The Other One
Lyrics: Weir, Kreutzmann
Original Artist: Grateful Dead
Original Album: Anthem of the Sun (1968)
Historian: Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo)
Last Update: 2013-09-08
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.”
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Yea, Trey and Bobby just brought it to a high level. Definitely my favorite part of the show. Other One has always been a jam song, but rarely went into type 2 jams. Trey brought it there, and for that I say thanks!
This note from rec. music.gdead on the possibility of variant lyrics:
Subject: 2.2.68 - Crystal Ballroom
Date: Thu, 01 May 1997 15:56:14 -0700
F. Scott Clugston wrote:
was listenin' to this recent acquisition today and noticed some strange lyrics in TO1. The first verse goes somethin' like this:
When I woke up this morning, my head was by my side
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? and vanished overnight
I could not even spell my name, ? ? ? ? ? ?
after this they do the usual "heat come 'round and busted me for smilin' on a cloudy day". Can anybody fill in the question marks and was it ever done this way again? BTW, this is a very nice 45 minutes of deadness:
Appreciate any inputs.
firstname.lastname@example.org tapelist - http://www.enter.net/~fsc
And this answer:
Subject: 2.2.68 - Crystal Ballroom
Date: Sat, 3 May 1997 11:27:34 -0600 (MDT)
From: John and Rebecca McGraw
I don't know how good a copy you've got, but my copy from the Grateful Dead Hour isn't too comprehensible.
I have, nonetheless, noticed the odd lyrics and, thanks again to the Grateful Dead hour, have some idea of how this whole thing turns into TO1 we all know & love.
10-22-67: Deadbase doesn't even have a setlist for this, & they say the 1st Other1 is next month on 11-11. Gans played it & pointed out the lyric differences.
When I woke up this morning my head was not attached
I asked my friends about it, try to find out where its at
[inaudible]...came up inside of me, blew the dust clouds all away
The heat came 'round & busted me for smiling on a cloudy day
Well the heat down in jail they weren't very smart
They taught me how to read & write,they taught me the precious arts
When I was breaking out of jail I learned that right away
That they didn't need me telling them about smiling first and running _?_
(don't know that last word, sounds like "hey" or "hay"
When I woke up this morning with the sky in sight
I would ask the walls about it, but they vanished overnight
I could not think or spell my name or _?_ the words away
The heat came 'round & busted me for smiling on a cloudy day.
(word in 3rd line sounds like "fly" but I'm not certain what it is. 2nd verse is the familiar "escaping through the lily fields" one)
When I woke up this morning my head was not in sight....
(rest of 1st stanza is same as 11-11-67. looks like the content of the 10-22 version has been put in the rhyme scheme of the 11-11 version)
Also, on 2-3 the lyrics are the familiar ones, though the "it left a smoking crater of my mind I like to blow away" line is totally flubbed, but that could be because it wasn't stuck in Weir's mind yet, or it may not have even been written.
I'm not saying any of these transcriptions are authoritative. There's lots of intense jamming on all of these, and you have to wonder how anal Weir was about getting to the mike for the beginnings of stanzas (my guess: not at all). There's only a couple places where I'm confused, and those are marked.
Gotta love that Grateful Dead hour!
since i do consider myself an authority on the tune, here are, what i consider, to be the top 10 versions of the song (in no particular order):
of course, these ten are more or less subjective but, I PROMISE, you won't be disappointed by any of them!!!!!!
Timings for every known version of The Other One.
A guide to 1976-79 versions.
From one review at the latter link: One of the spacier Other Ones of '77, this one meanders around for a while, dominated by Jerry's persistent noodling - the band keeps threatening to actually start the song, but Jerry's out in the zone, so eventually they drop out and let him drift in the clouds by himself for a few minutes. Then suddenly, they storm back in and do a hot & furious verse with Jerry turning on the distortion, quite the change in dynamics, before cooling things down again for Stella Blue.
If you're looking for one big difference between the Dead and Phish, there you go: 'persistent noodling.'