Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dead Song Category - "For Deadheads Only""

Okay, I'm going to define once and for all this "category" that I feel a lot of Dead songs belong to. I keep talking about this concept and I want to be able to link to this blog entry instead of explaining it.

Here are songs that are NOT "For Deadheads Only"


Touch of Grey
Good Lovin'
Terrapin Station
Dancin' in the Streets
Casey Jones
Uncle John's Band

Here are some songs that DEFINITELY are "For Grateful Dead Fans Only:"

Saint of Circumstance
Alabama Getaway
Row Jimmy
Hell in a Bucket
The Wheel
The Entire Bob Weir Solo Catalog (just kidding - kind of)
The Entire Jerry Garcia Solo Catalog (sad but true although is some of my favorite music in the world)

So I think I did an apt description of what makes a "For Deadheads Only" in my Candyman song review:

"What I mean to say is that I've never heard anyone besides a Deadhead talk about or play this song. No one ever goes to a party and plays Candyman to get people fired up and I've never noticed anyone ever throwing quarters in a jukebox and playing Candyman either."

So, basically songs that are "For Deadheads Only" are songs that are loved by people that know the Dead and love the Dead but otherwise completely unknown in the world of popular music.

This is in no way to take anything away from the quality of these songs. I mean these are real classics. I freaking love the groove Saint of Circumstance, I think The Wheel is one of my favorite songs of all times by any band. I would put Jack Straw above any song ever recorded by the Eagles and the Allman Brothers too. It's just that these songs simply don't seem to really exist outside of the Dead culture. These songs aren't known by the public, and aren't played on classic rocks stations. It is just the way it is.

You know, there are entire albums that could be considered "For Grateful Dead fans Only" Go to Heaven comes to mind.

The weird thing is... I think this category of "For Deadheads Only" extends throughout more of the GD catalog than I want to admit. I mean to say that I don't know too many non Deadheads who even know Scarlet Begonias, Fire on the Mountain, Shakedown Street, Help on the Way and some of the other "big" Dead songs.

Maybe I was just born too late... all I know is that I wear a t-shirt by a skate clothing company called Dark Star and it says Dark Star in big letters on the front.... I've had people come up to me and ask me if it refers to a Science Fiction show, but no one has ever made a Grateful Dead connection. I do live in Orange County after all - perhaps not the highest concentration of Deadheads...

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