By Blair Jackson
Last week's quiz was harder than you thought it would be, right? (If you missed it and would like to take it without the pesky and tempting answers below, here's a link). If it makes you feel any better, there are a bunch questions on there that I would not have known if my life depended on it, and which I could not have even formulated if I didn't have my trusty copy of David Dodd's The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics sitting by my desk, or have access to my CD collection, a large library of other books and, of course, the good ol' Internet. Honestly, I do not have the lyrics to “Clementine” and “What's Become of the Baby” committed to memory.
I was always a lyrics guy, and in my early days of getting into the Dead—late '69 through '70—there was nowhere to go to find lyrics to Dead songs. The pop music mag Hit Parader wasn't printing them, and none of my friends were into the band as much as I was, so they had no interest in deciphering “China Cat” and “Doin' That Rag” off of Aoxomoxoa, or “Alligator” and “New Potato Caboose” off of Anthem of the Sun, which I had bought, along with the first album, after falling in love with Live Dead. I used to have a little notebook into which I transcribed lyrics for albums I liked. I had a mediocre stereo system (not even separate components, though the nondetachable speakers did spread out a decent distance from the central turntable with built-in amplifier) and would sit around in my basement lair (Blair's Lair?) for hours, lifting the needle on and off my records, my head between the speakers (my setup didn't even have a headphone jack!), trying to suss out lyrics as well as I could, and then writing them down. I recall doing that with Cream's Disraeli Gears, Jimi's Electric Ladyland and the first Country Joe & the Fish album, and later with Springsteen's The Wild & the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle (tough!) and several others.
What a pain, and there were always lines or phrases I simply couldn't get. On “China Cat,” I remember being stumped by what turned out to be “copper-dome bodhi,” among other phrases (“Queen Chinee”? Really? Why, yes, as it turned out!). On “Doin' That Rag,” I didn't have a clue about that little muttered falsetto transitional line about “Hipsters, tripsters, real cool chicks, sir.” The words on Workingman's Dead and American Beauty were much easier to make out, but even there I had some troubles. Like in “Sugar Magnolia”: “Jump like a ___ in 4-wheel drive.” I played it again and again and could not figure it out. It wasn't until the official songbook featuring those two albums came out in '72 or '73 that I learned the mystery word was “Willys.” And even then I had to ask around, because I didn't know that was a type of Jeep. Curse you, Hunter!
Over the years, as I met more Dead Heads and went to enough concerts where folks would sing along the correct words (“Oh, that's what that line is!), most of the troublesome lyrics became clear. But that was not enough to prevent me from making a few embarrassing slips quoting lyrics in my first book about the Dead (The Music Never Stopped, 1983) and in various articles I wrote. Usually they were amazingly simple things that I simply misheard early on and then internalized incorrectly. Example: In “Friend of the Devil,” a song I listened to thousands of times and always considered a favorite, I heard the line as “Spent the night in Utah and I came up in the hills,” and didn't see that it was “Spent the night in Utah in a cave up in the hills” until Hunter's book of lyrics, A Box of Rain, was published in the '80s. How embarrassing!
Now, of course, there are any number of places to find Grateful Dead lyrics online—my go-to is the Grateful Dead Lyric and Song Finder. And the aforementioned Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics is an invaluable resource, as is A Box of Rain, though in both of those cases, the official printed lyrics sometimes vary a bit from the way Garcia and Weir ended up singing them live. So which is correct?
In some future post, I'll talk more about great online sources for Dead info I've uncovered through the years, and also make some recommendations about which of the many books written about the Dead are worth your time.
But right now, you want answers! According to my (undoubtedly shaky) calculations, you could score a maximum of 167 points on the quiz if you answered every part of every question correctly, including those that asked for putting several items in order. I suppose you can give yourself extra credit for questions where I asked for three cats or dogs or a single crow and you thought of more.
If you scored a 167, I should humbly bequeath this blog to you for your own ruminations, as you are more knowledgeable than I. (However, you must submit to a lie-detector test to prove you're not fibbing about it!). I had thought of coming up with clever designations for other score ranges—“130-150: God Damn, Well I Declare,” “0-15: Go On Home Your Mama's Calling You”), but I don't want anyone to feel bad, nor do I want to touch off a bragging war, so at least I hope you had fun, which was the point. Oh, what the hell—brag away!
Answers are in bold type:
1. Complete these titles of Grateful Dead songs or labeled sections of songs:
a. Quadlibet for Tender Feet (Anthem of the Sun)
b. Antwerp's Placebo (Go to Heaven)
c. Sand Castles and Glass Camels (Blues for Allah)
d. At a Siding (Terrapin Station)
e. Alice D. Millionaire (1st album outtake)
f. Cardboard Cowboy (unreleased song from '66)
g. Milkin' the Turkey (Blues for Allah)
2. On which Dead album does “Serengetti” appear? Shakedown Street.
3. What Christmas-themed song did Pigpen sing half a dozen times in 1971? Chuck Berry's 1958 holiday rocker, “Run, Rudolph, Run,” written by Johnny Marks and Marvin Brodie.
4. On the first Grateful Dead album, who is credited with writing “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)”? McGannahan Sjellyfetti, which comes from the Kenneth Patchen novel, Memoirs of a Shy Pornographer (1945). The song was written collectively by the band.
5. What food does an insistent repeated chant demand in “The Barbed Wire Whipping Party”? “Meat, meat, meat, gimme my meat!” The “song” was a Dada-esque collage of voices and sounds, lyrics by Hunter, recorded during the sessions for Aoxomoxoa.
6. In which Dead originals or cover tunes would you find the following folks?
a. Joe Brown (“Beat It on Down the Line”)
b. Miss Brown (“Don't Ease Me In”)
c. Tom Banjo (“Mountains of the Moon”)
d. Scheherazade (“What's Become of the Baby”)
e. Mona Lisa (2 songs) (“Foolish Heart,” “Visions of Johanna”)
f. Shannon (“Jack Straw”)
g. Bogeyman (“I Will Take You Home”)
h. Delia-D (“Stagger Lee”)
i. Baby Louise (“Doin' That Rag”)
j. Black Madonna (“New Potato Caboose”)
k. The Mystery Killer (“When Push Comes to Shove”)
l. Murphy (“Tons of Steel”)
7. Name two Grateful Dead cover songs associated with Rev. Gary Davis. “Samson and Delilah,” “Death Don't Have No Mercy.”
8. Name two Grateful Dead cover songs associated with Noah Lewis. “New Minglewood Blues,” “Big Railroad Blues,” “Viola Lee Blues.” Lewis played guitar and harmonica and wrote songs for the late '20s/early '30s Memphis group Cannon's Jug Stompers.
9. Name two Grateful Dead cover songs associated with Will Shade. “On the Road Again,” “Stealin',” “Lindy.” Shade was the leader of the Memphis Jug Band, contemporaries of Cannon's Jug Stompers.
The Memphis Jug Band (with Will Shade; Question 9) originated “On the Road Again.”
10. During which song would Bob and Phil sometimes sing “Burn down the Fillmore, gas the Avalon”? “Alligator.” It was a playful jab at the Fillmore's Bill Graham and the Avalon Ballroom's Chet Helms, initially inserted in the song when the Dead were putting on their own shows at the Carousel Ballroom in the winter and spring of '68.
11. Which song briefly contained this opening line: “When I woke up this morning, my head was not attached”? “The Other One.”
12. What L.A. session ace played saxophone on the album version of “Estimated Prophet”? Tom Scott. He played lyricon on the song, as well. He also played on Weir's Heaven Help the Fool album.
13. Sarah Fulcher was a singer in the Merl Saunders-Jerry Garcia band for a few months. On which Grateful Dead album does Fulcher appear? Wake of the Flood.
14. In which Grateful Dead songs would you find these places?
a. Singapore Street (“Stagger Lee”)
b. Shadowfall Ward (“Lazy River Road”)
c. El Salvador (“Standing on the Moon”)
d. Muskrat Flats (“Pride of Cucamonga”)
e. Grosvenor Square (“Scarlet Begonias”)
f. Planet Earth (“One More Saturday Night”)
g. Bakersfield (“Mexicali Blues”)
h. Cheyenne (“Jack Straw”)
i. Bigfoot County (“Brown-Eyed Women”)
j. Portland (“Operator”)
k. St. Louis (“Black Throated Wind”)
15. For the birds! Which songs mention our feathered friends?
a. bluebird (“So Many Roads”)
b. whippoorwill (“Believe It Or Not”)
c. raven (“Easy to Love You”)
d. nuthatch (“Eyes of the World”)
e. seabirds (2) (“Cassidy,” “Lost Sailor”)
f. bird on a phone line (“Corrina”)
g. bird of paradise (“Blues for Allah”)
h. eagle (3) (“New Potato Caboose,” “Black Muddy River” “Liberty”)
i. cuckoo (“Sugar Magnolia”)
j. winter birds (“Doin' That Rag”)
k. crow (“Uncle John's Band,” “Mountains of the Moon”)
l. saw-whet owl (“Unbroken Chain”
Saw-whet owl, as in “Unbroken Chain.”
16. How about these other animals?
a. lion (“Lady With a Fan,” “Samson and Delilah”)
b. tiger (“When Push Comes to Shove”)
c. sperm whale (“The Eleven”)
d. rattlesnakes (“When Push Comes to Shove”)
e. dogs (3) (“He's Gone,” “Lost Sailor,” “Tennessee Jed”)
f. whitetail deer (“Just a Little Light”)
g. cat (3) (“China Cat Sunflower,” “He's Gone,” “Looks Like Rain” )
h. rat (2) (“Wharf Rat,” “He's Gone”)
i. rabbit (“Row Jimmy”)
17. Speaking of dogs, what album version of a Dead song features the sound of snarling canines? “Hell in a Bucket.”
18. Name four Dead originals that mention shotguns. “Candyman,” “Chinatown Shuffle,” “Mr. Charlie,” “When Push Comes to Shove.”
19. At what festival did Phil precede the Dead's set by saying, “Settle down and spread, 'cause it's time for breakfast in bed with the Grateful Dead!” The Us Festival, held near San Bernardino, Calif., 9/3-5/82. The Dead kicked off the 9/5 show at 9:30 a.m.
20. What was Keith Godchaux's lone songwriting contribution to a Dead album? “Let Me Sing Your Blues Away.”
21. Who “failed at war”? Esau, in “My Brother Esau.”
22. In which song did a brief interlude known as “Little Star” or “Bob Star” appear a handful of times in 1983? “The Other One.”
23. Who is Clifton Hanger? It was Brent Mydland's hotel check-in name. Without a Net is dedicated to Clifton Hanger.
24. What book did Garcia hope to turn into a film and direct? Kurt Vonnegut's The Sirens of Titan (1959).
25. Who was president of the U.S. when the Grateful Dead visited the White House? Bill Clinton.
26. Match the cover artist or photographer with the album:
1. Shakedown Street (f. Gilbert Shelton
2. Blues for Allah (g. Phillip Garris)
3. Anthem of the Sun (a. Bill Walker)
4. Live Dead (b. Bob Thomas)
5. American Beauty (h. Kelly/Mouse)
6. Built to Last (e. Ken Friedman)
7. Go to Heaven (c. Bob Seidemann)
8. Wake of the Flood (i. Rick Griffin)
9. Dead Set (d. Dennis Larkins)
27. Help Bobby make it to “The Promised Land” via the route in Chuck Berry's song. Arrange these in the correct order:
1.Birmingham 2. Houston 3. Raleigh 4. Norfolk 5. Los Angeles 6. Charlotte 7. New Orleans 8. Atlanta Norfolk, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham, New Orleans, Houston, Los Angeles.
28. Which different spinoff/solo bands did each of these guitarists play in?
a. Robbie Hoddinott (Kingfish)
b. Terry Haggerty (Too Loose Ta Truck; a Phil spinoff in '75)
c. Bobby Cochran (Bobby & the Midnites)
d. Tom Fogerty (Merl Saunders-Jerry Garcia group)
29. Can you identify the songs each of these pairs of words comes from?
a. silver dime (“Mr. Charlie”)
b. toothless crone (“New Potato Caboose”)
c. fantasy petals (“What's Become of the Baby”)
d. taste eternity (“Blues for Allah”)
e. feeling groovy (“Born Cross-Eyed”)
f. electric blue (“Cosmic Charlie”)
g. dream doll (“The Eleven”)
h. violin river (“China Cat Sunflower”)
i. amber wind (“We Can Run”)
j. cool chicks (“Doin' That Rag”)
k. ripe persimmons (“Clementine,” a rare Hunter-Lesh tune from '68)
30. On which Grateful Dead album will you find “River of Nine Sorrows,” “Magnesium Night Light” and “Post-Modern Highrise Table Top Stomp”? Infrared Roses, the 1991 “drums” and 'space” album put together by Bob Bralove.
31. Who is Courtney Love's father and how does he connect to the Grateful Dead? Hank Harrison, who briefly managed The Warlocks.
32. Which two members of the Dead play on all these songs: “Deep Wide and Frequent,” “Gran'ma's Cookies,” “Razooli,” “Skywater,” “The Eliminators”? Mickey and Jerry. The first two are from Mickey's Rolling Thunder (1972), “Razooli” is from the Diga Rhythm Band album (1976); the last two are from Mickey's At the Edge album (1990).
33. Which of these five Bob Dylan songs was never performed by Dylan with the Grateful Dead?
a. “Rainy Day Women #12 &35” b. “Don't Think Twice It's Alright” c. “John Brown” d. “It Aint Me Babe” e. “Dead Man Dead Man” d. It Ain't Me Babe.
34. What's the link between these people-Jerry Love, Paul Humphrey, Johnny De Fonseca, Daoud Shaw? All were drummers in Jerry's solo bands.
35. Who do these middle names belong to?
a. Richard (Keith)
b. Hall (Bob)
c. John (Jerry)
d. Chapman (Phil)
e. Charles (Pigpen)
f. Steven (Mickey)
36. Who was the only member of the Grateful Dead born outside of the United States? Brent, born in Munich, Germany.
37. In what city did the “Oops!” concerts take place? Amsterdam, 10/15-16/81. The band had been scheduled to play a pair of shows in France during their fall '81 Europe tour, but they were canceled, so the band flew to Amsterdam and played two shows (using rented instruments) at the Melkweg club there.
38. What do these five shows have in common: 3/23/68 (Grand Rapids), 2/10/73 (Winterland), 11/27/78 (Spectrum), 8/27/92 (Shoreline), 8/17/86 (Boreal Ridge)? They were all scheduled concerts that did not take place.
Poster for canceled Boreal Ridge
show in 1986 (Question 38).
39. At Monterey Pop, what band did Garcia introduce from the stage as “a perfect example of what the world is coming to”? Jefferson Airplane.
40. Which band members were married to these women?
a. Sara (Jerry)
b. Brenda (Bill)
c. Lori (Vince)
d. Shelley (Bill)
e. Caryl (Mickey)
f. Lisa (Brent)
g. Deborah (Jerry)
h. Jill (Phil)
i. Carolyn (Jerry)
41. In 1969, the Dead performed “Mountains of the Moon,” “St. Stephen” and “Lovelight” on which TV show? Playboy After Dark, hosted by Hugh Hefner.
42. Who described the Grateful Dead as “the antidote to the atom bomb”? Joseph Campbell, the eminent mythologist and scholar.
43. With what song did the Dead open their set at Altamont? The Dead did not perform at Altamont.
44. What was the first Grateful Dead studio album to come out on CD upon release? In the Dark (1987).
45. What bands played before and after the Dead at Woodstock? Before: Mountain; After: Creedence Clearwater Revival.
46. What member of the Grateful Dead played at Woodstock '99? Mickey, with Planet Drum.
47. Put these Garcia guitars in order of their first appearance: Tiger, Gibson SG, Wolf, Les Paul, Guild, Travis Bean. Guild, Les Paul, Gibson SG, Wolf, Travis Bean, Tiger.
48. By my count, the Dead performed 10 Beatles originals. Name them. “Hey Jude,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” “All Too Much,” “Blackbird,” “Day Tripper,” “Get Back,” “Rain,” “Revolution,” “I Want to Tell You,” “Tomorrow Never Knows.” (Remember, “That Would Be Something” is a McCartney solo song, not a Beatles tune!)
49. What was the venue that became the Fillmore East called the first time the Dead played there? The Village Theater.
50. What were the A and B sides of the first Grateful Dead single? “Don't Ease Me In” b/w “Stealin'” on Scorpio Records, 1966.