Grateful Dead: “U.S. Blues”

ALBUM: From the Mars Hotel

YEAR: 1974

WRITERS: Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter

From the Mars Hotel yielded only one single, which didn’t chart.

The late comic John Belushi was a fan of the Grateful Dead and wanted to join them onstage a few days before the band’s second appearance on SNL. Drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart remember what happened when they played “U.S. Blues” at the old Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey in the spring of 1980. Kreutzmann: “Belushi wanted to sit in on ‘U.S. Blues.’ He wanted to come in and sing the chorus. And somebody in the band didn’t want him to do that, but he did it anyway and the whole place was just in a gut laugh. And I saw a picture back from that and I look over and there’s Mickey laughing his head off and everyone smiling like crazy. It was one of the most fun things I ever saw.” Hart: “He cartwheeled on the stage and he wound up right at the microphone for the beginning of the first line.”

Drummer Mickey Hart joined the Grateful Dead on September 29th, 1967.


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