The Grateful Dead in Concert

Essays on Live Improvisation

Christian contributed a brief allegorical short story to this volume called “The Thing is the thing is the thing is the thing is there is no thing.”

This book offers a spirited analysis of the unique improvisational character of Grateful Dead music and its impact on appreciative fans. The 20 essays capture distinct facets of the Grateful Dead phenomenon from a broad range of scholarly angles. The band’s trademark synergizing focus is discussed as a function of complex musical improvisation interlaced with the band members’ collective assimilation of an impressive range of marginal musical forms and lyrical traditions. These facets are shown to produce a vibrant Deadhead experience, resulting in community influences still morphing in new directions 45 years after the band’s initial impact.