Robert Greenfield - Dark Star: An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia

Dark Star: An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia

A Book by Robert Greenfield


Review written by John Metzger


Deadheads looking for an interesting glimpse into the secluded life of Jerry Garcia ought to check out Robert Greenfield's latest endeavor Dark Star: An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia. The further one gets into the book, the more appropriate the title becomes. Interviews with 67 people are woven together in a unique fashion, and they tell the story of a man who was obsessed with his music but became tragically addicted to heroin as he tried to block out the huge responsibilities that came with his success. As the scene grew, as the Grateful Dead's immediate family grew, and as the side projects grew, they all revolved around Jerry Garcia, and everyone looked to him for the next move. Not wanting the responsibility, Garcia refused to make decisions, and he became separated from everyone and everything by comforting himself with heroin as a means of tempering his emotions.

Just as the Grateful Dead's masterpiece Dark Star painted a complex picture of dark and light from many different perspectives, so does Greenfield paint an image of its front man Garcia in his biographical work. This is an incredibly fair and non-judgmental book, primarily because the story is told from so many different perspectives, including Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Ken Kesey, David Grisman, and the many managers the band had over the years.  At times, the story does become depressing, and the helplessness of Garcia's family and friends is extraordinarily palpable. However, it is well worth the cost of the book for such a unique collection of insights. starstarstarstar


Of Further Interest...

Eric Clapton - Clapton: The Autobiography

Phil Lesh - Searching for the Sound: My Life with the Grateful Dead

Suze Rotolo - A Freewheelin' Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties


Dark Star: An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia is available from
Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!



1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Readable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


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