The legendary bass player tells the full, true story of his years with Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead in this "insightful and entertaining" (Austin Chronicle) memoir of life in the greatest improvisational band in American history. In a book "as graceful and sublime as a box of rain" (New York Times Book Review), the beloved bassist tells the stories behind the songs, tours, and jams in the Grateful Dead's long, strange trip from the 1960s to the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995 and beyond. From Ken Kesey's "acid tests" to the Summer of Love to bestselling albums and worldwide tours, the Dead's story has never been told as honestly or as memorably as in this remarkable memoir. "A fun ride...Even for the most well-read Deadhead, there's enough between the covers to make Searching for the Sound worth a look." —Associated Press
Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh has written the memoir one might have expected: energetic and flawed, but sure to be loved by fans. Lesh joined the band's original members Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzman and "Pigpen" Ron McKernan in 1965 and helped morph the legendary outfit from its beginnings as a jug band to the unique, psychedelic improvisational jam band that spawned arguably the most loyal, iconic audience in popular music history: the Deadheads. What a long, strange trip it was. For 30-plus years, from being the house band for Ken Kesey's acid tests to stadium tours in the 1980s and '90s, the band pioneered a new paradigm for musicians, operating as an extended, albeit dysfunctional, family. Along the way, three keyboardists died, two managers robbed the band, bad deals were signed, massive debt was accrued and drug and alcohol problems flared. In 1995, the trip finally ended (or did it?), when Garcia died. Lesh infuses his prose with his wacky personality, which is endearing, but also maddening, especially when he's rendering acid trips or discussing music. Indeed, many fans who twirled ecstatically at Dead shows will struggle to follow Lesh's extended explanations of the band's compositions. Also, the second half of the band's life gets short shrift. Nevertheless, Deadheads will surely celebrate Lesh's honest, intimate remembrances.
Reading this first hand account of one of the greatest rock bands in history really gives you the idea of what it was like to live on the road with the Dead. You really get attached to these people as Phil introduces you to them.
A gripping tale of a grate band and family
Phil brings to life the band and it's journey from a small entity, to what ended up being a "family" business. Weaving through the years of music, travel, family and friends. Sharing stories of joy and sorrow. His relationship with Jerry Garcia is of adoration, admiration and love for a "brother". All together this is a gripping read.