Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day Job - Grateful Dead Song Review

Keep your day job ... until your night job pays!

Day Job

The legend goes that this song is the only that was every nixed due to the overwhelming request of Deadheads  at large.  I think I heard Robert Hunter quoted as saying that. Can that really be true? Then how do you explain songs like Corrina ("Velveeta") and Easy Answers ("Cheesy Answer") not getting dropped due to overwhelming demand? Well, maybe they would have in due time; "Day Job" did come along a decade before those gems - in the early 80's. That was a much different time in the arc of the Grateful Dead experience.

What is it that everyone hates about this song? It must be the message.  I don't think it's terrible at all.  It sounds like a cross between U.S. Blues and Might As Well, with a dash of Billy Joel's Only the Good Die Young.

"It Must've Been The Lyrics"

It must've been the implied message of maintaining employment that rubbed everyone the wrong way.  I guess I can relate because when I was at Dead shows I was pretty much experiencing the opposite of my day job.  Imagine if you quit your Day Job to follow the Dead on a tour and during a psychedelic experience you hear Jerry sing those words.... this could cause a powerful internal conflict, short circuiting your enjoyment of the show.

But to give thissong "legendary" status of being rejected is a bit harsh. I mean... how much more of a bummer can hearing this song in the first set be than "Little Red Rooster," "The Same Thing," or even "When Push Comes to Shove?"

Day Job Song Rating on a Scale of 1-10: 5.0

Disclaimer: This is part of my blog that reviews all things Grateful Dead for fun. 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).


VAGenius said...

The song is unjustly crucified... agreed that later 90's dead tunes such as "If the Shoe Fits" were MUCH worse.

GDmike said...

aargh, "If the shoe fits" yuck!