Some good writing about shows, which is hard to do. In the beginning, there’s lots of free hippie love, lots of drugs, some Kerouac-for-the-poor attempts at cross country driving. But soon, our man Jason leaves the hippies behind to move on to the harder stuff, and before you know it, there are broken fingers, shotgun blasts, heroin deals in the Oakland hood, and, ultimately, rehab.
What bothers me about “Tiger in a Trance” isn’t just the many coincidences–there is some odd overlap with “Tiger in Orbit,” but in the end, I wouldn’t have liked it even if he hadn’t stolen my title and a few choice details. Neither Max Ludington nor I wrote a Deadhead book, really — it’s tangential to mine, and in his, the band doesn’t matter at all in the end. (Not even a mention of the Wharf Rats, which seems de rigeur for him.) Seems like there’s a real need for head fiction, but this isn’t it.