"Fare Thee Well" Book Rolling Stone Write Up

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dr bakes
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Re: "Fare Thee Well" Book Rolling Stone Write Up

Post by dr bakes » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:00 pm

99% true according to McNally
Tell me a lie and I will swear, i'll swear it's True
DT

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SunshineSue
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Re: "Fare Thee Well" Book Rolling Stone Write Up

Post by SunshineSue » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:04 pm

I feel obligated to read it, but I have to admit I'm not entirely sure I want to know more than I already do about how the sausage was made. :?

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DrippingColors
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Re: "Fare Thee Well" Book Rolling Stone Write Up

Post by DrippingColors » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:24 pm

I guess when I first heard about a lot of this stuff I was disappointed, but it doesn't really bother me any more. If it's true, and it deciphers history a bit, it's worth having out there. These guys were regular people before they were stars, and they were continue to be regular people, shortcomings and all, afterwards. They still have more rights than wrongs.

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Nycdave
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Re: "Fare Thee Well" Book Rolling Stone Write Up

Post by Nycdave » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:16 pm

SF Cronicle.jpg

‘Fare Thee Well,’ by Joel Selvin
By Steve Silberman June 29, 2018 Updated: June 29, 2018 10:39 a.m.

In the years before his death at a Marin County rehab facility in 1995, Jerry Garcia often looked like he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. In fact, the increasingly beleaguered co-founder of the Grateful Dead was bearing the burden of several worlds, all of which were financially dependent on him. These included the famously insular backstage culture of the Dead and its road crew, who were treated like family for decades; the vast ecosystem of the Deadhead subculture, which encompassed everyone from kids who sold T-shirts and burritos on tour to Bill Walton and Tipper Gore; and the complex machinery of the band’s unlikely MTV-anointed success in the 1980s — the promoters, tour managers and hangers-on who pitched their tents beside the band’s ever-growing income stream, putting them at the top tier of the industry alongside acts like Michael Jackson and the Rolling Stones.

Though Garcia always disavowed the notion of being the leader of the band, his musical partners foundered in the wake of the guitarist’s abrupt exit, uncertain of how best to honor the legacy of the adventurous music making they’d created together. After retiring the band’s storied (and highly bankable) name in a hastily issued press release, the Dead’s so-called “core four” (guitarist Bob Weir, bassist Phil Lesh, and drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann) spent years touring smaller venues with their own groups, while arguing all too publicly about the minutiae of their business affairs and periodically burying the hatchet to come together in larger aggregations like Furthur and the Other Ones.

It is this troubled and turbulent “post-Jerry” period of the band’s career that is the subject of Joel Selvin’s new book, “Fare Thee Well: The Final Chapter of the Dead’s Long Strange Trip.” A former rock critic for The Chronicle, Selvin is one of the most prolific commentators on the counterculture of the 1960s and its aftermath. His best-seller “Altamont” was magisterial in its accumulation of little-known details of events that contributed to the darkest rock festival in history, and his lively account of the rise and fall of hippie optimism in the Summer of Love made engaging reading.

I wish I could say the same about “Fare Thee Well,” which comes across as a bilious and disheartening airing of dirty laundry of one of the most inventive and inspiring groups of musicians to ever set foot on an American stage. With grim diligence, Selvin and his co-author Pamela Turley chronicle a decade and a half of fractious band meetings, backstage bitch-fests, poisonous vendettas, failed reconciliations and ill-considered venting to the press, while grinding through a cast of supporting players who are initially eager to share the limelight with their heroes before being spat out by an organization tearing itself to pieces in grief.

Lesh’s ambitious wife, Jill, is presented in a particularly unflattering light, described over and over as a former waitress (she met Lesh while serving him breakfast in Fairfax) who seems determined to wrest control of every aspect of the band members’ post-Jerry existence, while treating mere mortals as her inferiors, as when she shrieks at a pair of backup singers, “You are nobodies!”

It’s hard to imagine anyone but the most gossip-hungry Deadheads being interested in these toxic exchanges, and it’s not apt to be a pleasant experience — akin to paging through Mommy and Daddy’s divorce depositions. By the time Selvin unleashes a withering litany of descriptions of the core four from Lesh’s perspective (Weir is described as “drunken, dysfunctional, dreamy, and fumbling,” while Hart is a “pseudo-intellectual” who can’t keep time), the reader begins to suspect that in the process of writing the book, the author came to resent his own subject.

Selvin prefaces his introduction by declaring, “I am not a Deadhead” and many of the concerts described in numbingly repetitious detail in the book were attended by Turley. While the Dead have never suffered a shortage of commentary by committed fans, the problem with Selvin’s outsider perspective is that he gets things wrong that nearly any rank-and-file Deadhead would know. He implies that after Garcia suffered a diabetic coma in 1987, everything was downhill for the Dead from that point on, yet the guitarist made a dramatic recovery, and the band’s tours in 1989 and 1990 were acclaimed as equal to the best music that the band played in its 30 years on the road.

There are also errors that can only be described as careless. In the opening paragraph of the book, Selvin insists that nobody in the band expected Garcia to die when he did, yet a hundred pages or so later, Lesh tells a “60 Minutes” reporter, “I felt like I had mourned him already when I got the call.” Selvin also refers to the lead guitar player of Phish, Trey Anastasio — drafted for the unenviable job of taking Garcia’s place at the band’s 50th anniversary celebrations at Santa Clara and Chicago — as the “uncontroversial” choice. In fact, warring Deadhead cliques nearly incinerated themselves in online flamefests in the months leading up to the show, though the consummately professional Anastasio ended up doing a fine job.

While Garcia’s sheer versatility and improvisational brio have indeed proved to be irreplaceable, the core four have bravely soldiered on in various constellations, from Dead & Company featuring John Mayer on guitar, currently on its summer tour, to Lesh’s ongoing “rambles” with guest musicians at his Terrapin Crossroads club in San Rafael. Surely, extraordinarily accomplished musicians making music together is something to be celebrated, even if their glory days are mostly behind them.

Ultimately, the best advice for a young music fan who might pick up this book looking for insight into the phenomenon of the Grateful Dead is to seek elsewhere. Like the song says, “If you get confused, listen to the music play.”

https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/articl ... 037733.php
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rippleish20
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Re: "Fare Thee Well" Book Rolling Stone Write Up

Post by rippleish20 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:49 pm

I can't find it again at the moment, but I listened to an interview with Sevin yesterday and it was quite interesting. I definitely want to read the book. Why is learning about the ugly side of Jill any worse than finding out about how bad Jerry's addictions were? It's all part of the story that is/was the Grateful Dead to me. None of the strangeness that apparently happened behind the scene diminishes the music to me. Phil is is still the best bass play ever to me even if he wanted a bigger dressing room for Dead50. I take it all with a grain of salt as some of the things Sevin said (and is in the book) struck me as quite odd - like Phil wanting to steal JK from DSO to cripple DSO.

Despite he focus on stories about Jill etc, Sevin suggested in the interview that the band members were lost after Jerry died and the story is really about how the band members dealt with it all, individually and in trying to work together. A lot of it may be uglier than we could hope but it is what it is. I believe there is an interesting parallel story in how Deadheads themselves have dealt with it all - i.e. attitudes about Furthur, DeadCo, etc...
Last edited by rippleish20 on Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dr bakes
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Re: "Fare Thee Well" Book Rolling Stone Write Up

Post by dr bakes » Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:00 pm

Dave, did you know Jill was ambitious?
Tell me a lie and I will swear, i'll swear it's True
DT

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dr bakes
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Re: "Fare Thee Well" Book Rolling Stone Write Up

Post by dr bakes » Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:40 pm

This reviewer says Jerry slipped into a coma in 87, it actually was July 86 right after the RFK shows.
Tell me a lie and I will swear, i'll swear it's True
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Nycdave
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Re: "Fare Thee Well" Book Rolling Stone Write Up

Post by Nycdave » Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:59 pm

dr bakes wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:00 pm
Dave, did you know Jill was ambitious?
I know what Phil wrote in his book, when talking about Jill: "I have always considered myself a very lucky man. I've been married for more then twenty years to a woman who loves me as passionately as I love her, and with whom I have developed a level of trust and companionship that I never dreamed existed. We are rearing two fine sons, both growing up straight and strong and loving. I survived hepatitis C and a liver transplant. I was born an only child but found my true brothers through the art of music and a series of improbable coincidences. I am blessed with the joy of earning my way by doing something I love - something that is so deep it can never be boring, or run out of challenges."

I have heard lots of Jill stories over the years. I only met her once. SOB's is a small club in NYC. One of her (and Phil's) sons had just gotten his drivers license. She expressed a concern about being in NY while her kid was driving for the first time. Two weeks before, my sister also expressed concern about her son, who also had just gotten a drivers license. I thought it was funny.
I like gossipy books, but have no interest in putting any money in Selvin's pocket. Perhaps i'll go to Barnes and Noble and read it there. Or if Rippleish20 want's to lend me his copy (after he finishes reading it), I promise to give it back more or less intact. :cheer:

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Re: "Fare Thee Well" Book Rolling Stone Write Up

Post by Boxorain » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:41 pm

Would anyone here like your family turmoils published?
Trash
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Re: "Fare Thee Well" Book Rolling Stone Write Up

Post by MontrealJared » Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:57 am

If they turn this book into a movie I hope they get Seth Rogen to play me.
Standing on the moon with nothing left to do
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