Begonias, Ship of Fools, U.S. Blues, The Music Never Stopped, Franklin's Tower, It Must Have Been the Roses, Estimated Prophet, Passenger, Sunrise, Terrapin Station Part 1, Lady with a Fan, Terrapin Station, At a Siding, Shakedown Street, Fire on the Mountain, France and If I Had the World to Give. Plus discography.

Grateful Dead Tab. Anthology

Grateful Dead Anthology II

Warner Brothers - 1996

 

Order  Amazon

Contains the following songs: Ripple, Dupree's Diamond Blues, Candyman, Dire Wolf, Cumberland Blues, Attics of My Life, Bird Song, Black Peter, The Wheel, To Lay me Down, Brokedown Palace, Loser, Black-Throated Wind, Looks Like Rain, Mr. Charlie, Weather Report Suite; Part I, Weather Report Suite; Part II (Let it Grow), Unbroken Chain, China Doll, Crazy Fingers, Lazy Lightning', They Love Each Other, Comes a Time, Might as Well, Mission in the Rain, I Need a Miracle, Stagger Lee, Alabama Getaway, Althea, Easy to Love You, Far From Me, Feel Like a Stranger, Lost Sailor, Saint of Circumstance, Touch of Grey, West L.A. Fadeaway, Black Muddy River, Victim or the Crime, Believe It or Not, Foolish Heart, Standing on the Moon, Corrina, So Many Roads, Wave to the Wind, Way to go Home, Days Between, Liberty, Lazy River Road, Easy Answers and Childhood's End.

Grateful Dead Tablature

Grateful Dead Authentic Guitar Classics: 

Authentic Guitar-Tab Edition Includes Complete Solos

 

Order  Amazon

The ten tunes in this folio represent the best-known and most enduring songs from the Grateful Dead's Workingman's Dead and American Beauty CD's. The songs include: Black Peter, Box of Rain, Casey Jones, Cumberland Blues, Friend of the Devil, New Speedway Boogie, Ripple, Sugar Magnolia, Truckin', Uncle John's Band.

Grateful Dead Tablature
Songbooks of Jerry Garcia Top of page Jerry  Garcia Songbook

Garcia Songbook

Jerry Garcia Songbook

 

 

Order  Amazon

Arranged for Guitar Tablature with Chords and Lyrics
Guitar lead-line arrangements of over 70 songs written and/or recorded by Jerry Garcia. 

Includes: Deal * Bird Song * Sugaree * Loser * Friend of the Devil * Tore Up Over You * That's All Right, Mama * How Sweet It Is * He Ain't Give You None * Let It Rock * The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down * After Midnight * Tangled Up In Blue * Knockin' on Heaven's Door and many, many more. Folio will have photos, bio, liner notes on the artist and legend.

Garcia Grisman

Shady Grove:
Acoustic Guitar Solos by Jerry Garcia 

Shady Grove Guitar Tab

Mel Bay Publications; (August 26, 2002)

Transcribed by Dix Bruce

Order:  Shady Grove Guitar tab

More details about this book and the author.

Shady Grove Mandolin Solos

Shady Grove Mandolin Tab

Mel Bay Publications; (August 23, 2002)

 Transcribed by John McGann

Order:  Shady Grove Mandolin tab

More details about this book and the author.

Grateful Dead Books
Other Grateful Dead related books Top of page

The books in this section are not graded because I am not familiar enough with them to do an adequate analysis and they are not on my bookshelf.  Below are some further biographies, collections, and assorted reference books. 

Conversations With The Dead Review

Conversations with the Dead: 

The Grateful Dead Interview Book - 1991(Paperback 2002)

by David Gans

Order  Amazon

A collection of in-depth interviews with members of the Grateful Dead. David Gans, the author, is the host of the Dead Head Hour. I haven't read this one, but I do have one of his other books, which is quite good. I expect this is a great read.

Playing in the Band - David Gans

Playing in the Band: 

An Oral and Visual Portrait of the Grateful Dead

by David Gans, Peter Simon (June 1985, revised 1996)

Order  Amazon

The combination of photos (some really good ones), essays, and interviews make this book worth getting.
The Grateful Dead Reader - Order

Grateful Dead Reader 

 Edited by David G. Dodd and Diana Spaulding - 2000 

 

Order  Amazon

A collection of some great writing about the Grateful Dead from various sources.

Captain Trips - Jerry Garcia - Book review

Captain Trips : 

A Biography of Jerry Garcia

Sandy Troy - 1994

Order  Amazon

A biography of Jerry Garcia, Grateful Dead guitarist and vocalist. 

Dark Star - Jerry Garcia Biography

Dark Star: 

An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia

Author: Robert Greenfield - 1996

Order  Amazon

A biography of Jerry Garcia, Grateful Dead guitarist and vocalist. 

Living with the Dead - Rock Skully

Living with the Dead:

Twenty Years on the Bus with Garcia and the Grateful Dead

Rock Scully, David Dalton - 1995

Order  Amazon

Scully, a former manager of the Grateful Dead, profiles the life and times of the rock group. 

A Box of Rain - Robert Hunter

A Box of Rain 

 Author: Robert Hunter - 1990

 

Order  Amazon

The lyrics and annotations by the Grateful Dead lyrists, Robert Hunter, the silent member of the band.

The Grateful Dead and Dead Heads

The Grateful Dead and the Deadheads: 

An Annotated Bibliography 

by David G. Dodd, Robert G. Weiner - 1997

Order  Amazon

A reference to everything written and recorded by the Grateful Dead. It includes not only books, but magazine articles, reviews, and more.  Hardcover - 448 pages (May 30, 1997)

The American Book of the Dead

The American Book of the Dead: 

The Definitive Grateful Dead Encyclopedia

by Oliver Trager - 1997 

Order  Amazon

Paperback - 400 pages (December 1997)

What a Long Strange Trip

What a Long, Strange Trip:

The Stories Behind Every Grateful Dead Song 1965-1995

by Stephen Peters 1999

Order  Amazon

A song by song look at the Band.

Between the Dark and Light: The Grateful Dead Photography of Jay Blakesberg - Review

Garcia:

Signpost -  Grateful Dead / Jerry Garcia books

A Signpost to New Space

by Charles Reich, Jann Wenner

Order  Amazon

About the Authors:
Charles Reich is Professor of Law at Yale University and the author of The Greening of America. Jann Wenner is the founder of Rolling Stone and Wenner 

Between the Dark and Light: The Grateful Dead Photography of Jay Blakesberg - Review

Between the Dark and Light:

Between the Dark and Light -  Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead Photography of Jay Blakesberg

Jay Blakeberg - Oct. 2002

Order  Amazon

Between the Dark and Light is a  25-year visual journey, that includes more than 500 rich color and black-and-white photos; many never before seen.

Essays by Dead historians Blair Jackson, J.C. Juanis, Jon Sievert, a foreword by Phil Lesh, and photographer Blakesberg's own reflections.

Tiger in a Trance - Review

Tiger in a Trance

Tiger in a Trance

by Max Ludington

 

Order  Amazon

 an excerpt of Tiger in a Trancefrom Nerve.com

From the Back Cover
“A gripping and astonishing On-the-Road first novel that in both subject and execution can be compared to the best of both Kerouac and Kesey.”
— George Plimpton

“The Grateful Dead's unique partnership with Dead Heads generated not only devotion but artistic inspiration — and Tiger In A Trance is the finest literary sample of that creativity to date. It is a brilliant novel of life in the world of one subgroup of Dead Heads, documenting the full package that results when the young pursue freedom and are forced to pay the maximum price.”
— Dennis McNally, author of A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead

“The Grateful Dead have been the backdrop of many novels, but Tiger in a Trance is the first one to portray the lives of the Deadheads themselves. The dialogue is fantastic — sharp, economical and authentic. This excellent first novel will certainly last as long as the Dead’s music will.”
— Jim Carroll, author of The Basketball Diaries

"Max Ludington is an obviously accomplished and promising writer. His style is graceful, his characters alive, and he can tell a story. As a generational novel, Tiger in a Trance reminded me of The Sun Also Rises."
— Philip Caputo, author of The Horn of Africa and A Rumor of War

About the Author

MAX LUDINGTON’s fiction has appeared in such publications as Tin House, Nerve, and Meridian. He received his M.F.A. from Columbia University and now lives in New York. Tiger in a Trance is his first novel.

Tiger in a Trance - Review

Dancing Within The Song

by Shawn Davis

by Shawn Davis |Official website

Order  Amazon

From the back cover: "The thwack thwack of the windshield wipers beats a steady cadence as Daisy drives me to my death."This opening line in Shawn M. Davis' coming-of-age novel Dancing Within the Song proves to be more prophetic than her 14-year-old protagonist Rashia could ever have imagined. Daisy is Rashia's mother, who gave birth to her at a Grateful Dead show. Rashia was raised on a communal farm that grew its own organic food, gave its kids Kerouac, Huxley, and Thoreau to read, and took them on tours with The Dead. Rashia abruptly loses the only life she's known when her father decides it's time to join the real world and transports the family to a small Oregon town where he buys a house and opens a store. Dancing Within the Song explores the wrenching rite of passage that all too many of today's young people go through and does so in the context of an unusual setting as Rashia runs away from home and goes back to following The Dead, now a much harder and more dangerous world.

In her youth, Shawn M. Davis spent several years following the Grateful Dead. She's been known as "The Yogurt Lady," mermaid, archaeologist, creative writing teacher, and editor of Cenotaph Pocket Editions (www.cenotaph.net/pe). She holds a Masters Degree in Arts & Letters from Southern Oregon University. She currently lives in southern Oregon with her husband and daughter.

Out of Print, but worth seeking

Top of page

Many fine books are out of print. Perhaps you may be able to find some of these used, they are all worthwhile.
Goin' Down the Road - by Blair Jackson

Goin' Down the Road: 

A Grateful Dead Traveling Companion

by Blair Jackson (Editor) (Paperback - August 1992)

Order  Amazon

 

Dead to the Core

Dead to the Core: 

An Almanack of the Grateful Dead

by Eric F. Wybenga - Paperback Aug 1997

Order  Amazon

 

Garcia: Rolling Stone

Garcia

Garcia_Rolling_Stone_Grateful_Dead

by Rolling Stone (Editor) 

 

Order  Amazon

(Hardcover - January 1996)

Books about the Grateful Dead

 

Comment or suggestions thebestofwebsite (at) yahoo.com