"If you tell the Truth, you don't have to remember anything"
-Mark Twain
"You realize, of course, that everything I say is horseshit." -Kurt Vonnegut

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

FRIEND OF THE NJ DEVIL

On June 24, 1995, the New Jersey Devils won their first Stanley Cup.  They shockingly defeated the heavily favored Detroit Red Wings in a four game sweep.
On this night the Grateful Dead played the first of a two night run at RFK Stadium in Washington DC, with Bob Dylan as their opening act.  The show featured HERE, exhibits the final performance of "Friend of the Devil", which was nicknamed "Friend of the NJ Devil".
Bruce Hornsby sat in with the band for the last time.  His tasteful piano runs spruce up a tired Garcia, resulting in a pretty inspired show for 1995.  This night also featured the return of "Black Muddy River," absent from performances for four years and also, the last song Jerry Garcia ever sang.
The following night, Jerry came out and guested with Bob Dylan, his final non-Grateful Dead appearance.  After Jerry died, Bob Dylan started performing "Friend of the Devil" in live sets.  Although Dylan has never recorded a studio version of the song plenty of other artists have gravitated to it.  On iTunes you can find version of "Friend" by Jorma Kaukonen, Tom Petty, Counting Crows, and the death metal group Ministry live at the Bridge School Benefit.
Robert Hunter called "Friend of the Devil" the closest that he and Garcia ever came to writing a "classic" song, one of those songs that when they come on the radio you just want to turn it off, like "Bridge Over Trouble Water" or "Hotel California" (I hate that song more than The Dude.)  The funny thing is that Hunter wrote it for the New Riders of The Purple Sage.  John Dawson wrote the melody to the original Hunter lyrics.  They brought the song to Jerry who added the rift and then asked Hunter to write a bridge for the song.  He wrote "Got two reasons why I lie awake each night" and as they played it Dawson said he realized that it wasn't a New Riders song anymore.
The New Jersey Devils, who were formally the Colorado Rockies and before that the Kansas City Scouts, have since gone on to win two more Cups and never play "Friend of the Devil" at their home games. 

I can be followed on twitter @potvinrocks


2 comments:

  1. Very interesting?? HOw do you know all of this?

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    Replies
    1. Its funny the things we all remember

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