Grateful Dead: The Illustrated Trip
by Robert Hunter, Stephen Peters, Chuck Wills, Dennis McNally
481 pages. Dorling Kindersly, 2003. $50
What can you say about an illustrated book about the Dead? It’s fun, disjointed, fragmentary, but it fits perfectly with the Dead and their style of living and music-making. In the usual Dorling Kindersly style, this book contains lots of sidebars with illustrations, scattered all over the place. Since I bought this book more than two years ago (this addition November 2006), I’ve found myself reaching for it when I just want to experience a bit of Deadiana, or when listening to a Dead concert to look up the context.
There’s no narrative, other than time itself. The timeline, which is the thread through this book, moves from the earliest days to Jerry’s death and beyond, covering the albums, important concerts, drug busts and all the other highlights of the Dead’s career. If you are, or ever have been, a Deadhead, you’ll want this book to leaf through while listening to live Dead shows.