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November 13, 2012

Jerry Garcia and David Grisman - Friend of the Devil [Live] (1991)

Although he would never concede that the Grateful Dead had an official leader, Jerry Garcia was definitely the frontman leading the band. As the group’s lead guitarist and primary singer/songwriter, he led the Dead through thirteen studio albums, nine live albums, and over thirty years of successful music making. He’s been featured as a guest artist on a “who’s who” list of famous names, formed numerous successful side bands, and even put out an extensive solo library. His life was cut short by a heart attack related to years of drug abuse, but his legacy left an imprint far larger than anything that could be summarized here.

Given the nickname “Dawg” by Garcia in 1970, David Grisman has been in numerous groups since the age of eighteen. From the Even Dozen Jug Band in the Greenwich Village folk scene to the psychedelic rock group known as Earth Opera, he has always dabbled in various musical endeavors. In 1990, he founded a record label, Acoustic Disc, in an attempt to widen the popularity of folk, bluegrass, and acoustic music.

Originally released on the Grateful Dead’s 1970 album, American Beauty, this song’s music was written by Jerry Garcia and John Dawson, while the lyrics were written by Robert Hunter. After laying the original down, Robert Hunter was quoted as stating, “that was the closest we've come to what may be a classic song.” And as it turns out, it’s one of the Dead’s most covered songs, being performed by artists such as Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Elvis Costello, and many more. This version is from a soundtrack based on a documentary, Grateful Dawg, about the friendship between Jerry Garcia and David Grisman. The actual recording of the song was taken at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco, California on December 7th, 1991.

album art

Jerry Garcia and David Grisman - Friend of the Devil [Live] (1991)

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Lyrics:

I let out from Reno
I was trailed by twenty hounds
Didn’t get to sleep that night
‘til the morning came around
Set out runnin’
But I take my time
A friend of the devil is a friend of mine
If I get home before daylight
I just might get some sleep tonight

Ran into the devil, babe
He loaned twenty bills
Spent the night in Utah
In a cave up in the hills
Set out runnin’
But I take my time
A friend of the devil is a friend of mine
If I get home before daylight
I just might get some sleep tonight

Ran into the levee
But the devil caught me there
Took my twenty dollar bill
And vanished in the air
Set out runnin’
But I take my time
A friend of the devil is a friend of mine
If I get home before daylight
I just might get some sleep tonight

Got two reasons why I cry
Away each lonely night
The first ones named sweet Anne Marie
And she's my hearts delight
The second one is prison, babe
The sheriff’s on my trail
And if he catches up with me
You know I'll spend my life in jail

Got a wife in Chino, babe
And one in Cherokee
First one says she got my child
But it don't look like me
Set out runnin’
But I take my time
A friend of the devil is a friend of mine
If I get home before daylight
I just might get some sleep tonight

Got two reasons why I cry
Away each lonely night
The first ones named sweet Anne Marie
And she's my hearts delight
The second one is prison, babe
The sheriff’s on my trail
And if he catches up with me
You know I'll spend my life in jail

Got a wife in Chino, babe
And one in Cherokee
First one says she got my child
But it don't look like me
Set out runnin’
But I take my time
A friend of the devil is a friend of mine
If I get home before daylight
I just might get some sleep tonight

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