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August 25, 2014 / thackersam

August 24 – Grateful Dead – Workingman’s Dead

Workingman's DeadFor those of you who may not think I gave American Beauty a proper amount of attention, please be aware that I am now able to sing along with much of “Truckin’” and fumble through several other verses as well as some of the other familiar songs. I still don’t know what to do between “Ripple” and “Truckin’” on side two, but for the most part, side one makes for a lovely aerobic workout and mindless fun. So I will put up with side two while I’m on my back, knowing that it all leads to “Truckin’,” the song that accompanies me now on my walks to and from work.

The same cannot be said for Workingman’s Dead. In this album’s case, I have no interest in what is between the very first and the very last songs. It begins with “Uncle John’s Band,” which I always thought was Come Here Uncles John’s Band, like – “Hey. Uncle John’s Band! Get yourselves over here,” instead of Come Hear… It ends with “Casey Jones.” I can appreciate the repetition of the phrase “don’t murder me,” in one of the never-heard by me songs, plus the fact that they add “please don’t murder me,” because politeness always counts (I will leave it up to you to research LSD advocate Timothy Leary’s response to how he felt about Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign). But then there’s another song that repeats an ever-so irksome single note guitar twang that I can only describe as cringe-worthy. Don’t get me wrong, I thing the popular Grateful Dead songs are quite deserving of their eternal popularity status, and I find that I can easily sing in the key of Jerry Garcia (and of course, in Bob Weir in “Truckin’”). Maybe if all the albums were of the caliber of American Beauty, I could be more of a Dead fan. I do think they can survive without me. I don’t doubt though that a best-of CD will be added to that now growing collection and will be listened and exercised to often.

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