Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Grateful Dead and Philosophy: It's a Wrap

I'm thrilled to say that the book is done and now in press. We have a new subtitle, so the book will appear as...

The Grateful Dead and Philosophy: Getting High Minded About Love and Haight

The book's official webpage is here.

I could not be happier with the way the volume turned out, there's a wonderful foreword by Steve Silberman and nineteen essays by philosophers across the intellectual spectrum. Each piece comes from a different angle, but all are beautifully written in a way that should make them both interesting and accessible to anyone who picks it up. I am extremely grateful to the writers of the chapters (including Playground regulars like Hanno, I, and Confused, Maybe Not), the essays are far beyond my expectations.

And you don't have to take my word for's what Phil Lesh has to say,

Who knew? The Grateful Dead, some of whom were voracious readers in many fields, including philosophy, never really thought too much about the implications of our music and the way we made it- we were too busy making it. Through reading this fascinating and comprehensive book, I've discovered deeper meanings in our work than I previously could have imagined. Many thanks to the authors, editors, and publishers.
Yup, Phil agreed to read the book and write a blurb for the cover. What a nice guy.

Indeed, one of the most amazing things about this process was having contact with members of the band and organization. I can say without exception, that everyone I had cause to talk to was incredibly supportive, generous, and kind. Alan Trist of Ice Nine publishing, the Dead's publishing company, went well beyond the call of duty. Bob Weir and Dennis McNally were unbelievably helpful in answering all our questions. You form ideas of the personalities of people and the institutional character of groups, but as you get older you become cynical when one by one they fail to live up to your naive hopes. In this case, it was exactly the opposite. The folks connected to the Dead have reinforced my idealism for the world we could have.

More happy news is that the book will likely appear on the new releases table of Borders and Barnes and Noble. So, please look for it or if you are interested, order it directly from Open Court.

The end of this long strange trip leaves such mixed emotions. On the one hand, I'm incredibly excited with what has come to be, but on the other hand there's that sadness at the process coming to a close. I don't know whether to listen to a rousing "One More Saturday Night" or a long slow "Brokedown Palace."

Again, deep heartfelt thanks for everyone involved for the work, support, and love in the book. It's true, "once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right."