Stories Done: Writings on the 1960s and Its Discontents

Author: Mikal Gilmore

Publication date : 2009

Free Press

This book includes a chapter about the Grateful Dead (The End of Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead) and a chapter about Ken Kesey (Ken Kesey's Great American Trip).

Other chapters cover Timothy Leary, Allan Ginsberg, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Bob Marley, Phil Ochs, Hunter S Thompson, Jim Morrison and the Doors, the Allman Brothers, Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.

Publisher's description:

In this poignant book, journalist Mikal Gilmore weaves a narrative of the '60s and '70s as he examines the lives of the era's most important cultural icons. Keeping the power of rock & roll at the forefront, Gilmore gathers together stories about major artists from every field -- George Harrison, Ken Kesey, Johnny Cash, Allen Ginsberg, to name just a few. Gilmore reveals the truth about this idealized period in history, never shying away from the ugly influences that brought many of rock's most exciting figures to their knees. He examines how Jim Morrison's alcoholism led to the star's death at the age of twenty-seven, how Jerry Garcia's drug problems brought him to the brink of death so many times that his bandmates did not believe the news of his actual demise, how Pink Floyd struggled with the guilt of kicking out founding member Syd Barrett because of his debilitating mental illness. As Gilmore examines the dark side of these complicated figures, he paints a picture of the environment that bred them, taking readers from the rough streets of Liverpool (and its more comfortable suburbs) to the hippie haven of Haight-Ashbury that hosted the infamous Summer of Love. But what resulted from these lives and those times, Gilmore argues, was worth the risk -- in fact, it may be inseparable from those hard costs. The lives of these dynamic and diverse figures are intertwined with Gilmore's exploration of the social, political, and emotional characteristics that defined the era. His insights and examinations combine to create a eulogy for a formative period of American history.
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