The Grateful Dead in Concert

Essays on Live Improvisation

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About the Book

This book offers a spirited analysis of the unique improvisational character of Grateful Dead music and its impact on appreciative fans. The 20 essays capture distinct facets of the Grateful Dead phenomenon from a broad range of scholarly angles. The band’s trademark synergizing focus is discussed as a function of complex musical improvisation interlaced with the band members’ collective assimilation of an impressive range of marginal musical forms and lyrical traditions. These facets are shown to produce a vibrant Deadhead experience, resulting in community influences still morphing in new directions 45 years after the band’s initial impact.

About the Author(s)

Jim Tuedio, professor of philosophy and director of the university honors program at California State University-Stanislaus, is the author of numerous scholarly articles and is a past president of the American Society for Philosophy, Counseling and Psychotherapy. He lives in Denair, California.
Stan Spector is a professor of philosophy at Modesto Junior College in Modesto, California, and is the author of many scholarly articles. He is a past director of the college honors program and is currently co-chair of the Grateful Dead Caucus.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Jim Tuedio and Stan Spector
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 365
Bibliographic Info: 32 photos, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4357-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5828-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Tuning Up

Foreword: The Grateful Dead Phenomenon

STANLEY KRIPPNER      1

Preface: Kaleidoscopic Entry to the Show      7

Introduction: “Shall We Go?”      11

First Set: Musical and Lyrical Elements of Grateful Dead Improvisation

Non-Systematic Thoughts About Improvisation

CRISTIAN AMIGO      15

Mandalas and the Dead

GRAEME M. BOONE      25

The Eccentric Revolutions of Phil Lesh

BRENT WOOD      43

American Chaos: Charles Ives and the Grateful Dead

SHAUGN O’DONNELL      58

“Mr. Charlie Told Me So”: Heidegger and the Dead’s Early Assimilation to the Technology of the Blues

DAVID MALVINNI      71

Dark Star Mandala

GRAEME M. BOONE      85

“Where All the Pages Are My Days”: Metacantric Moments in Deadhead Lyrical Experience

REVELL CARR      107

“Not Just a Change of Style”: Reading Workingman’s Dead as an American Commentary with Americana Roots

ERIN MCCOY      118



Second Set: Some Philosophical Contours of Grateful Dead Improvisation

Improvised Philosophy

ALAN TRIST      129

“Pouring Its Light Into Ashes”: Exploring the Multiplicity of Becoming in Grateful Dead Improvisation

JIM TUEDIO      133

“Searching for the Sound”: Grateful Dead Music and Interpretive Transformation

JASON KEMP WINFREE      152

Plato’s Pharmakon: Grateful Dead Concerts and the Politics of Getting High

ELIZABETH CARROLL      164

When “Reason Tatters”: Nietzsche and the Grateful Dead on Living a Healthy Life

STAN SPECTOR      180

The Other One and the Other: Moral Lessons from a Reluctant Teacher

STEVEN GIMBEL      191

Innocence and Experience in the Grateful Dead: A Reading of Stuart Hampshire

NICHOLAS MERIWETHER      200

Third Set: Experiencing Community Through Grateful Dead Improvisation

Modeling Improvisation

MARY GOODENOUGH      211

“Mysteries Dark and Vast”: Grateful Dead Concerts and Initiation into the Sublime

ERIC K. SILVERMAN      214

Bears and Flags: The Grateful Dead’s America and Bohemian Nationalism

JAY WILLIAMS      232

Improvising Community: A Hermeneutic Analysis of Deadheads and Virtual Communities

GARY BURNETT      251

Strategic Improvisation: Management Lessons from the Dead

BARRY BARNES      267

Cultural Communication Codes Among Deadheads: A Chronological Account of Communicative Improvisation

NATALIE J. DOLLAR      279

Examining Grateful Dead Improvisation as a Catalyst for Creating Sustained Communitas

AMANDA DIEDERICH-HIRSH      294

“I Can’t Do Anything but Lie”: Studying Deadheads While Wearing Simmelian Lenses

REBECCA G. ADAMS      310

Encore

The Thing Is the Thing Is the Thing Is the Thing Is There Is No Thing

CHRISTIAN CRUMLISH      325

All His Children Grew and Grew (Who Killed Uncle John?)

DAVID GANS      329

Greensleeves

The Grateful Dead Came to Our House One Day (with 20 People and a Bottle of LSD): A Story About Discovering the Power of Channeling Healing Energy

JEAN MILLAY      339

Contributors      345

Index      351

Book Reviews & Awards

“fun collection of essays…some great writing in here”—Sacramento Book Review; “producing this volume was obviously a labor of love…remarkable…recommend[ed]…intellectually stimulating, worthwhile contribution”—Critical Studies in Improvisation.