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Fri Sep 22, 2017, 04:10 PM

How Cops, Pills and Parties Inspired the Grateful Deads Truckin

In 1969 and early ’70, the Grateful Dead was on a grueling national tour and staying at budget hotels to save money. Their song, “Truckin’,” detailed the band’s travels—and their troubles—during those months.

Recorded for the Dead’s “American Beauty” album in September 1970, “Truckin’ ” was released two months later as an edited single and peaked at #64 on Billboard’s pop chart. When FM radio embraced the song’s longer album version, it became a counterculture anthem.

Recently, Bob Weir, the Grateful Dead guitarist and lead singer and the co-writer of “Truckin’,” talked about the song’s evolution. Mr. Weir was just named a U.N. Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador for world poverty and climate change, and his band, Dead & Company, will tour this fall. Edited from an interview:



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