Synopsis by Mark Deming
No rock band ever attracted a more loyal audience than the Grateful Dead, whose followers would often travel alongside the band, drifting from show to show, selling food, T-shirts, or trinkets in the parking lots of their venues in order to pay for their tickets, or simply panhandling from more solvent fans to scrape up enough money to move onto the next show. The downside of the "Deadheads" bohemian carnival lifestyle became clear during the Dead's 1995 summer tour, during which violence between the audience and security forces led to the cancellation of one show, and a horde of ticketless fans tore down a fence at another concert, turning it into a free event -- much to the band's consternation. The End of the Road is a documentary that looks at the events of the summer 1995 tour, which proved to be the group's last when guitarist and leader Jerry Garcia died a month later. While the film features no performance footage of the Grateful Dead, The End of the Road does include interviews with several group members, including Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, and Mickey Hart, as well as a number of people who worked with the Dead and the many Deadheads who followed the band.