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My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs with the Grateful Dead

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


The Grateful Dead are perhaps the most legendary American rock band of all time. For thirty years, beginning in the hippie scene of San Francisco in 1965, they were a musical institution, the original jam band that broke new ground in so many ways. From the music to their live concert sound systems and fan recordings, they were forward-thinking champions of artistic control and outlaw artists who marched to the beat of their own drums.

Bill Kreutzmann, one of their founding members and drummer for every one of their over 2,300 concerts has written an unflinching and wild account of playing in the greatest improvisational band of all time. Everything a rock music fan would expect is here, but what sets this apart is Bill's incredible life of adventure that was at the heart of the Grateful Dead experience. This was a band that knew no limits and Bill lived life to the fullest, pushing the boundaries of drugs, drums and high times, through devastating tragedy and remarkable triumph.

But at this book's beating heart is the music--theirs and others. Some of the greatest musicians and concerts were a part of the Grateful Dead's career, from sharing the stage with Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, and The Who, to playing in the Acid Tests, The Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock and Altamont. Bill's life is a chronicle of American music and pop culture history and his epic personal journey is one of sonic discovery and thrilling experiences.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 13, 2015 – When Kreutzmann was 16, in the early 1960s, he saw Jerry Garcia play bass in a band called Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions. He decided then and there that he was going to follow Garcia forever. A couple of weeks later, Garcia called Kreutzmann and asked him to join a band, which they first called the Warlocks and then the Grateful Dead. Like one of the Dead's meandering, free-form jams, Kreutzmann's memoir wanders capaciously from one moment to the next, never settling for long on any particular aspect of his life. Kreutzmann recalls his introduction to Mickey Hart, who eventually joins the band and teaches him the rudiments of drumming. He provides his own history of the Dead through chronicles of the band's albums and the personnel involved in making them; he explains that 1970's Workingman's Dead was all about discovering songs, and American Beauty, from the same year, is all about having the harmonies to sing the songs. Kreutzmann offer his take on each band member, recalling many of his long, strange trips on various hallucinogens, as well as the ups and downs of his personal life. When he met his wife, Aimee, it changed his life. He concludes that his book is really simple love story about letting your heart guide you through an incredible journey, but his rock-and-roll memoir never really achieves emotional transcendence.

Customer Reviews

Thanks Billy

Billy and a great job you did on this book your insights were phenomenal. I appreciate your candor and your down-to-earth touch. that's probably why you're living on an organic farm, not to mention to be with the woman that you love.
This book has been such a nice little journey into the past thanks again.


Thank you for writing the book, great read. Your tale is both unbelievable and believable. Keep the beat and we all will try and keep catching it.....


This was an extremely pleasant read. Mr. Kreutzmann chronologically delivers the real deal; to the bone raw truth and mostly unapologetic, as I believe it ought to be.

I shed many tears through the read. Most were tears of joy and some of course, not so much. There are many hilarious passages throughout Deal that had me laughing out loud.

Even though this story is not over it tells a great story about a man and his love of family, friends and music. It also speaks to loss, depression and coping. I'm a better person for having read Bill Kreutzmann's memoirs.

View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: May 05, 2015
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 416 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings