Tomes, tour extend long trip

The Dead keep on rising.

Eight years after Jerry Garcia played his last guitar lick, the business of the Grateful Dead is alive and well, driven by a tour, a Volkswagen bus full of memorabilia, new concert recordings, and some new books that tap into the nation’s continued fascination with the band.

St. Martin’s is about to ship copies of “Home Before Daylight,” penned by Garcia’s longtime road manager, Steve Parish, and Joe Layden. It’s part of a full-blown Grateful Dead publishing industry, which now includes some 60 titles.

Parish says QVC is taping an episode devoted to his book and other Dead collectibles. The book will be promoted in various Dead publications and on the popular Dead.net Web site, in an effort to match sales of Dennis McNally‘s authorized Dead tome, “A Long Strange Trip,” which was a New York Times bestseller and is about to hit in paperback.

“We have our fan base, which is a beautiful thing,” Parish says. “They’re wonderful people and they stay in touch.”

After a few years of acrimony kept the four surviving member from playing as one unit, the Dead is deep into a 32-concert tour that ends Sept. 21 in George, Wash. Nearly every show is being pressed onto CD and sold via dead.net, which also sells recordings from the Dead vaults under the title of “Dick Picks.” In addition, Rhino will release on Sept. 17 the first multi-label compilation, “The Very Best of the Grateful Dead.”

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