• November 14, 2013
    http://www.dead.net/features/greatest-stories-ever-told/greatest-stories-ever-told-stella-blue
    Greatest Stories Ever Told - "Stella Blue"

    By David Dodd

    Here’s the plan—each week, I will blog about a different song, focusing, usually, on the lyrics, but also on some other aspects of the song, including its overall impact—a truly subjective thing. Therefore, the best part, I would hope, would not be anything in particular that I might have to say, but rather, the conversation that may happen via the comments over the course of time—and since all the posts will stay up, you can feel free to weigh in any time on any of the songs! With Grateful Dead lyrics, there’s always a new and different take on what they bring up for each listener, it seems. (I’ll consider requests for particular songs—just private message me!)

    “Stella Blue”

    This song represents the best reason I have to be grateful to my parents for getting me started with all those years of piano lessons. Well, maybe Beethoven and Chopin, too, but definitely “Stella Blue.” It’s a song I can lose myself in, whether listening to it or playing it myself. It delivers new layers of meaning as the years combine, and depending on the situation—true of many Grateful Dead songs, but particularly true of “Stella Blue.”

    This Robert Hunter / Jerry Garcia song seems to me to constitute the apex of their joint songwriting partnership. If it were possible for me to choose one song about which I could have a focused conversation with Robert Hunter, this would be the one, without a doubt. I can think of many questions I’d like to ask him, but as always, I would fear that asking the questions and getting the answers would not be such a great idea.

    For instance, there’s that perennial question, “Who (or what) is Stella Blue?” What if Hunter’s answer was “I just liked the way the words sounded together.” And that doesn’t seem entirely unlikely. As long as I don’t ask, I can be free to speculate, as we all have, listening to the song. Maybe it’s just a variant on the words “dark star,” only “blue star.” That would neatly link “Dark Star” to “Standing on the Moon,” with its three blue stars. Or maybe it’s a blue guitar, with the Stella trademark—see picture. Or a blues guitar. Maybe it’s code for a real person, known only to insiders—that does seem to happen sometimes.

    One of my favorite interactions ever at a public library reference desk was when I was taking a request from a woman one day, who gave her name as Sloopy something or other. “Sloopy? Like the song?” (I may have even hummed a bar....) “Yes,” she told me. “I am Sloopy from the song. He wrote that song about me.” And I really think she was telling the truth.

    So maybe someday I will have a patron standing in front of me named Stella, and I’ll say, “Stella? Like the song?” and the same thing will happen. “Yes,” she will say. “I am Stella from the song. He wrote that song about me.”

    The Annotated Lyrics book goes on for quite some time about all the various associations with “Stella Blue” as a name, even pinpointing an actual fictional character by that name from a Vladimir Nabokov novel, Pale Fire.

    Other questions for Mr. Hunter: tell me about the character in the song—is he the broken angel? Or is that his muse? Was he a once-successful musician, or “just” a dreamer? Did he spend his life dreaming about what might be?

    I’d also like ask Hunter what he meant by “blue light cheap hotel,” exactly. I mean, I get it—I think we all do. And it’s kind of a picky thing, but I’ve never been able to find any real definition that satisfies me in terms of Hunter using the words “blue light” in relation to a cheap hotel. I have always associated this line with the famous hotel in New York City, the Chelsea, where Hunter wrote the song, according to his own note in Box of Rain.

    “Stella Blue” was first performed on June 17, 1972, at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. That show was also Pigpen’s final show with the band. They played it five shows in a row, and in the fifth show, it moved into a second set position, where it mostly remained thereafter. Its final performance was on July 6, 1995, at Riverport Amphitheatre, in Maryland Heights, Missouri. They played it in concert 328 times.

    The song was released on Wake of the Flood in October 1973.

    As seems to be always the case in Hunter’s songs, this one is character-driven, with the narrator portrayed as someone who is down and out, and who may have been so for quite some time. But there is somewhere in his past where he was, it seems, a guitarist, and the absolutely gorgeous bridge encourages this broken angel to “dust off those rusty strings just one more time,” and make them shine. The narration is ambiguous—it seems to me that the singer is encouraging himself to dust off the strings, after saying that he has stayed in all those cheap hotels. Is there a story line that accommodates two narrators? It seems to me there might be, but it is just out of reach. Again, fodder for that imagined interview with Hunter.

    In performance, “Stella Blue” could take on a number of moods, or, more likely, fit easily into a number of moods I might be bringing to the show as a listener. It could be wistful, mysterious, even angry once Garcia got to the solo. It demanded a certain degree of quiet from the audience, and, mostly, we gave that to the band. I do remember one particularly obnoxious Deadhead loudly singing “Where’s the glue?” just before the first, tender, “Stella Blue,” at the Henry Kaiser Auditorium It must be captured on an audience tape somewhere, but, I mean, really?

    For years, I thought how wonderful it would be to have this song performed by Willie Nelson. Somehow, his voice and guitar seemed perfect for the song. And then, it actually happened! As is often the case with dreams vs. reality, though, I didn’t think the recording lived up to Willie’s potential. Still, a nice thing to have.

    It occurs to me to wonder, is Stella a name many Deadheads have used for their own daughters? It’s a beautiful name—certainly right up there with Cassidy.

    361966
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By David Dodd

Here’s the plan—each week, I will blog about a different song, focusing, usually, on the lyrics, but also on some other aspects of the song, including its overall impact—a truly subjective thing. Therefore, the best part, I would hope, would not be anything in particular that I might have to say, but rather, the conversation that may happen via the comments over the course of time—and since all the posts will stay up, you can feel free to weigh in any time on any of the songs! With Grateful Dead lyrics, there’s always a new and different take on what they bring up for each listener, it seems. (I’ll consider requests for particular songs—just private message me!)

“Stella Blue”

This song represents the best reason I have to be grateful to my parents for getting me started with all those years of piano lessons. Well, maybe Beethoven and Chopin, too, but definitely “Stella Blue.” It’s a song I can lose myself in, whether listening to it or playing it myself. It delivers new layers of meaning as the years combine, and depending on the situation—true of many Grateful Dead songs, but particularly true of “Stella Blue.”

This Robert Hunter / Jerry Garcia song seems to me to constitute the apex of their joint songwriting partnership. If it were possible for me to choose one song about which I could have a focused conversation with Robert Hunter, this would be the one, without a doubt. I can think of many questions I’d like to ask him, but as always, I would fear that asking the questions and getting the answers would not be such a great idea.

For instance, there’s that perennial question, “Who (or what) is Stella Blue?” What if Hunter’s answer was “I just liked the way the words sounded together.” And that doesn’t seem entirely unlikely. As long as I don’t ask, I can be free to speculate, as we all have, listening to the song. Maybe it’s just a variant on the words “dark star,” only “blue star.” That would neatly link “Dark Star” to “Standing on the Moon,” with its three blue stars. Or maybe it’s a blue guitar, with the Stella trademark—see picture. Or a blues guitar. Maybe it’s code for a real person, known only to insiders—that does seem to happen sometimes.

One of my favorite interactions ever at a public library reference desk was when I was taking a request from a woman one day, who gave her name as Sloopy something or other. “Sloopy? Like the song?” (I may have even hummed a bar....) “Yes,” she told me. “I am Sloopy from the song. He wrote that song about me.” And I really think she was telling the truth.

So maybe someday I will have a patron standing in front of me named Stella, and I’ll say, “Stella? Like the song?” and the same thing will happen. “Yes,” she will say. “I am Stella from the song. He wrote that song about me.”

The Annotated Lyrics book goes on for quite some time about all the various associations with “Stella Blue” as a name, even pinpointing an actual fictional character by that name from a Vladimir Nabokov novel, Pale Fire.

Other questions for Mr. Hunter: tell me about the character in the song—is he the broken angel? Or is that his muse? Was he a once-successful musician, or “just” a dreamer? Did he spend his life dreaming about what might be?

I’d also like ask Hunter what he meant by “blue light cheap hotel,” exactly. I mean, I get it—I think we all do. And it’s kind of a picky thing, but I’ve never been able to find any real definition that satisfies me in terms of Hunter using the words “blue light” in relation to a cheap hotel. I have always associated this line with the famous hotel in New York City, the Chelsea, where Hunter wrote the song, according to his own note in Box of Rain.

“Stella Blue” was first performed on June 17, 1972, at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. That show was also Pigpen’s final show with the band. They played it five shows in a row, and in the fifth show, it moved into a second set position, where it mostly remained thereafter. Its final performance was on July 6, 1995, at Riverport Amphitheatre, in Maryland Heights, Missouri. They played it in concert 328 times.

The song was released on Wake of the Flood in October 1973.

As seems to be always the case in Hunter’s songs, this one is character-driven, with the narrator portrayed as someone who is down and out, and who may have been so for quite some time. But there is somewhere in his past where he was, it seems, a guitarist, and the absolutely gorgeous bridge encourages this broken angel to “dust off those rusty strings just one more time,” and make them shine. The narration is ambiguous—it seems to me that the singer is encouraging himself to dust off the strings, after saying that he has stayed in all those cheap hotels. Is there a story line that accommodates two narrators? It seems to me there might be, but it is just out of reach. Again, fodder for that imagined interview with Hunter.

In performance, “Stella Blue” could take on a number of moods, or, more likely, fit easily into a number of moods I might be bringing to the show as a listener. It could be wistful, mysterious, even angry once Garcia got to the solo. It demanded a certain degree of quiet from the audience, and, mostly, we gave that to the band. I do remember one particularly obnoxious Deadhead loudly singing “Where’s the glue?” just before the first, tender, “Stella Blue,” at the Henry Kaiser Auditorium It must be captured on an audience tape somewhere, but, I mean, really?

For years, I thought how wonderful it would be to have this song performed by Willie Nelson. Somehow, his voice and guitar seemed perfect for the song. And then, it actually happened! As is often the case with dreams vs. reality, though, I didn’t think the recording lived up to Willie’s potential. Still, a nice thing to have.

It occurs to me to wonder, is Stella a name many Deadheads have used for their own daughters? It’s a beautiful name—certainly right up there with Cassidy.

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This song represents the best reason I have to be grateful to my parents for getting me started with all those years of piano lessons. Well, maybe Beethoven and Chopin, too, but definitely “Stella Blue.” It’s a song I can lose myself in, whether listening to it or playing it myself.
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Greatest Stories Ever Told - "Stella Blue"
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This song represents the best reason I have to be grateful to my parents for getting me started with all those years of piano lessons. Well, maybe Beethoven and Chopin, too, but definitely “Stella Blue.” It’s a song I can lose myself in, whether listening to it or playing it myself.
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This song represents the best reason I have to be grateful to my parents for getting me started with all those years of piano lessons. Well, maybe Beethoven and Chopin, too, but definitely “Stella Blue.” It’s a song I can lose myself in, whether listening to it or playing it myself.

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Jerry Garcia's stage fright...he was an extremely modest person and he just couldn't ever shake it, Sugarees. Any questions? Better ask Mrs. Blue.
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This song has brought tears to my eyes, goose bumps. I love 89 miami with Bob's wounded mammoth, and Brent's "shine...shine". It speaks to me of partying all day long, and in the end still blue...It seems like all this life was just a dream "bend the "b" up a whole step". (guitar). The lyrics, and Jerry's voice...One of the best songs ever in my opinion. I think Eyes of the World, and Stella Blue use the same E chord. While both employ E major. The major/minor pull and tug. I have written a few songs.Stella Blue is world class. I just played/sang this song to my wife...For the life of me I can't play it as slow..BEAUTIFUL SONG
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one of my daughters names is Shannon. Shenandoah, Jack Straw. My friend named her daughter Stella. My daughter was born 12/16/94. Dead played with Branford. Cold Rain, So Many Roads, Childhoods End,Eternity,Eyes,LSD encore. among other songs played that night
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I remember reading or seeing an interview with Garcia where he talked about this song. I recall he said he was so proud of the chord progression... how it really had a beautiful hook. I agree. As for the meaning of the song... interesting to ponder... sometimes interesting to discuss.
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Was the name of our tour vehicle in 81 that left me somewhere by the side of the highway between Hampton Roads and Washington DC. No problemo back then, there was always another deadhead goin' down the road. But the name seemed to fit the car and the song brought all the meaning. I can't say it was a favorite. More often than not after dancing and twirling the whole show you had to stand there quiet and sweating. But it was a haunting tune that got stuck in your head. It's still in there.
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Stella Blue came into my life at the same time my wife's (dating at the time now 28 years married) mother, Stella Green passed away. Deep love! Thanks to Robert, Jerry and David Dodd for the love.
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Kim Hunter played Stella Kowalski in the 1951 film "A Streetcar Named Desire". Marlon Brando screams one of his most famous lines; "Stella !". Then underground cartoonist S.Clay Wilson creates Star Eyed Stella in Zap Comics. The album Wake of the Flood is a flawed but beautiful touchstone of 40 years ago. Garcia's unique sound and tone with pedal steel guitar on the studio version of Stella Blue cuts to the soul as a bright comet in a brilliant desert night sky. Again the Rick Griffin art work on the cover of Wake of the Flood sets the mood of the album, blues and greens and Pacific winter air.
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I always thought Stella Blue was the story of a prostitute, there's just the pavement left and broken dreams. Stayed at the Hotel Stella in Paris 90 - played Stella Blue first night; How do these things happen, also we had a piano in our room. The circle keeps getting smaller.
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Or, so it seemed to me. I always loved hearing this song but I'm not a particularly fussy Head. I loved almost all of their songs, a few a little more and a couple got a little tedious after a lot of repetition. I always interpreted Stella Blue as being a parable about life, paying dues and keepin' on Truckin' because we will survive.
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A few years back, I got a chance to see THE GRATEFUL DEAD MOVIE on the big screen! What an amazing experience that was. So many classic scenes and performances.... "Eyes of the World", "Truckin", "Playing In The Band", "Casey Jones", etc. But the performance that stand out is "Stella Blue". Probably the best version I've ever heard. Really captures the mood... slow, mysterious, classic! I just shut my eyes and let Jerry's gentle guitar leads take me to another place. I think this version was included on the universally panned (unjustified!!) LP "STEAL YOUR FACE." I frequently enjoy the entire album, and Stella Blue in particular. Man, I wish I could've attended those Winterland shows in 1974. Seems like so many decades ago....
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So maybe someday I will have a patron standing in front of me named Stella, and I’ll say, “Stella? Like the song?” and the same thing will happen. “Yes,” she will say. “I am Stella from the song. He wrote that song about me.” It would be quite possible that the patron is not referring to "Stella Blue" but rather the Amos Garrett song "Stella ain't got no brains". Sorry, I couldn't resist that!
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In my humble opinion, it's one of their best. The bridge is probably the most beautiful and poignant of any they ever played: "I've stayed in every blue light cheap hotel Can't win for tryin' Dust off those rusty strings just one more time Gonna make 'em shine..." I've stayed in some serious dump hotels in various parts of this country and world, and there's something very humbling about sitting in a dump playing your guitar as carefully as if sitting in Carnegie Hall. I probably personally relate to the lyrics of this song more than any other. They played it as nicely as you'd ever hope to hear at one of the Capital Center shows in the 90's, with Jerry alone on the side of the stage in the spotlight. Very nicely done. And as for the identity of Stella Blue, well, I trust that all will become clear when the set-lists find their final order and the whole story unfolds. Some things just have to be played out...and Space and Time are relative. It all rolls into One. My gift to You: For free. Maybe I'll find another someday. Maybe... Couldn't care less. We're outta here. And as always, the winner loses all, because there's just nothing you can hold for very long, so it had damned sure better have been worth it. "I know you, rider, gonna miss me when I'm gone, gone, gone... Gonna miss your baby from rollin' in your arms..." ...or perhaps... "Turnin' around, that's what I'm gonna do Yes, I'm goin' back home, that's what I'm gonna do..." The questing persona we encounter behind Stella Blue, Jack Straw, Black-Throated Wind and more than a few others is one and the same. And while some may think the final ending of a great quest as a time of great celebration, or maybe even some kind of fireworks-like stuff, I highly suspect it's quite more a solitary event as when that final pebble gets kicked down the road and he or she finally stops, and no doubt smiles sardonically as the realization dawns that it's finally over: finished and done. And then simply carries on. The ending of what's Past and the beginning of the Next I suspect will finally pass no more noticeable than as that: Plink. Bong. Twang. Who knows? Maybe..just maybe...that last One, whatever it was, finally hit the friggin' mark. And that's why, to this day, the music's never stopped. All of these songs played over the years by the Dead, and some others, like a roll of the I Ching, take on different meanings at different points in Time and in different contexts. That's what happens when you either manage to break or stumble into the Existential Songbook: You become a part of the Music's never ending story: an active member of the lyric, in which case - for totally subjective better or worse - you also have a say in both the Ending of this Song and the transition into the Next. Not a bad place in Time to be when you think about it. But as always, best take care: Vault's work both ways, you know. ...but then who ever listened to a broken angel singing from a guitar? Certainly not me... Peace.
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I've always thought Stella Blue was Hunter's muse. It's nice to think of the guitar as well.
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7/18/76 Orpheum . . .wonderful Stella, maybe my favorite
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lIke so many Hunter/Garcia songs, I hear the echoes of impermanence, beauty and suffering. Stella blue has always meant the Earth to me. And how “there is nothing you can hold for very long, “ including your own life, but the song (or life itself) keeps going….and going….and…..(unbroken chain anyone?)The beauty of the song hints at the beauty of our planet and how so much of history seems just the dream of others. I love playing it on guitar and it was probably one the first ballads I fell in love with. Thanks David for all the fabulous research and writings and thanks to all of you for reading my words. Peace!
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One of my all time favorites but only became so about 4 years ago. Sometimes the song is waiting for the person to need it or relate to it. I certainly have. This song to me is about life and the disappointments that are inevitable along the way. Some people have more than others but we all have them. Also that life, our attachments, and our disappointments are temporal in nature. "In the end there's still that song" - I love this because as we all know the music survives all the broken dreams and the things that we can't hold for very long. This is a very sad song, yet the song is both therapeutic and there is some hope presented with the "dust off those rusty strings one more time, gonna make em shine" line. Lastly, I can't help think of the sacrifice the musician or writer (broken angel) makes to bring us the music when I hear Stella Blue. The artist has their own pain yet channels that to create something beautiful like this song, and perform it for us. Listen to the 3/21/94 version and it will blow you away. The frailty is there yet he overcomes and channels it into one of the greatest performances of this song. Don't also miss the previously mentioned performance in the Grateful Dead Movie. Stunning.
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I must have heard this song on Wake of the Flood and/or Steal Your Face before seeing the GD Movie. But my first memory of it is from that screening. It was probably THE defining moment in my evolution as a listener. I seriously thought the band was testing the audience to see how long they could keep up this inside joke without getting pelted by tomatoes. With the help of some mind expanders, I soon saw the error of my ways and Stella Blue became one of my all-time favorite songs. Don't you just love how the chord progression is used at different cadences, depending on its function as verse, instrumental solo, or ending? I can't get enough of this song and I crave hearing it whenever I see it on a set list or CD track list.
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I agree that this is one of the best. And just as "the Doctor you grew up with" is your favorite Doctor Who, Wake Of the Flood holds a special place in my personal Dead pantheon because it was the next record released after I became a devotee. Wow, it was worth so much then and still is. What does Stella Blue mean? What does it mean to me?? Do you have a lifetime for me to even start explaining this??? One of the fun things about this song is chronicling all the possible references and meanings. Two I haven't seen mentioned are: "... that song, comes crying like the wind" - This always reminded me of Hendrix's haunting "The Wind Cries Mary." The wind can cry many things, and many times it can be a woman's name. Stephen Foster, one of the great American composers, died in a blue-light cheap hotel. He was in his bed alone, dying of a fever for days (Black Peter anyone??), at the North American Hotel at 30 Bowery, on the lower East side of Manhattan. Perhaps the use of "dream" in the lyrics to Stella Blue is a reference to Foster's "Beautiful Dreamer?"
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OK, ok ... he didn't die in the hotel, he died in a hospital. But the blue-light cheap hotel, the days of fever, and the dying alone-ness of one of America's greatest songwriters is the point here. Everyone dies alone. :)
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Let us go then, you and I,When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient etherised upon a table; Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, The muttering retreats Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels And sawdust restaurants with oyster shells [...] --T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
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No daughters, couldn't bring myself to name either of two sons Stella. What I think should be noted, though, is that after Jerry's passing either The Other Ones or The Dead played Stella Blue without vocals. Rather touching..
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Mr. Dodd - did you mean "neatly linking Dark Star to Built To Last, with its three blue stars" rather than Standing On The Moon?
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Maybe I was just too young or not paying attention, but I much preferred the Dew or Wharf Rat in the post drums slot until December 86. Coming out of a raucous Hand Jive>Aiko, the place fell silent with the start of Stella. With a rush it all sank in. The road weariness and living on borrowed time even as he was in the midst of an amazing recovery. I was hit with a wave of deep sadness in the midst of a beautiful song. Jerry belting out the "dust off" line still gets me every time. The night before was a thrilling return, but at that moment in the midst of a song I did not previously embrace, I had the understanding that our time together would be fleeting. I still miss Jerry almost every day.
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For me the supreme masterwork,timeless as all great works are,lifes sweet sadness.
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Stella Blue...since you asked, Mr. Dodd...is the name I have given to the Grief over the Death of my Father. I can't Begin to Tell You how this Song helped me to Process and Lament that Tragic Event and all of its Ramifications . "Nothing Left to See".... "Nothing You Can Hold For Very Long"... in a World full of "Lonely Streets and Broken Dreams"... "That Song Comes Crying Like the Wind." How does one Express such Deep Sorrow over the Loss of a Loved One? For Me it is to listen to Jerry sing just Two Words, as only He Could Sing Them... "Stella Blue"
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Always a favourite from the first momeent I heard it. A perfect existential meeting of words and music from the peak (or the depths depending on your mood) of a lonely, mystical and painfully beautiful place. When I first heard the version of October 21 1978 I was utterly transported as Jerry decided to cut loose and then......oh the cruelty. They patched it as best they can on Road Trips 4.1, but as the moment approaches my mood switches between ecstasy and dread. Maybe that's how it was supposed to be.
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Right. Typing too fast again...thank you for the correction. I did mean Built to Last. Sigh. Loving all the comments, stories, and poignant moments here in this series of comments. I think this song does elicit something deep. I think it could be sung in some weird Balkan language and I would still get the emotion, clear and deep, crying like the wind.
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A couple of days after Jerry left us in 95 I was walking past BB Kings in NYC and out in front they had placed this poster sized picture of Jerry playing his guitar while singing into the mic. Written under the picture were the words "A broken angel sings from a guitar." Ever since, every time I hear Stella Blue that picture pops into my head as clear as day.
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for me-Boston Garden, 10/01/94, contained an amazingly emotionally charged "Stella" from Jerry. We were not far from the Jerry side of the stage on the side and watched a frail Jerry creating an artistic triumph in those moments. Wow! For the ages.
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The librarian at our daughters' elementary school was named Stella Green. I am not good with names, but I never forgot hers.
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It is possibly worthy of note, or at least of discussion, that Stella was the name of Jack Kerouac's third wife. He married Stella in 1966, and she was his widow when he died in 1968.
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Stella was the brand of beer the band and crew had in Egypt.
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My first show, 5/5/78, during Stella Blue my buddy grabs my arm and says, "Did you see that? Did you see that?" "What?" "Great globs of blue sound coming out of the speakers!"
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this song always hit me in the soul and summed up the beautiful futility of life and as a younger man when i never wanted to get married or have kids (i mean who wants that reponsibility, there's shows to get to) i would think if i ever did have a kid it would be a girl and i would name her stella blue. for whatever reason i decided to get married when i was 38 and had a kid when i turned 42. waited to find out what we were having and in the delivery room found out it was a prfect little girl and i said "hello stella blue" she is now 4 and the light of my life and as beautiful and moving as the song. life's a trip. long strange one so i hear.p.s i think willie's version is pretty cool, more haunting even.
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For me, and I always assumed others associated "Stella Blue" with a state of mind that was drifting in and out of a sort of forlorn and somewhat spaced-out, yet concise, consciousness which can appear as deep space would appear like. I would say blue and indigo best describes what I visualized when I experienced it live, back in the day.
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Stella Blue is not just a song, it was an event that usually took place in the second set of a Grateful Dead concert. I was fortunate to experience it many times. With a stadium packed with 60,000 or so Deadheads chanting, rockin' out to let's say "The Other One" the band would turn on a dime and slow way, way, down into a Stella Blue. There was Jerry at work with his guitar, chin buried in chest, statue still, under a hot blue spot light. The audience was mesmerized to the point where you could hear a pin drop. Stella Blue.
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My take was it was about Stelazine, which in its most common dose is a blue pill I was thinking it was about a person having insight from the use of antipsychotics to help aid focus.. definitely a different take :)
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    drdann
    3 years 9 months ago
    I always thought....
    My take was it was about Stelazine, which in its most common dose is a blue pill I was thinking it was about a person having insight from the use of antipsychotics to help aid focus.. definitely a different take :)
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    SoundHound
    3 years 11 months ago
    You could hear a pin drop
    Stella Blue is not just a song, it was an event that usually took place in the second set of a Grateful Dead concert. I was fortunate to experience it many times. With a stadium packed with 60,000 or so Deadheads chanting, rockin' out to let's say "The Other One" the band would turn on a dime and slow way, way, down into a Stella Blue. There was Jerry at work with his guitar, chin buried in chest, statue still, under a hot blue spot light. The audience was mesmerized to the point where you could hear a pin drop. Stella Blue.
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    gweedo
    3 years 11 months ago
    A State of Mind
    For me, and I always assumed others associated "Stella Blue" with a state of mind that was drifting in and out of a sort of forlorn and somewhat spaced-out, yet concise, consciousness which can appear as deep space would appear like. I would say blue and indigo best describes what I visualized when I experienced it live, back in the day.
  • hornsby
    4 years 11 months ago
    my stella blue
    this song always hit me in the soul and summed up the beautiful futility of life and as a younger man when i never wanted to get married or have kids (i mean who wants that reponsibility, there's shows to get to) i would think if i ever did have a kid it would be a girl and i would name her stella blue. for whatever reason i decided to get married when i was 38 and had a kid when i turned 42. waited to find out what we were having and in the delivery room found out it was a prfect little girl and i said "hello stella blue" she is now 4 and the light of my life and as beautiful and moving as the song. life's a trip. long strange one so i hear.p.s i think willie's version is pretty cool, more haunting even.
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    bill melater
    4 years 11 months ago
    Seeing sound
    My first show, 5/5/78, during Stella Blue my buddy grabs my arm and says, "Did you see that? Did you see that?" "What?" "Great globs of blue sound coming out of the speakers!"