So Many Roads
The Life and Times of the Grateful Dead
By David Browne
The Grateful Dead's long, strange trip has been the subject of countless booksbut none like So Many Roads. Drawing on new interviews with surviving members and people in their inner circle along with previously unknown details gleaned from the group's extensive archives, David Browne, acclaimed music journalist and contributing editor at Rolling Stone, lends the Dead's epic story the vivid feel of a novel. He sheds new light on the band's beginnings, music, dynamics, and struggles since Jerry Garcia's death in 1995.
No longer dismissed as relics of the hippie era, a new generation has lionized the Dead for creating a culture that paved the way for social networking, free music swapping, and the uncompromising anti-corporate attitude of indie rock. Now, fifty years after the band first began changing rock 'n' rollboth sonically and psychically—So Many Roads paints the most vivid portrait yet of the Grateful Dead, one of the most enduring institutions in American music and culture.
“An all-encompassing narrative portrait of the iconic mid-20th century band The Grateful Dead…Much has been written about the band, but nothing quite as vibrant and vivid as So Many Roads.”
Library Journal, 05/1/15
“Browne is to be commended for telling the Dead’s story completely and not just focusing on the band’s glory years of 1969–74 (or 1977, depending on whom you ask)... It’s hard to imagine a better book for a Dead neophyte to start with.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 04/24/15
“Whether you're a tie-dyed Deadhead, late-arriving "Touch"-head or merely curious, Browne's So Many Roads offers an engaging account of an idiosyncratic American musical institution.”
"David Browne has come up with a completely unique way of telling the Grateful Dead’s story, deftly moving back and forth through time from various chronological pivot points, weaving the intricate tale the way the Dead would open up, explore, and close a great ’72 ‘Playing in the Band.’ It’s filled with little (and a few big) things I didn’t know, and his evocative prose really brings out the band members’ personalities in a way that few books have.”—Blair Jackson, author of Garcia: An American Life
"So Many Roads is everything Deadheads could want and more. In a deeply reported portrait of the band in good times and bad, David Browne answers all of our questions and poses a few of his own. As Deadheads celebrate the band's fifty years, this book will prove a companion that makes that long trip a little less strange but no less fascinating.”—Eric Alterman, author of It Ain't No Sin to Be Glad You’re Alive: The Promise of Bruce Springsteen and What Liberal Media?: The Truth about Bias and the News
"Browne presents the ultimate road map of the life and times of a band that has always been a unique American cultural phenomenon."
—Robert Greenfield, author of Dark Star: An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia and Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock and Out
"I’m a well-read Deadhead, and I learned new things even about shows I was at. (Englishtown, New Jersey, 9/3/77!) Browne braids tales of America's greatest rock band like melody lines in a primo jam, tangents looping back to the narrative, always pulling it forward. It's a wild, beautiful ride."—Will Hermes, author of Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever
"The Grateful Dead have entered the realm of myth. The triumph of So Many Roads is animating both the music and the musicians into something very real indeed."—Alan Paul, author of One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band
"The Grateful Dead are as classically American as Count Basie and Frank Sinatra, and David Browne has written the ultimate book about them: interviewing everyone and bringing us into their lives in the changing decades through which this quintessentially '60s band miraculously increased its mythos, stardom, and relevance. Legendary music gives our world back to us, and specific people, coming together as bands, give us the music that gives us that world. With his wise assessments, ace reporting, and close and long lenses, Browne gives us that world and those men.”—Shelia Weller, author of Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon—and the Journey of a Generation
Kirkus Reviews, April 2015
“Righteous testimonial to the anarchic goodness that was the Grateful Dead...[Browne is] right about mos