Picks and Pans Review: In Brief
Eight months after Jerry Garcia's death, his fourth wife, Deborah Koons, and Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir scattered his ashes over the Ganges River in India, much to the chagrin of Garcia's four daughters and brother Cliff. The cult hero is gone, but his legacy in print has not faded away.
Garcia (Little, Brown, $29.95), containing interviews and articles by the editors of Rolling Stone, includes enough familiar pictures to merit a place on any Deadhead's coffee table, if Deadheads had coffee tables. The book is a noteworthy attempt to explain the enigma that was Jerry to those who may not have understood the outpouring of grief at his death.
Harrington Street (Delacorte, $22.95), an autobiography in the very loosest sense, consists of short bits of Garcian narrative and colorful drawings that tell the story of his San Francisco childhood. Garcia's tale is fascinating, though at times unbelievable. (He claims, at one point, that his grandfather invented the windshield wiper.) Perhaps the most revealing aspect of the book is his artwork, a mix of blissful visions and darker, more confusing images—a contrast embodied by the man himself.
Living with the Dead (Little, Brown, $24.95) is the memoir of Rock Scully, the group's onetime manager and a member of the Dead family for 20 years. Scully, who split with the group in 1985, follows the Dead from Haight-Ashbury on the more or less nonstop mystery tour that was their life on the road. Even casual readers will surely be interested to learn that Garcia, in his travels, had a tendency to set off smoke alarms, inadvertently drenching his hotel rooms with water.
Not Fade Away: The On-Line World Remembers Jerry Garcia (Thunder's Mouth, $14.95) offers messages that Deadheads loaded onto the Internet following the passing of their icon. Edited by David Gans, host of the syndicated radio program The Grateful Dead Hour, the book testifies to the love and affection Garcia inspired among close friends and fans but falls short of revealing the man behind the image.