We live in a cynical age. Believe it or not, “rainbows and unicorns” is a term that is used pejoratively online to describe that segment of Grateful Dead fans (and those of the post-Garcia bands) who believe that the Dead were, in a sense, beyond criticism.
All the excitement around here about the veritable tsunami of videos submitted for the Dead Covers Project got me thinking about the Grateful Dead’s rather slight contributions to the MTV Age. This was a not a band made for that medium, especially in MTV’s early days, when videos were all about fast cuts, tight pants, smoke bombs and scantily clad women.
I’m as excited as everyone else to see what the future brings with Dave’s Picks. But please permit me one moment of nostalgia for the departing Road Trips series, which I thoroughly enjoyed being a small part of these past four years.
Chances are you’ve encountered some of Paul Grushkin’s remarkable books through the years. His first, a collaboration with his photographer brother, Jonas, and designer Cynthia Bassett, was one of the best ever produced about our favorite group — Grateful Dead: The Official Book of the Dead Heads, published in 1983, and still a timeless document of the band and scene.