World-reknowned physician and professor of neurology, Oliver Sacks, is the author of the book THE LAST HIPPIE, which the recent film THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED is based on. The book chronicles Mr. Sacks’ real-life experiences with a patient who, as a result of a brain tumor, loses a large chunk of his memory and is rehabilitated through music, particularly the music of the Grateful Dead. The film itself is very loosely based on this true story and is, in and of itself, a work of fiction. However, one important element that remains is the healing power of the Grateful Dead’s music. The film is a sweet, straight-forward tale that sports some genuinely touching moments. For any true Dead Head, however, the film’s recreation of a Grateful Dead concert is somewhat lacking in authenticity and gets many details wrong, but its heart is in the right place and that goes a long, long way.
The following is an interview with Oliver Sacks discussing how he met Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart and found himself invited to a Grateful Dead concert. Mr. Sacks’ response to the music and the scene surrounding it is testament to the sheer power of the Grateful Dead and displays the authenticity the movie’s concert scene lacks. It is as strange a blending of types as could be thrown together and the fact that they found such meaningful common ground is both startling and gratifying.
So while today’s post isn’t directly about Jerry Garcia, it is about the power of the music he was a part of. It’s nice to know the music that changed my life has also changed the lives of others. Even the most unsuspecting.