The Grateful Dead FAQ
The Grateful Dead FAQ
All That’s Left to Know About the Greatest Jam Band in History
by Tony Sclafani
foreword by Mark Karan
Available November 2013
The Grateful Dead rose out of San Francisco’s ’60s underground rock scene with an unprecedented sound and image. Its members were steeped in rock, folk, classical, and blues traditions, and their instrumental prowess and refusal to bow to commercial conventions helped originate jam band music. Unapologetic in its advocacy of drug use as a means toward mind expansion, the Dead helped catapult psychedelic music. After performing at the Monterey International Pop Festival and Woodstock, the group became iconic without ever scoring a hit single. A large, devoted fan base called Deadheads began to follow the band everywhere. The group suffered a tragedy when bandleader Jerry Garcia slipped into a coma in 1986, but it returned the next year with a top-selling album and surprise hit single, “Touch of Grey.” By 1993, the Dead was the top-grossing live act in the United States. The band ended when Garcia died in 1995, but the music lives on with a stream of live releases.
In Grateful Dead FAQ (Backbeat Books, Nov. 2013, $24.99), Tony Sclafani examines the band’s impact and influence on rock music and pop culture. This book ventures into unexplored areas and features a host of rare images, making it a must-have for both Deadheads and casual fans. Sclafani says, “I’ve tried to bring in information from the world of pop and rock to show how the Dead functioned in it, influenced it, and drew from it.” He also takes a thorough look at each of the albums. Because the Dead rose to success by being a live band, the albums historically have not gotten their due…until now. Sclafani separates fact from hearsay, attributing the band’s success to its artistic achievements and not to iconic myths. He doesn’t shy away from discussing the band’s missteps, either. Grateful Dead FAQ is a roadmap into the magical, sometimes confusing, sometimes bumpy, yet always exhilarating world of this extraordinary group.
Tony Sclafani is a journalist and a regular contributor to NBC Online. He has also written for the Washington Post and its free daily, Express, as well as Relix, the Village Voice, Harp (now Blurt), the Washington City Paper, Hittin’ the Note, Pop Matters, Record Collector, and DC Magazine. He is a longtime fan of ’60s psychedelic music and the Grateful Dead. He lives in Washington, DC, and is available for interview. Visit his website, tonysclafani.com.
November 12, 2013
6″ x 9″
Rare photos and images throughout
Backbeat Books is an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group