Steve Parrish has been a justifiaby much-loved member of the Grateful Dead circle for decades, and this is why his book has been so anticipated. More than most, Parrish has earned the right to speak his peace. He's just a real, plain-spoken big-hearted fella - and it's this approach to writing his book (with Joe Layden) - as to why Parrish's book succeeds. Parrish manages to write with honesty but with compassion. For this reason many readers may prefer this simpler work over McNally's and Skully's books.
No, Steve Parish does not write with the sophistication and finesse of, say, Blair Jackson (still the best writer on the GD scene), it's the emotional directness that separates this book from many of the rest. True, there are a few minor inaccuracies with times and dates (believe me, you've seen worse). But it's the overall emotional quality of Parrish's stories and insights, for me at least, that I found more compelling than some of the other, more polished works that have come out. And don't let the plain-spoken nature of this book fool you: There are numerous observations, anecdotes and insights (I wish there were more), that only Steve Parrish could deliver (the meeting with Garcia and Sinatra is a riot).
So for those of us who loved the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia, Phil, Bobby and the rest of the crew, and for whom the emotional quality of the band mattered (and matters) more than anything else, Parrish's effort is one of the better ones there at this time. Recommended.