Marijuana Policy Project

New Grateful Dead Video from 1987: 'West L.A. Fadeaway'

The Grateful Dead's most successful album commercially, In the Dark, reached No. 6 on the charts thanks to the No. 9 hit single, "Touch of Grey." The Dead's second-to-last studio album, released in 1987, also had several other singles that didn't crack the Top 40: "Hell in a Bucket," "Throwing Stones" and "West L.A. Fadeaway."

A live rendition from 1987 of the latter song, part of the "All the Years Live" series, has been released by the Grateful Dead. According to band archivist David Lemieux, "From the final show of the Summer Tour of 1987, the last Dylan & The Dead show, this mighty version of ‘West L.A. Fadeaway’ shows why it was such a popular Jerry first set song.” It was recorded at Anaheim Stadium in July 26, 1987.

Jerry Garcia played his Tiger guitar that night. Note his middle finger.

Written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter, the bluesy number goes, in part:

Looking for a chateau
Twenty one rooms but one will do
Looking for a chateau
Twenty one rooms but one will do
I don't want to buy it
I just want to rent it for an hour or two

Met an old mistake
Walking down the street today
Met an old mistake
Walking down the street today
I didn't want to be mean about it
But I, I didn't have one good word to say

West L.A. fade-away
West L.A. fade-away
Little red light on the highway
Big green light on the speedway, hey, hey, hey

The Dead also had hits with "Truckin'" (No. 64, 1970), "Alabama Getaway" (No. 68, 1980), "Uncle John's Band" (No. 69, 1970), "The Music Never Stopped" (No. 81, 1975) and "Sugar Magnolia" (No. 91, 1973).

For more "All the Years Live" videos and Grateful Dead content, go to YouTube.

Jerry Garcia's Official Military File Called Him "Immature" and "Irresponsible"

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.