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Grateful Dead ‘Limited Bio-Series’ in the Works at Amazon

Ken Friedman / Grateful Dead
Ken Friedman, Grateful Dead

Amazon will expand its slate of original programming with a series based on the Steve Parish book Home Before Daylight: My Life on the Road With the Grateful Dead.

Deadline reports that Parish is on board as an executive producer for the project, which also boasts the involvement of Dead co-founder Bob Weir. In addition to producing alongside Parish, Weir has agreed to “oversee all aspects of music for the untitled series.”

According to Rolling Stone, the show’s Amazon arrival comes after a (ahem) long, strange trip through development hell, during which Parish initially attempted to turn it into a film-length biopic. Even with Weir on board — and soundtrack contributions secured from a list of Dead contemporaries that included Neil Young and Bob Dylan — the project failed to find a studio home, prompting its conceptual overhaul.

Parish and Weir are still searching for a writer and director, but the show has plenty of raw material to work from. Home Before Daylight chronicles decades spent in the Grateful Dead’s orbit, and Parish’s unique journey from band roadie to Jerry Garcia‘s adviser and manager, and in theory, that inside perspective should help set it apart from Hollywood’s previous attempts to chronicle rock ‘n’ roll’s wild backstage exploits.

As the A.V. Club notes, Amazon’s Grateful Dead series is moving into active development alongside another roadie-inspired series: Showtime’s sensibly titled Roadies, which stars Luke Wilson and is being directed by Cameron Crowe. With a projected premiere date scheduled for 2016, Roadies seems likely to beat Parish and Weir’s show to the air, but as demonstrated by the rabid response to the Dead’s 50th anniversary farewell concerts earlier this year, there’s still a very healthy demand for band-related product.

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