Sunday, July 28, 2013

Johnny B Good - Grateful Dead Song Review

Johnny B Good is a true standout in the pantheon of American Roll.   Written by Chuck Berry in 1958,  and a abased on the blues progression, this song could almost be considered the signature rock and roll song.

I don't have a terrible lot to say about Johnny B Good as far as the Grateful Dead goes, they would play it and play it well, usually at the end of shows.  This song represents the 'fun rock and roll band' side of The Grateful Dead as opposed to the cerebral side that brings you songs like Estimated Prophet or Slipknot.

When I hear Johnny B Good, it reminds me that The Dead got their start entertaining people in a pizza parlor.  At the end of the day, The Dead would often play very simple rock and roll songs like this one, I Fought the LawSatisfaction, and even Louie Louie.  I like hearing these types of songs on bootlegs.  For people at shows who are far out of their minds, as song like this might help them come back down to earth at the end of the set.

This song was performed hundreds of time going all the way back to the band's earliest days and usually lasted only a few minutes.  If a Grateful Dead show is like a great movie, then Johnny B Good is the ending where the credits are rolling.  You know the movie is over, and there's not going to be any more surprises, but you stick around to watch the credits because you liked the movie so much, you don't want it to end.

Or if you're like a lot of people, when the credits begin you make your way to the exit to get ready and buy (or sell) a kind veggie burrito.

Johnny B Good Rating on a Scale of 1-10:  7.3

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(read my blog manifesto to understand my Grateful Dead background a little more).

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