The Last Hippie and the Grateful Dead

Dr. Sacks’s essay “The Last Hippie” is the basis for the new feature film, The Music Never Stopped, directed by Jim Kohlberg and starring J. K. Simmons, Lou Taylor Pucci, Cara Seymour and Julia Ormond. It is a story about the profound power of music, even in the face of devastating neurological problems.

The journey from essay to film has been a long, strange trip with some delightfully unexpected companions along the way. Back in August of 1991, Dr. Sacks testified in U. S. Senate hearings on the power of music therapy, and there he met Mickey Hart, the legendary Grateful Dead percussionist known for his work on rhythm and healing. A few weeks later, at Mickey’s invitation, Dr. Sacks (heretofore a Bach and Mozart man) went to his first rock concert—the Grateful Dead at Madison Square Garden. He brought his deeply amnesic patient Greg F. to a subsequent concert—an event that he wrote about in his essay “The Last Hippie” (found in An Anthropologist on Mars).

Over the next few days, we will post new video clips of Dr. Sacks talking about Greg, the Grateful Dead, and music therapy.  Check our FacebookTwitter or YouTube channel for the latest updates!

The Music Never Stopped will open on March 18, 2011 in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, and Kansas City, with additional cities to be announced. Check here for info on advance screenings in these and other cities.

Join Dr. Sacks, Jim Kohlberg, and Mickey Hart on March 16, 2011, for the gala premiere of the film, followed by Q&A, at the 92 St. Y in New York City. Proceeds will benefit the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function.