Lecturer Peter Richardson's 'No Simple Highway' a Cultural History of Grateful Dead

Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Photo of Peter Richardson

MARIN INDEPENDENT JOURNAL -- I had a fascinating interview this week with Peter Richardson, a lecturer in the Humanities Department at San Francisco State University who’s the author of a new book from St. Martin’s Press, “No Simple Highway: A Cultural History of the Grateful Dead.” For obvious reasons, I was particularly interested in the chapters in “No Simple Highway” about the Dead’s migration from its storied pad at 710 Ashbury Street in San Francisco to the more mellow surrounds of Marin County in fall 1968.

“San Francisco shaped them, especially Jerry Garcia, but you’re not going to really understand the Grateful Dead project if you don’t understand why they wanted to live in Marin,” he says. “Most people who don’t live in the Bay Area don’t understand Marin County very well. I wanted to make sure that, in the book, they understood that the Dead didn’t have commercially successful albums or even widespread touring until after they moved to Marin.”

Photo: Beth Tudor