Dennis McNally’s official biography of the Grateful Dead is a fine read. It’s a work of serious history mixed with breathless fan’s notes, and that suits me just fine. If there’s any complaint, it’s too short. McNally spends lots & lots of time in the heady 60s, at acid tests and the Haight, and then rushes through the sadder, later years — which is curious because those are the times he actually spent with the band. He’s got some great anecdotes, but isn’t really dishing a lot of inside stuff we haven’t heard before elsewhere, but that’s not the point anyway. He does a great job of summoning the feel and philosophy of the Dead, and that’s a four-star achievement right there. Recommended reading for anybody with an interest in rock history.