Lecturer Peter Richardson Explains Grateful Dead's Durable Popularity

Thursday, January 29, 2015
KALW-FM YOUR CALL -- For almost three decades, the Grateful Dead was America's most popular touring band. No Simple Highway asks the simple questions: Why? Richardson argues that the band tapped three utopian ideals: ecstasy, mobility and community. What explains the Dead’s continued appeal today? Peter Richardson is a lecturer in the Humanities Department at San Francisco State University and author of the new book, “No Simple Highway: A Cultural History of the Grateful Dead.” “Aside from the music, the sense of rapture, the sense of adventure — especially going out on the road — and then to do that in community was really really important to the people I talked to,” Richardson said.