Monday, February 23, 2009

Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile

The graphic at left, in whatever form, is called a STEALIE. It was designed by none other than Stanley Owsley himself. [EDIT, in comments, Doc Anchovy has helpfully pointed out that I reversed the famous acid-chemist's name, which is Owsley Stanley. His acid was named simply "Owsley"--so I tend to forget that was not his surname. --Daisy]

The word "stealie" comes from the line "steal your face right off your head"--a trick only Deadheads know how to do. :)

The line is at 1:10 and 5:30 in the following song, if you don't want to listen to the whole thing.

Recorded in 1972 in Denmark. Once again, Bobby looks about 14. Phil, about 16. (Jerry was born looking 40... sigh.)

He's Gone - Grateful Dead

I hope the last thing I ever hear on this planet is the reedy, tweedly-tweedly introductory-riff of this song. I have probably heard it 50,000 times, and yet, the riff embeds itself DEEP into my cerebral cortex and makes me SMILE SMILE SMILE just like a Stealie. :D

I have always loved the fact that the song makes no rational sense. Life isn't always sensible, you know!

The second line is the name of my archives (sidebar at right) also. I thought naming it simply "archives" was boring.

For you old Ms. message-board denizens, my name on Ms. was...

China Cat Sunflower - Grateful Dead

It is considered musical blasphemy that the previous clip does not automatically segue into I Know You Rider--they were always performed together and therefore known as "China/Rider" by fans. (YouTube is too TIME-LIMITED to contain the magical force that was the Grateful Dead!)

Someone helpfully continued the second half (the full China/Rider, containing finale, here):

I Know you Rider - Grateful Dead

Listen to the signature loop-de-loop riff that signals the song's end, no matter how long they jam. It's at about 4 minutes. Rumbly, doodle-doodle bass by Phil, with the transcendent riff sliding right over it. It's traced on my cerebellum forever!

And yeah, you're right, we do miss you, Grandpa Jerry. At least we can still listen.



Annie said...

my face was stolen long ago, and i have never regretted it for a minute!

JoJo said...

Mine too. Shredded as well.

kenneth newby said...

always wondered y its called a stealie

2nd song = very nice ending

Jason B. said...

Great songs - always good to hear old recordings from back when Pigpen was still around. I always love it when I'm listening to a show and he has to get the crowd to play "take a step back."

sheila said...

Timeless, ageless. Will live on.

mikeb302000 said...

I didn't know about your icon or what it was called. I just figured it was some Grateful Dead thing. Thanks for the explanation.

Doc Anchovy said...

Um, the guy's name is Owsley Stanley 3rd, a.k.a. "Bear".

ArrogantWorm said...

Reminds me of a book I got from my grandmother for christmas, it's a complation of an artist,has a lot of the Greatful Dead imagery, along with a few other song-groups and old posters. Tempted to reproduce a few, they're very pretty. Lots of lost faces there.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Yeah sorry, I always get his name reversed unless I remember he is Augustus Owsley Stanley III which was his whole given name, as well as his grandfather-the-governor's name. (I've always found it utterly incredible that his grandfather was the governor of Kentucky!) I think of "Owsley" as his last name due to the name of his acid. Which probably left a few side effects, like um, forgetfulness! :P

Hey Doc, how you been? And where do you get all those cool headers for your blog?

Gina said...

I've been reading Searching for the Sound and I love those old photos of the band looking so young.

Zoooma!! said...

In 20+ years, over 500 times China->Rider was played but a good dozen or so times there was actually China Cat-> something else. This was mostly in '69 when China Cat was making it's earliest appearances in a Dead show setlist. Soon enough China->Rider become the norm... but twice in the 80's, the Dead did something that I'm guessing had a whole lotta Heads wondering how much acid they just took: they played China Cat-> something else. Completely out of the blue. The first time in '85 was after a decade and a half of China-Riders... so who had any idea what they were about to hear!?! First it was China-> Cumberland and then a few years later they played the trick on everyone one more time, this time with China Cat-> Crazy Fingers-> Rider. While the beauty of China-> Rider is something I never take for granted, the idea of throwing the crowd for such a loop is something that makes this band so magical!

Cool post!