The Grateful Dead, one of the most meticulously documented rock bands, significantly influenced American music and popular culture. Its popularity has endured for three decades despite mixed critical reception. Jerry Garcia, thought of among many as a musical icon and spokesperson for more than one generation of fans, was often equally scorned by various critics. This collection of scholarly essays attests to the varied fields of interest the band and its followers, known as Deadheads, have affected, including psychology, law, and ethnomusicology. The contributions explore the diversity of the culture of fans, empirically analyze the music, apply literary criticism to the lyrics, and explore Dead-related philosophical and theological concepts ― in other words, they are as eclectic as the myriad Grateful Dead fans themselves.
Appealing to Grateful Dead scholars, fans, and collectors alike, these twenty-two essays are grouped by subject, and each essay includes a bibliography of resources for further research.
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