Grateful Dead

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JackstrawfromColorado's picture
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starsleeper

Its all good. I probably totally mis-understood your post but the only reason I mentioned anything at all is because it sounded like an accusation -

"Do you guys approve of that sort of thing? Are child murderers your friend? That's what that song says. Maybe they're just fine musicians but not very bright. When you sing "without love in the dream it'll never come true" do you mean it?"

I apologize for taking your comment the wrong way. Peace be with you...

"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."

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sorry you feel that way

It was not my intention to make people think I was accusing Bobby of anything and if I had even the slightest belief that might be true I would not be here. I wish I had phrased things differently. I was more pissed that they played it while the Persuasions were there but who knows, maybe one of them requested it. My little hissy fit got the best of me but I've learned to loosen up, hell, I'd bet Bobby would play that song if the Pope was at the show.

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Yeah I definitely

Do not want to downplay the kidnapping and murder of a little girl, I have a 5 year old daughter myself so that kind of news hits me hard. But i don't think its fair to accuse Bob Weir of supporting child murderers because he played FOTD.

"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."

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hey starsleeper

I came across kind of harsh, sorry about that. What you said just hit a nerve in me. I work with emotionally disturbed children, a good portion who have been abused so I have some pretty deep feelings about this whole topic. I see this pain every day. And though I do recognize and study the dark side in the world, I look for light and joy too. Peace.

If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
William Blake

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Anytime starsleeper, my mind gets cluttered too, and I need

some help moving all that accumulated cerebral baggage.
I have found that my friends help me, with that heavy lifting.
Take care

The Truth is realized in an instant, the act is practiced step by step.

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if the thunder don't get ya then the lightning will...

Thanks for your thoughts you guys, nothing like free psychiatric help. You helped me to remember how in my younger days I used to like that song a lot and didn't think twice about the lyrics. I still think it's a catchy tune and will play it on guitar, I just have to change the lyrics in the chorus from Devil to Jesus or Jerry or something so I don't feel, from my point of view, that I'm praising something I shouldn't be. God bless you all for putting up with me.

Keep on rollin, just a mile to go

JackstrawfromColorado's picture
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I just think

That people take things too seriously in this day and age. It's not always a conspiracy you know? Like Hal said its just fiction, stories about American history you know .. the wild west?? Is it just now dawning on you that the Grateful Dead have many dark songs in their library?

"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."

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The dark hearts that harbor ill will toward our children

and regularly prey upon us all, have nothing to do with this band and their music.

I am sorry for your struggle in associating this tune with that recent abomination against that little girl, her family, and humanity.

To quote Stephen Peters "of all the Faustian characters who have sold their souls to Lucifer throughout the last 200 years, none can compare to the perpetually-fleeting rogue found in "Friend of the Devil. A hapeless and far-from-ethical character, his winding path of escape takes us from Reno to Utah and the to California, from Chino to Cherokee, before we lose trak of him in the space of a few minutes" (The Stories Behind Every Grateful Dead Song 1965-1995 What a Long Strange Trip).

But the character in Friend of the Devil is not the only 'outlaw' image in music (as Hal said), much less in the GD tunes, and if you start avoiding all references to morally flawed characters, you will lose out on Jack Straw, Mexicali Blues>Me & My Uncle, etc. etc. Even Delilah has some bad plans in store for Samson, but Rev. Gary Davis gives us that song not to revile her, but to see that tension between the dark and the light, the good and the bad, sorrow and joy. Can we know one without the existance of the other?

The Grateful Dead take us on similar jaunts. I believe that is often the point of 'the telling the tale': to shine a light, assist us to see what we may miss, to use the image, the metaphor to create the mood, and create that moment where greater understanding, knowing, experiencing can occur at a different/greater/deeper level. What would be the answer to the answer man?

Take a listen to 'The Wheel' or 'I Know You Rider' or 'Box Of Rain' or 'Touch of Grey' or 'St. Stephen' or 'St. Of Circumstance' or "Unbroken Chain" or "Attics of My Life" or "Uncle John's Band" (or many other tunes in the Dead's library) for some balance with this morbid rumination about the Friend of the Devil.

Or next time that song is played at a show, maybe step out for some air, if for no other reason that to not miss out on the rest of the show ;o}

And take care of your heart.
It sounds like it is aching a bit.
Peace.

The Truth is realized in an instant, the act is practiced step by step.

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starsleeper

peace to you

interesting what our likes and dislikes are in this community, but we all share a love of the music

Robert Hunter states on this song from an interview in Relix that he is quoted from in "The Complete Annotated Dead Lyrics "I like "Friend of the Devil", I thought that was the closest we've come to what may be a classic song."

There is a whole tradition in the folklore about blues music at least starting with Robert Johnson and maybe before about making a deal with the Devil and I think this Dead song incorporates some of that. Classic stuff and Hunter digging deep in the roots in the blues and western (cowboy) music. This song to me seems to be a meeting of these traditions.

If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
William Blake

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tough love

I'm not accusing the band of anything, that was rhetorical, I just got the U.S. Blues and I guess I can't stand that song. The last time I saw em play it was in 04 and it depressed me so much I walked out of the show. Bobby and the band have been real nice not playing it at the shows I'm at I'm sorry to have been a little negative as they just finished an awesome tour.
But too late to take it back! :(

If this was love then how would I know?

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