Music Books

Music Books

Searching for the Sound: My Life With the Grateful Dead

by Phil Lesh

Little, Brown, 338 pp., $25.95

"Jerry's still dead," my daughter is quick to admonish her hopelessly unhip dad, but that fact has hardly dampened the voracious appetite of "Deadicated" fans for more, be it artwork, tapes from the vault, or, in this case, a new book. What makes this literary event unique is that bassist Phil Lesh remains the only member of the Grateful Dead to put pen to paper. As an original, 40-year band veteran, his unparalleled insider perspective, along with his sly, ironic humor, makes for an insightful and entertaining read. The book is front-ended to put an emphasis on the Bay area band's formative years: hanging with Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, the various Acid Tests, the heyday of the San Francisco scene, and the early years of touring. Post-1975, only the Dead's trip to Egypt to play at the pyramids is given appropriately ample space. Lesh writes plenty about his relationship with Jerry Garcia and his successful efforts to overcome years of alcoholism with the help of his wife, Jill. Lesh is at his best when articulating his unwavering belief that the Grateful Dead's ecstatic, exploratory music and its inherent spiritual communing can be an engine to transform human consciousness.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Jay Trachtenberg
Book Review: <i>Black Leopard, Red Wolf</i>
Book Review: Black Leopard, Red Wolf
Marlon James’ epic new novel is a literary phantasmagoria

April 2, 2019

Texas Platters
Rosie Flores
Simple Case of the Blues (Record Review)

March 22, 2019

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle