Joel Selvin with Pamela Turley

Fare Thee Well: The Final Chapter of The Grateful Dead’s Long, Strange Trip

Published by Da Capo

Sep 26, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

After examining The Rolling Stones' 1969 Altamont concert in his last book, Joel Selvin, this time with Pamela Turley, has chosen to examine for his current project the final years of the Grateful Dead after Jerry Garcia's passing in 1995. 

Fare Thee Well is a detailed look at the post-Garcia careers of all remaining Dead members, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann, the "core four," rendered in engaging, storytelling fashion. Selvin chronicles how the band fractured after Garcia's death and how the members clamored to keep the legacy of The Grateful Dead alive in the multiple shapeshifting projects that each embarked upon in its wake. Not all band members come across in saintly fashion (we're looking at you, Phil Lesh), but the author, who allows in his acknowledgements that he is no Dead head, always strives for an even, unbiased telling and seems to hit his mark.

While hinting at recent Dead & Company outings, Fare Thee Well ultimately culminates with Weir, Lesh, Hart, and Kreutzmann's final five shows as the Grateful Dead in 2015. It's a fascinating portrayal of how an iconic band soldiered on after losing its leader.


Author rating: 7.5/10

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