Peter Rowan

The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band plays locally at Don Quixote’s in Felton this Saturday (Jan.16th.) See www.donquixotesmusic.info for details. Rowan with band mates just played last month’s Rex Foundation 25th Anniversary bash, and in the 70s was part of Old & In the Way with David Grisman, Jerry, Vassar Clements, etc.

Two books revisit late 1960s culture

Popular culture readers will find two new books just out as darkly fascinating. Both weave rock with political and social history, both specifically make reference to the Grateful Dead.
Peter Doggett’s There’s a Riot Going On: Revolutionaries, Rock Stars, and the Rise and Fall of the ‘60s (Canongate, 2008) looks at the period of 1965-72 when music “fueled the revolutionary movement with anthems and iconic imagery,” and the stars were asked to respond to, endorse and defend (sometimes reluctantly or defiantly) political action. Steve Morse in a Boston Globe review of Nov. 7, 2008 finds this book “brilliant,” “ambitious,” and “wrenching”.
Journalist Mikal Gilmore (whose pieces frequent Rolling Stone) has just published Stories Done: Writings on the 1960s and Its Discontents (Free Press, 2008), a collection of essays examining the lives of several of the era’s cultural figures. Often visionary, these figures may be publically engaging though personally tragic. As noted in a NY Times review of Dec. 30th, Gilmore has a “keen sense of the dark undertow of the American dream.”

Jamband psychology

Research on jamband subculture and psychology continues to be a topic of interest and the Grateful Dead of course, continues to be cited. Pamela M. Hunt has just authored an article, “From Festies to Tourrats…,” on this topic. It appears in the December 2008 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly (Vol. 71, No.4). Additionally, in his new book Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us (Portfolio, 2008) Seth Godin credits the Grateful Dead as helping us to understand how people become connected to one another, how shared passion is inspired, and how groups can effect lasting and substantive change.