Captain Trips: A Biography of Jerry Garcia is a tremendously insightful book about the story of Jerry Garcia. It depicts the life, work, and views of this famous musician. Much of the information came straight from the source, Garcia himself, through old interviews. It also includes interviews with his bandmates, Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, along with many of his family and friends.
The book lets the reader see the real Jerry Garcia: husband, father, friend, and, above all, musician. Captain Trips reveals in detail the step-by-step progression of Jerry's music from his first electric guitar at 15, his days in various jug and folk bands, and onto The Grateful Dead. The book documents Garcia's devotion to his music. Sometimes, Garcia would play or practice eight hours a day! Not only does Captain Trips show the evolution of The Dead, but Garcia's other bands including The Garcia Acoustic Band and The Jerry Garcia Band. It also tells about his collaborations with other musicians.
This book depicts not only Garcia's triumphs but also his tragedies. The death of his father, mother, and three of his bandmates, two from chemical dependency and one because of a car crash, all of which had a profound effect on Garcia.
Throughout the ups and downs of Garcia's life, he always remained true to his music and to the Haight Asbury philosophy that love is better than hate, peace is better than war, and to share the music he created with as many people as possible.
Sandy Troy is also the author of One More Saturday Night, a biography of The Grateful Dead. .
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.