April 14, 2010

Psychedelic Culture

The new book Birth of a Psychedelic Culture: Conversations about Leary, the Harvard Experiments, Millbrook and the Sixties (Synergetic Press, 2010) has been reviewed as "an enchanted treasure chest, overflowing with insightful new dialogues, fascinating anecdotes, valuable historical accounts and other never-before-published material about the origins of modern psychedelic culture, by the people who helped to create it." The book is based on a series of conversations between Ralph Metzner and Richard Alpert. Among the many personal commentators is Dr. Michael Kahn, Emeritus Professor of Psychology from UCSC.

Secret longings

And while we all here at the Grateful Dead Archive really want to be rock stars, it turns out they want to be just like us. Who knew? Keith Richards in his soon-to-be released autobiography talks about his childhood reading habits, his drive to collect and share good books, and he confesses his hidden desire to be a librarian. Catch it all in the Times' preview of Richard's Life coming out from Little Brown in the fall and written in collaboration with James Fox.

On the scholarly front the phenomenon continues

The Grateful Dead in Concert: Essays on Live Improvisation is now out from McFarland. Edited by Jim Tuedio, Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Stanislaus and Stan Spector, Philosophy Professor at Modesto Junior College, it includes twenty essays from major Dead scholars analyzing the "unique improvisational character of Grateful Dead music and its impact on appreciative fans." Writings by David Gans, Alan Trist, and our own soon-to-be Grateful Dead Archivist Nicholas Meriwether are included.