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The first half, I must say, is way more uplifting than the second, and I'll tell you why...
In the mid to late sixties early seventies, the Dead played for the people. For the betterment of humanity. They ate LSD often, expanded their minds, and believed they could bring what they had experienced, and were continuously experiencing, to the rest of the world.
By the late eighties, actually the late seventies, they were more involved with alcohol and cocaine. Phil tells the tales of how these substances which focus on the body, while numbing the mind, were driving the band apart.
Money controlled the entire family although, being the hippies they were, they never realized it. They took what they needed to live and put the rest into the pot to "keep the trip going".
The band was ripped off by more than one manager--one being Mickey's father---and barely ever made ends meet.
The band got too big to accomplish what they had always set out to do----------play for the people. The Dancers.
The intimate atmosphere of the acid tests and small theatre's was lost to sold out stadiums.
The Dead played 9 sold out shows at Madison Square Garden in a row and repeated only 3 songs....how awesome is that???
Basically the band always felt obligated to their employees to lay them off. So many people relied on the band for house payments, health insurance, and, well, food, to fire anyone. So they'd tour more to try and cover expenses. Regardless of how sick Pigpen or Jerry was. By the time they peaked in popularity, in the 90's, so much of the magic was lost.
These are just random thoughts I'm thinking as I write this...I know I may jump around a bit... I just felt from the book that the years of LSD were pure bliss reveling in the joy of human existance, but the alcohol, cocaine, and heroin all cause one's conscienceness to narrow. They drive a person from his friends and family due to a focus on the physical. Which is a selfish focus indeed. I am a drinker, however, and this book has made me think twice about the effect a drug like that has had on my brain...
Psychedelics open one's mind to the infinate. To love and to companionship with his fellow man. They serve as a catalyst to understanding, community, and compassion........ as long as you don't forget what you learn.
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