David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 8 Sep 03 09:44
Uncle John's Band w: Hunter m: Garcia AGDL: http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/uncle.html LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/UNCLEJB.HTM
Alex Allan (alexallan) Mon 8 Sep 03 19:08
Uncle John's Band Lyrics: Robert Hunter Music: Jerry Garcia Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission. Well the first days are the hardest days, don't you worry any more 'Cause when life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door Think this through with me, let me know your mind Wo-oh, what I want to know is, are you kind? It's a buck dancer's choice my friend, better take my advice You know all the rules by now, and the fire from the ice Will you come with me, won't you come with me? Wo-oh, what I want to know, will you come with me? God damn, well I declare, have you seen the like? Their walls are built of cannon balls Their motto is "don't" tread on me" Chorus 1: Come hear Uncle John's Band, playing to the tide Come with me or go alone He's come to take his children home It's the same story the crow told me, it's the only one he knows Like the morning sun you come and like the wind you go Ain't no time to hate, barely time to wait Wo-oh, what I want to know, where does the time go? I live in a silver mine and I call it beggar's tomb I got me a violin and I beg you call the tune Anybody's choice, I can hear your voice Wo-oh, what I want to know, how does the song go? Chorus 2: Come hear Uncle John's Band, by the river side Got some things to talk about Here beside the rising tide [chorus 1] Wo-oh what I want to know, how does the song go? [chorus 2]
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Mon 16 Aug 04 12:48
Folks, Woah... recorded in a small room by a single mic in the audience, date and location unknown, but presumably in the days between Keith and Donna and Brent (listen to the vocals and keys and tell me if you've got a clue). Might be just post "Blues for Allah". Jazz-grass blown up into smithereens. http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~billpannifer/ujb.mp3 Enjoy!
Gary Burnett (jera) Mon 16 Aug 04 14:12
Well, it's a very fun listen, especially with that Miles Davis jam, but it ain't the Dead. Following the link backwards, it's a cover band called the Cosmic Charlies. Here's the home page: http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~billpannifer/cosmic.htm And here's a page with lots more mp3 files: http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~billpannifer/csounds.html
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Mon 16 Aug 04 14:54
Aw'right... that's a mighty fine fix in the mix. The music flows even over thse tin ears!
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Wed 18 Aug 04 10:13
Heh... back-trackin' thru the web, it appears that I was at that show, not long after dumb ol' Garcia's demise. I remember thinking, this is the best Dead cover band I'd ever heard. Brame damage ;-)
David Gans (tnf) Fri 23 Dec 05 10:28
From a reader in England: I noticed the comments in UJB about the Cosmic Charlies. I thought people might be interested to hear that the Charlies did a gig after a Ratdog show in London in July 2002 at which Kenny Brooks kindly sat in on China Cat> I Know You Rider. Go to http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~billpannifer/sets2001.html and scroll down to Wed 6 July, 12-Bar Club, Denmark Place, WC2 for photos and the MP3 of Kenny with the Cosmic Charlies.
from SUSAN WISEMAN-GIBEAUT (tnf) Sat 8 Jul 06 18:05
Susan Wiseman-Gibeaut writes: I just read the Uncle John's Band is a tribute song to Rolling Thunder, whose white name is/was John Pope. That would explain the Appalachian, and indian allusions you have listed in the song. It also mentions that the Billy Jack movies were based on Rolling Thunder, and that the Bob Dylan led the Rolling Thunder Review. "RT" also gives an invocation in Micky Heart's Rolling Thunder album. You can read this for yourself in the forward of Rolling Thunder Speaks, A Message for Turtle Island, edited by Carmen Sun Rising Pope. Peace.
Christian Crumlish (xian) Sun 9 Jul 06 16:25
I've come to be convinced over the year's that Uncle John is largely John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers and to a lesser extent Jerome John Garcia.
Lightning in a Box (unkljohn) Sun 9 Jul 06 16:40
That's what I've always thought/heard.
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Sun 9 Jul 06 18:24
Dang! I thought it was about you <unklejohn> !
David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 10 Jul 06 09:43
It's about everyone!
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Mon 10 Jul 06 10:02
*%* (jewel) Mon 10 Jul 06 10:30
Billy Jack? What are the parallels between Rolling Thunder and Billy Jack?
Brendan Riley (bpriley) Thu 13 Jul 06 23:29
It's about my famous uncle, John Phillips, an heroic NYC fireman who fought fires in the Empire State Building and on the famous French ocean liner Le Normandie, which was mothballed in Brooklyn and caught fire from a welder's torch when it was in the final stages of being converted into a troop carrier (WWII); Uncle John was photographed doing a sailor dive from the deck of the listing Normandie, some 60' into Brooklyn harbor. He later retired and became a collector and master repairer of
Lightning in a Box (unkljohn) Fri 14 Jul 06 06:04
Don't leave us in suspense.........
Alex Allan (alexallan) Mon 24 Sep 07 03:21
(Copied from another thread). This quote from a Bob Weir interview in Uncut magazine from May 2007 gives a new perspective on the "Are you kind?" line: "Robert Hunter wrote lyrics for Workingmans Dead. He could use fewer words, and say more, than anyone. 'Are you kind?', was, I assumed, a sci-fi allusion. 'Kind' meaning 'my kind', 'humankind.' In the context of Workingmans Dead, it meant: 'Are you simpatico In solidarity with other working men?'"
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Fri 28 Sep 07 10:43
I always took it to mean "(our) kind". The working people have no country. Now, of course, it has been heavily draped with kindness.
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Thu 16 Apr 09 07:31
In regard to "don't tread on me": In the fall of 1775, the British were occupying Boston and the young Continental Army was holed up in Cambridge, woefully short on arms and ammunition. At the Battle of Bunker Hill, Washington's troops had been so low on gunpowder that they were ordered "not to fire until you see the whites of their eyes." In October, a merchant ship called The Black Prince returned to Philadelphia from a voyage to England. On board were private letters to the Second Continental Congress that informed them that the British government was sending two ships to America loaded with arms and gunpowder for the British troops. Congress decided that General Washington needed those arms more than General Howe. A plan was hatched to capture the British cargo ships. They authorized the creation of a Continental Navy, starting with four ships. The frigate that carried the information from England, the Black Prince, was one of the four. It was purchased, converted to a man-of-war, and renamed the Alfred. To accompany the Navy on their first mission, Congress also authorized the mustering of five companies of Marines. The Alfred and its sailors and marines went on to achieve some of the most notable victories of the American Revolution. But that's not the story we're interested in here. What's particularly interesting for us is that some of the Marines that enlisted that month in Philadelphia were carrying drums painted yellow, emblazoned with a fierce rattlesnake, coiled and ready to strike, with thirteen rattles, and sporting the motto "Don't Tread on Me." from Founding Fathers.info at http://www.foundingfathers.info/stories/gadsden.html
David Gans (tnf) Fri 17 Apr 09 08:32
Thirteen rattles? I thought it was a rattlesnake in 13 segments.
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Fri 17 Apr 09 10:28
That was the "divided we fall" cartoon, the thirteen segments represented the 13 colonies, same as the rattles, but I believe it was in relation to the Indian Wars, not the War of Independence.
David Dodd (ddodd) Wed 30 Sep 09 15:55
Posted on behalf of Silver Mind: Here's a question for Robert Hunter about the lyrics to "Uncle John's Band." It would be wonderful to get an answer directly from Robert Hunter (if you're reading this forum ...), but maybe someone else has read an interview or heard Robert discussing it, or otherwise knows the lowdown. It's a simple question about the inspiration for a famous line in a famous song. "I live in a silver mine, and I call it Beggar's Tomb." Much has been written about possible sources, such as in Hungarian folk music, for the name "Beggar's Tomb," but I'm actually interested in the silver mine. There are instances of people living in mines, but I'm wondering if there is a specific reference in fact or fiction or fantasy or folklore, of someone actually living in a silver mine, that influenced or inspired this line. If so, who/where/when/what? -- Silver Mind
David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 7 Nov 11 14:05
Posted on behalf of an author who didn't want his name used: Consider the lines "Call it 'Beggar's Tomb'" and "Beg you call the tune." Note that, phonetically, they are nearly the same line, but exchanging the syllable "beg" for the word "call." Clever wordplay by Hunter. -- pjl
Christian Crumlish (xian) Mon 7 Nov 11 18:54
i always love Hunter's wordplay around phonetics, including lines that allude to more familiar/expected phrases ("going where the wind don't blow so strange/maybe off on some high cold mountain chain" instead of "range" for example and there are many others)
coal will turn to gray (comet) Mon 7 Nov 11 20:48
That was such a senior moment; Forgetting he already used practically the same words in the previous verse. He was way ahead of his time.
Alex Allan (alexallan) Tue 8 Nov 11 03:46
It's "range" not "chain" in Hunter's Box Of Rain lyric book, though it sounds as if Garcia sang "chain", and that's what's printed in the sheet music.
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