Another Mistake

Re: An Example

It appears not only did the Grateful Dead never record "Hey Joe", they never even PLAYED IT!

That’s one of the great things about the Web.  The databases.  I’ve been inundated with e-mail from people who’ve researched this, not only every recording, but EVERY LIVE PERFORMANCE!  Yup, you can find EVERY song the Dead ever performed online.

I guess I made the mistake of trusting my mind.

They say eyewitness evidence is the worst.  I just proved it.

So, what WAS going on in my brain?

I remembered that very first Grateful Dead album.  The one recorded before the 1967 Warner debut.  That was comprised of a 1966 Avalon Ballroom performance, which was ultimately released in the fall of 1970, to capitalize on the breakthrough of "Workingman’s Dead".  It contained a cover of "I Know You Rider".  THIS was the Dead staple that was in my brain when I wrote that the Dead did "Hey Joe".  I’d say HEY, what’s the difference, but obviously to a bunch of fans, it makes ALL the difference.

I remember this 1966 live version of "I Know You Rider" as being my favorite.  Even though it was on an album that the Dead didn’t want to come out.

Still, my absolute favorite "I Know You Rider" from that era was the one on Hot Tuna’s debut.

But it’s now surpassed by the version I’ve got in my iTunes library by the Other Ones, from the Furthur festival.

The Dead were legendarily untogether.  They’d play for four hours, one would be good, two would be horrible and one would be great.

But then Jerry died.  And they reconstituted as the Other Ones.  The Other Ones double CD package is as good as any live album the Dead ever released.  It’s together in a way the Dead usually weren’t.

But it doesn’t contain "I Know You Rider".  You have to download this P2P.

It starts with a majestic piano intro by Bruce Hornsby, a man who extended his career by abandoning the world of hits and joining the society of jam.  In the world of the Dead, it was all about playing, and feel, and here Bruce lives up to the ethos.

Then, ninety seconds in, the assembled multitude lays into the groove.

Remember when rock and roll MEANT alternative?  When it was about joining the CIRCUS?  When it wasn’t about chart position, never mind payola, but ADVENTURE!  That’s what the Dead encapsulated.  And that’s why they survived.  They tapped into people’s HUMANITY!!  With the Dead the audience was part of the show, when they finally got it right, usually in the last hour of their performance, irrelevant of whether you were high or not, you were transported, to a world where YOU counted, where YOU were a member of the tribe.

It wasn’t about us versus them, it was about we.

There’s no we in the music business today.

Mariah Carey has no tolerance for the little people.

The Backstreet Boys ARE the little people.

Everybody’s subsidiary to the system.  Whereas with the Dead, the record label was an adjunct to the band.  It was the BAND that counted, not the music business infrastructure.  Whether radio played them or not, it didn’t matter, the people found the music.

Some acts are following this model today.  They’re not on the cover of "Entertainment Weekly", but they pull greater numbers of people to their shows than the acts in the Top Ten, and that’s why the Top Ten no longer counts.  Widespread Panic MEANS more to people than Jessica Simpson.  Or the Black Eyed Peas.  They’ve been playing for over a decade, and they’ll play for over a decade more.

I wish I was a headlight on a northbound train

This is the real America.  A society of adventurers, itinerant travelers always in search of something new, to titillate them, to make them feel alive.  Used to be the music was not something that assaulted them, but accompanied them, on their journey.  You had your dope, your copy of "On The Road" and your Dead tapes.

Don’t talk to me about partying at the Palms.

Don’t tell me about doing radio station shows.

Don’t tell me how hard it is to be a star, doing all the interviews, being nice to all the people you care not a whit about.

Jerry Garcia was playing by his own rules.  And this resonated to such a degree that gone ten years he’s still a hero.  To those truly listening.

The sun will shine in my back door someday

It’s not about winning the lottery, or being on a reality show.  It’s about working, moving forward increment by increment, until you reach the valley of fulfillment, when all your efforts coalesce into a feeling of self-satisfaction, euphoria.

That’s why you go to college.  That’s why you start out at the bottom.  Not for fame, or riches, but to be a better, more well-rounded person.

To take full advantage of life you must question, you must take risks.  It’s not about being a child star and stealing the father of somebody else’s children.  It’s about being honest and ethical.  Looking to IMPROVE others’ lives rather than rip them off.

I made a mistake.  The assembled multitude informed me, corrected my course.

They brought me back to the Other Ones’ version of "I Know Your Rider".  To where I belong.

Mea culpa.

This is a read-only blog. E-mail comments directly to Bob.