Lecturer Peter Richardson Excavates Cultural History of Grateful Dead in 'No Simple Highway'

Monday, April 13, 2015
EXAMINER.COM -- Peter Richardson digs deep in “No Simple Highway: A Cultural History of the Grateful Dead” (St. Martin’s Press), a study of the circumstances that led to the formation of the preeminent jam-rock band and shaped its evolution throughout the 1970s amid major social, political and ideological changes. Moreover, Richardson studies how the Dead reacted — as individuals, band and business entity — to these cultural shifts, and to their own burgeoning stardom. The author—who holds a Ph.D. in English from University of California, Berkeley, and works in the Humanities Department at San Francisco State University — couches his discussion by probing the band and its still-considerable influence in the context of what are perhaps the three greatest “utopian ideals” forward by the band: ecstasy, mobility and community.