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Publisher's Summary

On their 50th anniversary comes a groundbreaking rock-and-roll memoir by one of the founding members of the Grateful Dead.

The Grateful Dead are perhaps the most legendary American rock band of all time. For 30 years, beginning in the hippie scene of San Francisco in 1965, they were a musical institution, the original jam band that broke new ground in so many ways. From the music to their live-concert sound systems and fan recordings, they were forward-thinking champions of artistic control and outlaw artists who marched to the beat of their own drums.

Bill Kreutzmann, one of their founding members and drummer for every one of their over 2,300-odd concerts, has written an unflinching and wild account of playing in the greatest improvisational band of all time. Everything a rock music fan would expect is here, but what sets this apart is Bill's incredible life of adventure, which was at the heart of the Grateful Dead experience. This was a band that knew no limits, and Bill lived life to the fullest, pushing the boundaries of drugs, drums, and high times, through devastating tragedy and remarkable triumph.

But at this book's beating heart is the music - theirs and others. Some of the greatest musicians and concerts were a part of the Grateful Dead's career, from sharing the stage with Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, and the Who, to playing in the Acid Tests, the Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock, and Altamont. Bill's life is a chronicle of American music and pop-culture history, and his epic personal journey is one of sonic discovery and thrilling experiences.

©2015 Bill Kreutzmann (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Decent but not great

The narrators voice was really annoying making Billy sound like a total hillbilly crack addict. Some chapters in the early years drag on a bit but overall pretty good story

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome 1st hand account of the long strange trip!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Billy, of course!! I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the music meant the same thing to him as it does to me!

Have you listened to any of Peter Berkrot’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I was a little disappointed that Billy didn't do the narration but I thought Peter Berkrot did a fine job! He captured the important emotions toward the end of the book for sure.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

My husband and I listened to it traveling to all the shows we went to this summer (Chicago and Phish shows after that). It was a long read but full of beautiful memories and tales from the road. It was never boring or boastful. Great to share the listen with someone so we could discuss what we were hearing!

Any additional comments?

This is a MUST READ for any deadhead. It offers a unique perspective that you won't find when you read Phil's "Search for the Sound". I definitely came away from it with a newfound love and appreciation for Billy K.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Grate inside story of a truly amazing band

I thoroughly enjoyed this tale through the eyes of Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann. It spans the length of his career with the band and goes on into the 2000s for the last couple of chapters. I think it was fairly well written and it kept me entertained for its entirety. I would suggest reading this book to any deadhead or anyone wanting a look into the movement that they were part of.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jeff
  • Norfolk, VA, United States
  • 07-12-17

Decent book awful narration

My god the narrator is annoying as heck. Almost makes it unlistenable. Some decent stuff in here but Bill takes some cheap shots at his band mates both alive and dead which don't really add anything and come off as petty meanness more then anything else. Would read Phil's book or one of the other available histories before picking this one up

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

beautiful

brought me to tears numerous times. so honest and beautiful. truly a story for everyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book. Terrible narrator.

I read the book and wanted to listen to it for a refresher. The narrator is just bad. His voice and style are hard to listen to. I am returning the book and buying Phil’s instead. Bill should have done this one himself.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • michael
  • SCOTTSDALE, AZ, United States
  • 05-20-18

Interesting read for dead fans

So, let me start by saying I have always loved Bill and Mickey - they are integral to "the Dead." However, it's pretty clear from this book that Bill found more fun hanging with the groupies and the roadies than with Jerry, Bobby and Phil. No judgment, just a perspective. As such, the book is the day-to-day trials of "the drummer," and does not really get into the essence of what made the Dead the Dead. Phil's Searching for the Sound was a great read, and came at it from the other side of Bill's book. Either way, its all good. The Dead were the soundtrack to my life growing up in the 70-80s. I'd love to have spent some time actually hanging with these larger than life characters - and their books make me smile with envy at the fun/chaos/craziness. Instead, I have to settle for hours and hours of enjoying them from the audience - and over 100 Maxell cassette bootlegs turning to dust in my closet. "Time there was and plenty. But from that cup no more."

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

if he told you about all that went down....

your ears would love it!
great listen. I'd heard a number of Dead books before but this one has some terrific tales from the Golden Road.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Insight to the most amazing band ever!!!

I laughed, I cried, it filled in so many blanks to the bands history that I just new tidbits about. And although I always considered Jerry my favorite, with love for everyone in the band past & present, I think Bill is now my favorite :) I related to his story inside the story of the band more than I ever imagined!! So grateful to have selected this book out of the many on the Grateful Dead out there.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

boring

the book was short of good stories, learned that jerry did drugs, left me wanting more