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Searching for the Sound: My Life in the Grateful Dead
Searching for the Sound: My Life in the Grateful Dead
Searching for the Sound: My Life in the Grateful Dead
Audiobook5 hours

Searching for the Sound: My Life in the Grateful Dead

Written by Phil Lesh

Narrated by Phil Lesh

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars



About this audiobook

Phil Lesh first met Jerry Garcia in 1959 in the clubs of Palo Alto, California. At Garcia's suggestion, Lesh learned to play the electric bass and joined him in a new group that blended R & B, country, and rock 'n' roll with an experimental fervor never before heard.
In time for the Grateful Dead's fortieth anniversary, Phil Lesh offers the first behind-the-scenes history of the Dead. Lesh chronicles how the Dead's signature sound emerged, flowed, and swelled to reach millions of devoted fans, from their first gigs at Frenchy's Bikini-A-Go-Go for an audience of three, to the legendary Acid Tests, to packed stadiums around the world.
In San Francisco during the Summer of Love, at Woodstock, Altamont, and the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Grateful Dead have been at the center of some of rock's defining moments. Phil Lesh recounts what it's been like to live at the heart of this whirlwind--impressing Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie, sharing the stage with Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, and the Rolling Stones. Lesh describes what it was like to storm heaven night after night--and the price he and others have paid. Bad management, drug addictions, depression, and insecurities persistently plagued the band members and would culminate with the most tragic blow of all--the death of Jerry Garcia.
Searching for the Sound is a ruthlessly honest look inside one of the greatest American bands. It includes a bonus live recording of Box of Rain performed on March 19, 1990 at the Hartford Civic Center, Hartford Connecticut.
Look for The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics 1965-1995 available in hardcover October, 2005 from Free Press.
Release dateApr 19, 2005
Searching for the Sound: My Life in the Grateful Dead

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Reviews for Searching for the Sound

Rating: 4.6923076923076925 out of 5 stars

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Read this book immediately after Kreutzmann's Three Decades of Drumming. This made a very interesting comparison of events and views by the two band members. Phil admittedly was a prick to music industry people and hanger-ons, but still comes off as the more mature band member. Kreutzmann also seems to relish in his tales, Phil tries to find the cosmic connection between everything. Billy was 'there', Phil was looking for 'beyond there'. Kreutzmann likes to kiss and tell where Lesh leaves very little of his escapades. One thing that comes clear out of both books is the strong bind that Garcia was. Both Kreutzmann and Lesh go to great details on their relationship with Jerry and how close they were while neither provides much information with regards to their relationship with other band members with one exception - Lesh does talk about close ties to Pigpen. Point being though is that Jerry was the glue and leader that they all looked to for guidance, decisions and keeping things together - though neither admits it.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    I've read a few books about the Grateful Dead over the years, including the huge timeline based Grateful Dead: The Illustrated Trip, and this is by far the most fun to read of the bunch, as well as the only book written by a band member. There aren't any earth shattering revelations to be had, but the writing style transfers the reader to an imaginary realm where you can sit back and listen to a master musician tell a story. It is very narrative and informal. Phil goes in to some detail about how classical music shaped his thinking about how music should sound, taking cues more from Bach's counterpoint than Jack Bruce, McCartney, John Entwistle or any other rock band bassist. I've had a few mind benders myself listening to the classics, notably a program on Mighty Handful which was extremely emotional, and he is totally right. Phil goes on to relate his history with the band in a chain of stories that carries you quickly through thirty years of great music, the obvious drug use and it's permutations over the decades, and personal relations with the other band members. Not to mention one of the best April Fool's gags ever. Phil had a dude in a Barney the Dinosaur suit sneak on to the stage for the second set, and Jerry didn't notice until after they started playing. Phil was behind his stack of amps and speakers playing, while Barney was dancing around with a backup bass strapped on. Jerry had a moment of total disbelief, which was a pretty rare thing for Captain Trips, after all the crazy hallucinations that he had played through over the years. If you are in to the band, you can't go wrong with Phil's book. If not, it's still a funny story about a Long Strange Trip, well worth reading anyways.Just to save someone from asking, the Mighty Handful were an incredible group of five masters, self taught musicians who met in St. Petersburg in the late 1850's or so. Their goal was to bring traditional Russian music into the Romantic Era more famous for Brahms, Liszt, Schubert and whatnot. They were Balakirev, Mussorgsky, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov and Cesar Cui. They are well worth looking for at your library, Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition' is probably my favorite work in the entire Classical repertoire.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    A fascinating look inside one of the most interesting bands.