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.