Bob Weir – Black Throated Wind (1972)

February 6, 2020 – Day 228

Bob Weir and John Perry Barlow’s writing partnership allegedly began due to a fight between Weir and The Grateful Dead’s primary lyricist, Robert Hunter. Hunter apparently didn’t like when Weir would improvize lyrics on stage, preferring Jerry Garcia and Weir to stick to his written word. One of these incidents in 1971 was the final straw for Hunter and he told Barlow: “take him – he’s yours.” This lead to some great music that became a big part of the Grateful Dead’s live show including a handful off of Weir’s first solo album which featured the entire band and 5 Barlow/Weir compositions including “Black Throated Wind”, a song about breaking off a relationship and hitting the road. He’s trying to hitch a ride home cross country but no one will pick him up and that gives him plenty of time to think about his life which gives us some classic lyrics. Barlow named his memoir “Mother American Night” after a line in the song. “Black throated wind, keeps on pourin’ in / With it’s words of a life where nothing is new / Ah, mother American night, I pass from the light / Ah, I’m drownin’ in you.”

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