Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tiger in a Trance - Grateful Dead Book Review

Tiger in a Trance
I did a lot of reading during the 3 years hiatus from this blog and one of the books that I enjoyed was Tiger in a Trance by Max Ludington.

This is an autobiographical account of a head on tour during the 1980s in his teens and twenties.  It is really great to read his account of life on tour including:

  • making ends meet on tour
  • drug use on tour 
  • life in the GD parking lot
  • romantic encounters and relationships on tour 
  • travelling throughout America on tour

It delivers the kind of stories you would hope for and definitely made my pulse quicken a little as I read his account of events like going to shows and taking psychedelics.

You get to read a little about some family type relationships that the protagonist manages, as well as romantic ones.  But if you are like me, you are reading for the extensive accounts of tour life - going to shows, getting to the next show, getting a hotel room, dodging the police.  This book does deliver on this account.

One quote that really got me from this book was Max describing a night of tripping after a show (at this point he's back in the hotel):

"... I was hit with the change-of-atmosphere bug, a mild case of it since the acid had mostly worn off, but there it was. Fresh air, new places.I ppushed myself into a standing position against the wall and felt for the room key in my pocket.  I pulled it out and looked at the blue plastic Sheraton diamond.  I would need it to get past security in the lobby."

Suffice to say little moments like these are what triggered great memories for me as a reader.

The protagonist ends up leaving the tour scene and experiencing a whole different kind of life experience (and probably this other part of his life would make a great novel as well). He checks back in on tour after and things have changed or he has changed so the road seems to end.

This book is a thoroughly enjoyable for fans of the Grateful Dead, drug culture, or coming of age stories.  If you are a fan of all then it is a must read.

Tiger in a Trance Book Rating: N/A(not going to do any more numerical ratings of books like this because they are not perfect yet I am too appreciative of their existence to give anything but a 10.0).

1 comment:

Sundar said...

i want to get this...will check amazon.