Nevertheless, there are some gems. One that I particularly liked was in his chapter on the post-coma Dead’s resurgence (with ominous shadows of In the Dark just around the next corner, naturally), as he reports on the Dead’s bumpy return to form. After a frighteningly unencouraging start to rehearsals in October 1986, bandmembers and employees are left wondering if Garcia was ever really going to get it back (his coma was in July!). However:
Finally in late October, Hart returned to the office again and was smiling. "We just did a really good Dark Star," he told them, adding, "It's back." The Dead's ticket office booked comeback shows that same day...Whoa. Dark Star. This was the same guy who had to relearn the guitar chord by chord? If it's true, then talk about a missed opportunity for a good study! Mirror Flashes: Dark Star and the Rebuilding of Neural Pathways. Too bad Dead scholarship was still in its embryonic stages in 1986.
post-script: Chronology is a bitch, but it's worth pointing out that Garcia had already been "back" enough to play at least five gigs with the JGB that same month, including one at the Kaiser on Halloween, which is a good show. Then again, maybe we have that Dark Star to thank for the lightning recovery.