Join us for a book talk with John Brackett, who will speak about his new book, Live Dead: The Grateful Dead, Live Recordings, and the Ideology of Liveness. A conversation with Nick Rubin will follow. This in-person event will be cosponsored by WTJU and will be free and open to the public. We recommend arriving early for the best seating.
About the Book: The Grateful Dead were one of the most successful live acts of the rock era. Performing more than 2,300 shows between 1965 and 1995, the Dead’s reputation as a live band was—and continues to be—sustained by thousands of live concert recordings from every era of the group’s long and colorful career. In Live Dead, musicologist John Brackett examines how live recordings—from the group’s official releases to fan produced tapes, bootlegs to “Betty Boards,” and Dick’s Picks to From the Vault—have shaped the general history and popular mythology of the Grateful Dead for more than fifty years. Drawing on a diverse array of materials and documents contained in the Grateful Dead Archive, Live Dead details how live recordings became meaningful among the band and their fans not only as sonic souvenirs of past musical performances but also as expressions of assorted ideals, including notions of “liveness,” authenticity, and the power of recorded sound.
About the Author: John Brackett is a musicologist and writer. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
About the Moderator: Charlottesville resident Nick Rubin cohosts WTJU’s “Radio Freedonia” and is a core DJ for “the Bunny,” the radio component of Phish’s legendary camping festivals. Nick received his PhD in music from UVA in 2010; his writing has since appeared in C-VILLE Weekly, various defunct music blogs, and The New York Times. Re: the Grateful Dead, Nick “got on the bus” in high school, literally on a bus, when a friend offered his headphones while listening to the “Scarlet > Fire” from Hampton Coliseum, 4/13/84. Nick borrowed, dubbed, and still owns the tape.
To order Live Dead, please see below for the New Dominion Bookshop book order form or call the shop at 434-295-2552.
"As avatars of without-a-net musical improvisation, the Grateful Dead staked out sonic territory that took the importance of live performance to whole new levels. John Brackett does an exceptional job of presenting the history of ‘liveness’ in modern music and then placing the Grateful Dead securely within that tradition."
New Dominion Bookshop Book Order Form
Shop local and support your community bookstore! Order books from New Dominion Bookshop by filling out the contact form below. Please make sure that you list the book title(s) that you would like to order. We will give you a call when your order is ready. If you are placing a pre-order for a book that has not yet been released, your book will be ready on or soon after the book’s release date. There is no need to pre-pay. We will collect your payment when you pick up your order or when your order is shipped. If you would like your book(s) to be signed and/or inscribed, please include that information in the “Message for Our Booksellers” field.