The Other One
Music/Lyrics: Weir, Kreutzmann
Original Artist: Grateful Dead
Original Album: Anthem of the Sun (1968)
Historian: Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo)
Last Update: 2015-06-05
An homage to the adventurous Neal Cassady and “adventure” in general, “The Other One” is known to have been covered by Phish on only one occasion (5/3/85, Page’s first show), though it is possible that it was a more regular part of the band’s early repertoire than we know. Coming out of an early “Antelope” jam, “The Other One” performed by Phish was based on Bob Weir’s contribution to the “That’s it for the Other One” suite. This only known recorded version (listen) takes place in a set that features a full forty minutes of Phish jamming on Dead covers (a 25-minute “Scarlet,” “Eyes” opens this third set) and is an interesting window into the band’s early days. Nothing played here is ever going into the pantheon of great performances of this legendary cornerstone improvisational rock and roll vehicle, but it is certainly worth checking out. While not a full performance, “The Other One” was also jammed at about the 11-minute mark during the 11/23/85 “Whipping Post.”
The 4/17/99 Phil and Phriends show with Trey and Page contained a serious “Other One” jam out of the second set “Dark Star,” though this was abruptly abandoned by Phil. The first full performance of “The Other One” by members of Phish and the Dead together would have to wait until 2/12/06 at the Beacon, the evening after an epic two feet of snow had descended on the NY metro area. While the city dug out, Trey, Phil and his friends did their part to melt the snowfall on the upper west side by igniting a second set inferno that featured an hour-long segment of “Cryptical” > “Dark Star” > “The Other One” > “Dark Star.” Don’t miss this one, get the recordings!
“The Other One” made one appearance with Trey during the Duo/GRAB/Phil & Friends 2006 summer tour, on 7/7/06 at Jones Beach, and then again on 10/28/06 as an instrumental at the Orleans Arena in Vegas as part of the “Phil & Trey” Vegoose at Night gig.
Almost seven years would pass before Trey took another crack at “The Other One,” on 9/7/13 with Furthur at the LOCKN’ Festival. After performing with TAB earlier in the evening, Trey joined Phil, Bobby and the rest of Furthur for an awesome segment (that followed a performance of Workingman’s Dead in its entirety, with Trey joining for that album’s concluding “Casey Jones”) including an “Other One” jam that saw Trey feeding off Bobby resulting in an explosive syncopated jam that was the easy highlight of the show, which was then wound down to space before building up for the second verse and thrilling conclusion.
For those wondering what Mike Gordon might sound like dropping bombs (and providing lead vocals!) in “The Other One,” you are in luck! There are a full dozen instances of Mike performing the song as part of Mickey Hart’s Rhythm Devils project, including 4/19/06 at New York’s Canal Room, 10/17/06 Harrisburg (sharing lead vocals with Jen Durkin), or 12/1/06 at the Warfield with guest Bob Weir. For the “Other One” Mike Gordon completist, don’t miss renditions by Gordon, Kreutzmann & Kimock on 9/21/07 from One Love Gardens, Kilauea, Kauai, HI; Gordon, Kreutzmann & Murawski on 1/5/08 from DoceLunas, Jaco, Costa Rica; or 6/3/08 at Burlington’s Higher Ground when Mike sat in on the song with Dark Star Orchestra.
A review of notable versions of “The Other One” by the Grateful Dead and their component member projects is far beyond the scope of this writing, but be sure to visit The Grateful Dead Clubhouse Project’s The Best Of The Other One, or for those seeking deeper meaning in the song, check out David Dodd’s excellent Annotated “That’s It For The Other One.”