Monday, January 19, 2009

Black Peter - Grateful Dead Song Review

"Alll of my friends come to.... see me last night..."

Black Peter
is an extremely revered Dead song from Workingman's Dead. It is almost a surprise to me that this song has the mystique that it does. So many people I've met through the years have raved about Black Peter. It has that kind of "magical quality" of a somewhat rarely played classic Dead song that when it is played at a show the song by itself makes a show (like Casey Jones, Truckin', and many others). I can see in Deadbase X that Black Peter is evenly played a few times a year throughout the entire history of the Grateful Dead. I think the power of the opening phrase "All of my friends..." coming out of nowhere in the 2nd set must really set the crowd off. I was not fortunate enough to ever see a Black Peter live.

I say that I'm surprised about Black Peter's popularity because it is not a rocking or catchy tune. I think it is a very well composed slow song about a character named Peter who is on his deathbed. The whole song seems to be about this person and his sad life waiting to die - so nothing much happens nor is there much of a story.

This is what's great about Deadheads - they don't need every song to be upbeat or have an interesting and obvious storyline to be a classic.

Black Peter
Rating on a Scale of 1-10: 8.9

Disclaimer: This is part of my review of every Grateful Dead song from A-Z. Music is a beautiful thing because it is so personal and subjective, so keep in mind that this is one man's opinion (and be sure to read my blog manifesto to understand a little more about where I'm coming from).

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