Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: Busted

Despite the longevity of some folks, the Rolling Stones for example, old rockers are dying off.

The latest happened on Monday of this week.

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Don’t know him? That’s Robert Hunter who died at the age of 78. The cause of death was not announced.

Who’s Robert Hunter, you ask? He did a lot of important work for…

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The Grateful Dead.

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Leader of the band, Jerry Garcia wanted Hunter to be part of the group, but Hunter preferred to be their lyricist and wrote many of their songs.

From San Francisco, the Grateful Dead was considered the very best psychedelic rock band that embraced that city’s counterculture. Trying to categorize the Dead is impossible since they had sounds of bluegrass, folk, blues, jazz, rock and soul.

Hunter wrote the lyrics for one of the group’s biggest hits, “Truckin'” that referred to an incident that took place on January 31, 1970, when members of the band were among 19 people arrested in a drug bust in New Orleans where the Dead were playing two shows. Later that year “Truckin'” was recorded.

“It took me a couple months to write and it maybe took ’em about half an hour to put it together,” said Hunter.

Truckin’ got my chips cashed in. Keep truckin’, like the do-dah man
Together, more or less in line, just keep truckin’ on.

Arrows of neon and flashing marquees out on Main Street.
Chicago, New York, Detroit and it’s all on the same street.
Your typical city involved in a typical daydream
Hang it up and see what tomorrow brings.

Dallas, got a soft machine; Houston, too close to New Orleans,
New York’s got the ways and means; but just won’t let you be, oh no.

Most of the cats that you meet on the streets speak of true love,
Most of the time they’re sittin’ and cryin’ at home.
One of these days they know they better get goin’
Out of the door and down on the streets all alone.

Truckin’ like the doodah man
Once told me “Gotta play your hand
Sometimes the cards ain’t worth a dime
If you don’t lay them down”

Sometimes the lights all shining on me
Other times I can barely see
Lately it occurs to me
What a long strange trip it’s been

What in the world ever became of sweet Jane?
She lost her sparkle you know she isn’t the same
Living on reds and vitamin C and cocaine
All her friends can say is ain’t it a shame

Truckin’ up to Buffalo
Been thinking you got to mellow slow
Takes time, you pick a place to go
Just keep truckin’ on

Sitting and staring out of the hotel window
Got a tip they’re gonna kick the door in again
Like to get some sleep before I travel
But if you got a warrant I guess you’re gonna come in

Busted down on Bourbon Street
Set up like a bowling pin
Knocked down, it gets to wearing thin
They just won’t let you be

You’re sick of hanging around, you’d like to travel
Get tired of traveling you want to settle down
I guess they can’t revoke your soul for trying
Get out of the door, light out and look all around

Sometimes the lights all shining on me
Other times I can barely see
Lately it occurs to me
What a long strange trip it’s been

Truckin’ I’m a going home
Whoa, whoa, baby, back where I belong
Back home, sit down and patch my bones
And get back truckin’ on

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BONUS

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Last week singer Eddie Money died in Los Angeles after battling drug and alcohol abuse.  He was 70. Money underwent heart valve surgery in the spring, canceled concert dates because of pneumonia and announced in August that he had Stage 4 esophageal cancer. He was best known for hits ‘Take Me Home Tonight’ and ‘Two Tickets to Paradise.’

Back in the 90’s I moonlighted working security backstage at the WI State Fair’s Main Stage.  I got hooked into the job when I had press credentials, and some of the backstage people whom I’d known for a long, long time asked if I would put on a bright yellow Security shirt and give them a hand.

After his evening show Money wanted to do autographs, so big long tables were set up and security staff stood by to organize the hundreds of fans. My post had me standing directly behind Money to put my flashlight on items the fans wanted signed: albums, photos, pictures, etc. On one occasion the et cetera was quite interesting.

A 40-ish woman stepped up wearing a crop top that showed a fair amount of cleavage to make it barely legal. “I’d like you to sign my boob,” she told Money. Sure enough, he agreed. As the woman leaned forward across the table, Money took his Sharpie and with the aid of my light pointed at her left breast, he gave her the autograph she requested. My hand was just as steady as Eddie. Those surrounding the scene erupted in cheers.

One thought on “Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: Busted

  1. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (09/30/19) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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