a Project of the Mockingbird Foundation

Performances Song History Lyrics

Help on the Way

Music/Lyrics: Garcia, Hunter

Original Artist: Grateful Dead

Original Album: Blues For Allah (1975)

Debut: 1986-04-01

Historian: Chris Bertolet

Last Update: 2011-12-25

Trey was eight years old when The Grateful Dead composed this daunting musical pairing. But with its time signature trickery and snaking melodies, “Help/Slip” may be the most Phishy sounding piece of music in the Dead’s repertoire, so it seems natural that the band chose to cover it in an early gig at Hunt’s.

With precious few exceptions, the Dead’s live renditions of “Help/Slip” dropped neatly into “Franklin’s Tower” (see the band’s One From The Vault release for the flawless and inspiring 1975 debut of the entire suite). Phish’s only known reading of “Help/Slip,”on the other hand, features some intensely creative jamming before plummeting into “AC/DC Bag.”

Though Phish hasn’t revisited “Help/Slip,” Page and Trey accompanied Phil Lesh & Friends on a wickedly melodic version at the Warfield on 4/16/99. To no one’s surprise, “Franklin’s Tower” (and not “AC/DC Bag”) followed. Trey has performed the "Help/Slip/Franklin's" trifecta with Lesh and his varying lineup no less than four times since.

Grateful Dead "Help on the Way" -> "Slipknot!" 3/24/90 Albany, NY

Submit notes/corrections

Login Register