Friend Of The Devil

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia, John Dawson

The Dead song most covered by other people since it was first released on "American Beauty."

I lit out from Reno, I was trailed by twenty hounds (note a)
Didn't get to sleep that night till the morning came around

Chorus
Set out running but I take my time
A friend of the devil is a friend of mine
If I get home before daylight I just might get some sleep
Tonight

I ran into the devil babe, he loaned me twenty bills
I spent the night in Utah in a cave up in the hills

[chorus]

I ran down to the levee but the devil caught me there (note b)
He took my twenty dollar bill and vanished in the air

[chorus]

Got two reasons why I cry away each lonely night
The first one's named sweet Anne Marie and she's my heart's delight
Second one is prison baby, sheriff's on my trail (note c)
And if he catches up with me I'll spend my life in jail

Got a wife in Chino babe, and one in Cherokee
First one says she's got my child but it don't look like me

[chorus]
Notes
(a) in very early versions (eg 3 April 1970), Jerry sang "I set out from Reno, I was trailed by thirty hounds.
(b) in some early versions, Jerry sang a different verse:
I went to the levee but the devil caught my scent
So I coughed two hundred bills to pay back what was lent
(c) in early versions (eg 3 April 1970), Jerry sang "sheriff's on my tail" rather than "... on my trail"

Robert Hunter wrote another verse that he performed himself (eg on "Jack O' Roses"). See also
below for the evolution of Robert Hunter's lyrics into their final form.
You can borrow from the devil, you can borrow from a friend
But the devil will give you twenty, when your friend got only ten
Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     studio 1971 American Beauty   (note 1)
     18 Apr 1970 Family Dog at the Great Highway
      2 May 1970 Dick's Picks Vol 8
     15 May 1970 Road Trips Vol 3 No 3 (early show)
     15 May 1970 American Beauty (late show) (note 2)
      7 Jun 1970 30 Days Of The Dead (2011)
      1 Jul 1970 Festival Express (DVD) (note 3)
     17 Sep 1972 Dick's Picks Vol 23
     21 Sep 1972 Dick's Picks Vol 36
     27 Sep 1972 Dick's Picks Vol 11
     28 Sep 1976 Dick's Picks Vol 20
     10 Oct 1976 Dick's Picks Vol 33
     30 Apr 1977 Download Series Vol 1
     13 May 1977 May 1977 Box Set
     18 May 1977 30 Days Of The Dead (2013)
      7 Jun 1977 Winterland June 1977 - The Complete Recordings
      3 Sep 1977 Dick's Picks Vol 15
     24 Apr 1978 Dave's Picks Volume 7
     11 May 1978 Dick's Picks Vol 25
     31 Dec 1978 The Closing Of Winterland (DVD & CD)
      5 Nov 1979 Road Trips Full Show: Spectrum 11/5/79
     26 Dec 1979 Dick's Picks Vol 5
     Sep-Oct 1980 Dead Set
     24 Jul 1987 View From The Vault IV (CD soundtrack only)
      2 Jul 1989 All The Year's Combine (DVD bonus disc)
     16 Jun 1990 View From The Vault III (video/DVD & CD soundtrack)

Recordings from dead.net Tapers Section

"The Dead" Concert Recordings

Ratdoglive CDs and downloads

Phil Lesh and Friends Digital Download Series

Furthur Digital Downloads and CDs

Bob Weir Solo Acoustic Live!

Weir-Robinson-Greene Trio Live!

Mickey Hart Downloads

Scaring The Children Downloads
 
Dead-related Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     17 Nov 1975 Jerry Garcia Collection, Volume 2: Let It Rock Jerry Garcia Band
     29 Jul 1977 Pure Jerry: Theater 1839 Jerry Garcia Band
     28 Feb 1986 Pure Jerry: Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium Jerry Garcia/John Kahn
      1980 Jack O'Roses Robert Hunter
      7 Dec 1991 Grateful Dawg Garcia/Grisman (DVD and CD)
     Spring 1991 Garcia/Grisman Garcia/Grisman (note 5)
      1992 Nightfall Of Diamonds Tom Constanten
     15 Sep 1993 Live On Letterman Garcia & Grisman
     25 Jul 1998 The Strange Remain The Other Ones
      5 Jun 1999 Love Will See You Through Phil Lesh & Friends
      1999 4th Annual Gathering On The Mountain Tom Constanten
      2000 Grateful Dreams Tom Constanten
     25 Apr 2001 Live At The Roseland Ratdog
     12 Jun 2001 KFOG Live From The Archives 8 Phil Lesh & Friends
      2012 Bryan Stow Benefit Concert Tim Flannery with Bob Weir (DVD)
     2013 Move Me Brightly Bob Weir et al (DVD - bonus track)
 
Tribute Albums
     Date Album Recorded By
     1991 Deadicated Lyle Lovett
     1996 Long Live The Dead Billy & Terry Smith
     1997 Pickin' On The Grateful Dead David West et al
     1999 Swingin' To The Grateful Dead Steve Marsh et al
     ?1999 Stolen Roses Bob Dylan
     2000 Dead Grass Vasar Clements et al
     2000 Wake The Dead Danny Carnahan et al
     2001 Blues Tribute To The Grateful Dead Various (Langhorne Slim)
     2001 Gifts From The Dead Gifts From The Dead
     2002 Electronic Tribute To The Grateful Dead Various (Radha Kali)
     2003 Ukelele Summit 5 Various (Ka'Au Crater Boys)
     2003 Grateful Guitar David Cullen
     2005 Jerry Jams, Jerry Cares C Lanzbom
     2011 The Wheel: A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia Jesse McReynolds, David Nelson et al
 
Covers By Other Artists
     Date Album Recorded By
     1971 Don't Drag It On Chris Smither
     1979 Done Gone Band Done Gone Band
     1979 South Loomis Quickstep South Loomis Quickstep
     1980 Painted Lady Knoxville Grass
     1992 Desperados Waiting For The Train Texas Lone Star
     1992 Keep On Keepin' On New Riders Of The Purple Sage
     1993 Live In Japan New Riders Of The Purple Sage
     1994 Bridge School Concerts Ministry
     1996 Friends Of Mine Rambling Jack Elliot (with Bob Weir)
     1996 Another Way To Find You Chris Smither
     1997 Valley Style Ka'Au Crater Boys
     1997 Live In Japan Mike Wilhelm
     1998 Travel The Gravel The Kruger Brothers
     1999 Too Many Years Jorma Kaukonen
     1999 [self titled] Rice, Rice, Hillman & Pedersen
     1999 Out Among The Stars Modern Hicks
     1999 4th Annual Gathering On The Mountain Tom Constanten
     1999 Sawin' On The Strings Tabasco Donkeys
     1999 Live Jorma Kaukonen Trio
     1999 Halfway Home Sno Rogers
     2000 Pour Me Another Cup Of Coffee Recidivists
     2000 Lost Marbles Lost Marbles
     200? Drunk At The Stone Ballroom Love Seed Mama Jump
     200? Don't Mind The Rain Jessica Bryan
     200? The Privateers The Privateers
     200? Live At The Crow's Nest: Eleven O'Clock Set Darrell Lawhorne
     200? No Matter Of Age Schluff Jull
     2001 Against The Grain Mountain Laurel
     2001 Re-Alliance Bluegrass Alliance
     2001 Take Cover Andrew Freeman
     2002 CoolTur The Hellbillies
     2002 The Danny Thompson Band Live Danny Thompson Band
     2002 Pickin' & Grinnin' South Austin Jug Band
     2002 Stopgap Mentalward
     2002 Outside The Lines Cory Morrow
     2003 Pass The Chicken Wine Murphy's InLaws
     2003 Live! The Rhumb Line Tom Eaton and Pick 3
     2003 Unreleased Cutz and Live Jamz Mouldy Peaches
     2003 Films About Ghosts Counting Crows
     2004 Texacousticana Guy Schwartz and The New Jack Hippies
     200? Land of the Cover Band: "Live" Vol 1 Paul Rader
     2005 Just Add Salt Mike Aiken
     2005 It Ain't The Years Duke City Swampcoolers
     2006 Empire Mentone
     2006 Life And Hard Times Of Guy Terrifico (Soundtrack) Various Artists
     2006 Test Of Time Lalla Rookh
     2007 Blackjack Live! Blackjack
     2007 Time Machine Outta Scope
     2007 Live from Austin, TX Cory Morrow
     2007 Settin' the Table, Company's Comin' Stringin' Along
     2008 Signs Joseph Cipriano
     2008 Revolution and Revelations Hot Ham and Cheese
     2008 Live At The San Gregorio General Store Gary Gates Band
     2009 Turning Point Steve Kimock & Friends
     2009 Live At Pineapple Willy's Ben Prestage
     2009 The Live Anthology Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
     2010 Full Circle Roger Kardinal
     2010 Use Your Hands Connor Desai
     2010 Cake On Cake Tail
     2010 Spiral Dave Wilson Quartet
     2012 Buck Satan & 666 Shooters Bikers Welcome Ladies Drink Free
     2013 Echoes Of The Outlaw Roadshow Counting Crows

Notes
(1) also on the compilations Skeletons From The Closet and The Very Best Of The Grateful Dead
(2) included as a bonus track on remastered album, first released as part of the box set The Golden Road (1965-1973). Also released on Road Trips Vol 3 No 3
(3) this is only a fragment, recorded at a free concert in Toronto
(4) versions of "Friend Of The Devil" are on various of String Cheese Incident's "On The Road" releases.
(5) alternate take also available as a download.

Background
The lyrics changed somewhat during the development of the song. This is the version in Robert Hunter's handwritten lyrics:
I lit out from Reno, baby, trailed by twenty hounds
I didn't stop that night, or till the next one came around

I ran into the devil, baby, he loaned me twenty bills
I stayed that night in Utah in a cave up in the hills

I walked out on a levee, baby, the devil found me there
Said don't forget that twenty, babe, and vanished in the air

I snuck back into Reno, baby, parlayed fifty cents (note 5)
Made it to five thousand, babe, and paid back what was lent
There is a also a poor-quality recording of John Dawson singing this in a studio in 1969 (probably with Robert Hunter and some members of the Dead):
I lit out from Reno, I was trailed by twenty hounds
Didn't stop to sleep that night till the morning came around

I ran into the devil, baby, he loaned me twenty bills
I went to sleep in a bed that night in a cave up in the hills

I ran down to the levee but the devil caught my scent
So I coughed twenty dollars babe to pay back what was lent

Got a [?], baby, one in [?] (note 6)
The first one's named forgot you, baby, other [?}

Got two reasons why I cry away each lonely night
The first one's named sweet Anne Marie and she's my [true] delight
Other one is prison baby, law is on my tail
[And if he catches up with me] I'll spend my life in jail

I lit out from Reno, I was trailed by twenty hounds
Didn't stop to sleep that night till the morning came around
Notes
(I have omitted the chorus from the lyrics above as it didn't change)
(5) originally "played my last fifty cents"
(6) I'm not sure whether John Dawson forgets the words to this verse, or whether they are just inaudible

In his journal for 23 February 2006 Robert Hunter gave this account of writing the song:
"I was just remembering how Friend of the Devil got written. First off I wrote these four verses one afternoon back in 1969.

"I was living in Madrone canyon with the Garcias. The NRPS had asked me if I wanted to play bass with them and it seemed like a good idea at the time. So I worked up that song on bass, added a few verses plus a chorus and went over to where David Nelson and John Dawson were living in Kentfield and taught them the tune. The "Sweet Anne Marie" verse which was later to become a bridge was only one of the verses, not yet a bridge. The chorus went:
I set out running but I take my time
It looks like water but it tastes like wine
If I get home before daylight
I just might get some sleep tonight
"I'd changed the fourth verse, about parlaying the twenty dollars into five thousand and, except for the all important Friend of the Devil hook, the lyrics were pretty much as they stand today minus a fifth verse which goes:
You can borrow from the Devil
You can borrow from a friend
But the Devil give you twenty
When your friend got only ten
"We all went down to the kitchen to have espresso made in Dawson's new machine. We got to talking about the tune and John said the verses were nifty except for "it looks like water but it tastes like wine" which I had to admit fell flat. Suddenly Dawson's eyes lit up and he crowed "How about "a friend of the devil is a friend of mine." Bingo, not only the right line but a memorable title as well! We ran back upstairs to Nelson's room and recorded the tune. I took the tape home and left it on the kitchen table. Next morning I heard earlybird Garcia (who hadn't been at the rehearsal - had a gig, you know) wanging away something familiar sounding on the peddle steel. Danged if it wasn't "Friend of the Devil." With a dandy bridge on the "sweet Anne Marie" verse. He was not in the least apologetic about it. He'd played the tape, liked it, and faster than you can say dog my cats it was in the Grateful Dead repertoire. Although I learned all the tunes, I never did play a gig with the NRPS, who were doing strictly club dates at the time. For one reason or another I never quite fathomed, though I have my suspicions, I got shut out. Either that or I misread the signs and wasn't inclined to push. Nothing was ever said. In any event, a fellow named Dave Torbert showed up about that time. Just as well. One dedicated songwriter in the band was enough."

Futher Information
For an online discussion of the lyrics to this song see the deadsongs.vue conference on The Well.
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography
For information on references in the lyrics see David Dodd's Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
For online chords and TAB see www.rukind.com
For sheet music, see:
          Grateful Dead Anthology Volume 1 (piano arrangement)
          Grateful Dead Authentic Guitar Classics Volume 1 (guitar TAB)
          Grateful Dead Songbook Volume 1 (piano arrangement)
          Jerry Garcia Songbook (vocal line and chords)
          Very Best Of The Grateful Dead (guitar TAB)
          Garcia/Hunter Songbook (vocal line and chords/TAB)

 


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