Reading Phil Lesh’s book (see my earlier post) made me remember that I never did read Dennis McNally’s history of the Grateful Dead called A Long Strange Trip and, seeing as how my local library had a copy on their shelf, I figured I’d read it too. (Actually, I interrupted Marva Dawn’s Is it a Lost Cause to read it, which is probably only fair since I interrupted Jeremy Begbie’s Sounding the Depths to read that – so I’m in the middle of three books.)
McNally has been the Grateful Dead’s publicist since 1984 so his book has some personal weight behind it, like Lesh’s book, and McNally is actually a writer so I had some real hope for this one. I’m finding that I’m enjoying it a bit less than the Lesh book possibly because Lesh’s writing voice is a bit more conversational but also because Lesh could concentrate just on his own story and doesn’t have to try to “tell it all.”
However, one of the things that was in both books that I really enjoyed was that the original plan for Grateful Dead records (their own record label which they started in 1973) was going to bypass the regular record industry and sell their records out of the back of … ice cream trucks.
Sometimes I miss the 70’s.