This year is the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead, America’s very best roving gypsy rock band. The band’s place in American music history is a colorful, complex, and psychedelic one, filled missing fingers and alcoholism and the usual tales of sex, drugs, and rock’n roll.
Since Jerry died, many books have been written: Phil Lesh’s Searching For The Sound is a brutally honest look behind-the-scenes of the band, as is Dennis McNally’s authorized biography, Long Strange Trip. With The Dead’s 50th anniversary being celebrated in Santa Clara and Chicago this summer, now it’s drummer Bill Kreutzmann’s time to spill his guts.
Kreutzmann’s memoir, Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs with the Grateful Dead, hits bookstores everywhere this week. It includes some salacious stories about his three decades of touring with the Grateful Dead, including the time he slept with 13 groupies in a hotel room in a college town. The Daily Mail has the first-look:
Viewed as the best looking member of the band. he admits to being in his hotel room after a gig in a college town when the groupies just started arriving. He counted thirteen that he slept with that night, one after the other. So he made thirteen his lucky number.
That’s no “3 or 4 woman while David Lee Roth was taking a guitar solo,” but it’s still a pretty fascinating story. Sure is an interesting way to settle on a lucky number. Wonder if protection was used?
You can read the rest of the “excerpt” over at The Daily Mail, but I have to warn you that it’s terribly written and doesn’t really contribute anything new to The Dead’s overall history. There are a plethora of stories about Jerry Garcia speed-balling cocaine and drooling on his mic from doing heroin, but those tragic anecdotes are old hat to most Deadheads in 2015.
How a band that brought joy to so many people had so many demons is a paradox that just makes The Dead The Dead.