deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #0 of 27: David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 8 Sep 03 09:45
    
Victim Or The Crime
w: Graham m: Weir
AGDL: http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/vict.html
LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/VICTIM.HTM
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #1 of 27: Alex Allan (alexallan) Mon 8 Sep 03 19:07
    
Victim Or The Crime 
Lyrics: Gerrit Graham
Music: Bob Weir

Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission.

Patience runs out on the junkie
The dark side hires another soul
Did he steal his fate or earn it
Was he force-fed, did he learn it
Whatever happened to his precious self control

Like him I'm tired of trying to heal
This tom-cat heart with which I'm blessed
Is destruction loving's twin
Must I choose to lose or win
Maybe when my turn comes I will have guessed

These are the horns of the dilemma
What truth this proof against all lies
When sacred fails before profane
The wisest man is deemed insane
Even the purest of romantics compromise

What fixation feeds this fever
As the full moon pales and climbs
Am I living truth or rank deceiver
Am I the victim or the crime
Am I the victim or the crime
Am I the victim or the crime
Or the crime

And so I wrestle with the angel
To see who'll reap the seeds I sow
Am I the driver or the driven
Will I be damned to be forgiven
Is there anybody here but me who needs to know

What it is to face this fever
As the full moon pales and climbs
Am I living truth or rank deceiver
Am I the victim or the crime
Am I the victim or the crime
Am I the victim or the crime
Or the crime
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #2 of 27: Brian Penney (bpenney) Sun 8 Feb 04 02:38
    
i've always heard "what truth is proof against all lies?".
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #3 of 27: David Gans (tnf) Sun 8 Feb 04 09:57
    
Yeah, me too.  Where did "this" come from?
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #4 of 27: Lightning in a Box (unkljohn) Mon 9 Feb 04 04:33
    
When Bobby is singing

The dark side hires another soul

does anybody else hear him say

the dark sired hires? I think it's a tongue twister for him, kinda like 
trying to say "toy boat"  3X real fast.
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #5 of 27: David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 11 May 04 08:47
    
Great news: Gerrit Graham has submitted an essay on this song to the
Annotated GD Lyrics site. I've posted it at
http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/votc.html

Enjoy!
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #6 of 27: David Gans (tnf) Tue 11 May 04 08:51
    
Well worth reading.
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #7 of 27: doubly a nerd (xian) Tue 11 May 04 13:02
    
nice... now i want to hear his interpretation of the q continuum
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #8 of 27: John P. McAlpin (john-p-mcalpin) Thu 13 May 04 15:57
    
Very interesting reaction from the GD community...

This always struck me as distinctly out of place in the sets, and I
was never able to articulate why.

It was new, to me, and it has that Weir angularity to it (a music
teacher when confronted with 'Sugar Magnolia' and 'Unlce John's Band
told me to come back with Garcia songs, and not those with the "Martian
 chord progressions').

Now as this song comes back to me while I confront some very adult
concerns, I think I have it.

Yes, the Hunter/Garcia songs all had that element of mortality, the
danger at your door lining to our happy days. I knew that and thrived
on that groundedness.

But however timeless those songs feel, they feel of a different place
than 'Victim', as if that song is of a truth in a world born of mass
media horrors while 'Sugaree' comes from the sepia corners of an
idealized Butcher Hollow.

Both true, both art, but different worlds but coming from the same
musicians. I feel a maturity about this song, a modernity that I failed
to appreciate at those shows. The analogy is poor, but 'Victim' is
like the song on the album that isn't like all the others from the
band, but it's the song that sticks out. And you like it, but it's sure
not the hit.
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #9 of 27: David Gans (tnf) Thu 13 May 04 16:22
    

> (a music teacher when confronted with 'Sugar Magnolia' and 'Unlce John's
> Band told me to come back with Garcia songs, and not those with the
> "Martian chord progressions')

There's an open mind...
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #10 of 27: David Dodd (ddodd) Fri 14 May 04 08:48
    
John, I like your comments. Victim took the longest of any Weir song to grow
on me, and I remember the show (December 89?) when it finally made sense to
me as a song, and appealed to me as a listener. Graham's comments in his
essay about Weir's determination to play the song against all odds makes me
think that Weir seriously believed in the song, and therefore, that it is
well worth paying attention to.
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #11 of 27: David Gans (tnf) Fri 14 May 04 09:17
    

The music is just brilliant.  There's a tremendous tension in it -- it
somehow remains static while building slowly.
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #12 of 27: John P. McAlpin (john-p-mcalpin) Fri 14 May 04 11:26
    
Building tension with an implied release, if that makes sense. The
listener, at least I do, feels the musical release at the end that I
think an other composer would have written in.

It's been years since I studied theory, but what I'm stabbing at
saying is I hear leading tones that my mind wants to resolve, but Weir
lets me do that. For me it's much what the Bach Cello Suites do: take a
single line instrument and imply a complete polyphonic experience.
Weir's music put me on a path and guided, rather than held my hand
doled out pop platitudes.

As for that teacher, he was trying to get me to hear and recognize
simple progressions like I-IV-V, whereas I'm jumping ahead to the C#m
in Sugar Mags where someone else would have put a D. (Again,
apologizing for possibly incorrect theory here.)
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #13 of 27: John P. McAlpin (john-p-mcalpin) Fri 14 May 04 11:28
    
More rambline here, but I love the way the song just ends, as if it is
begging for a transistion or jam into something else.

And how much of this effect is the interplay between the dissonance in
the lyric and the music? 
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #14 of 27: Tom Kozal (tkozal) Thu 20 May 04 07:09
    
Eric Kloss and some jazz guys freaked when I played this for
them.."what is that chord! that is great! thats not the GD!"

the loved the sus 2 and +5 chords.
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #15 of 27: David Gans (tnf) Wed 16 Jun 04 15:24
    <scribbled by tnf Wed 16 Jun 04 15:28>
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #16 of 27: David Gans (tnf) Wed 16 Jun 04 15:28
    


 Jerry Garcia, interviewed by Bonnie Simmons 9/28/89 for a "Built to Last"
 promotional disc:


 JG:  I think the first time Weir showed it ["Victim or the Crime"] to me was
 when we played with Joan Baez at an AIDS thing in the city, and he -- I lis-
 tened in amazement and said "God, that's got pretty angular changes, doesn't
 it?"  It's fascinating because it defies, almost, any effort to play freely
 through it.  You have to know it; it's that simple.  It has changes in it,
 and they're very strict, and they have lots of real dissonant moments.  So
 the angularity of it was fascinating to me, the tonality was, because it's
 one of those things where you really have to stretch to figure out something
 appropriate to play to add to the tonal mood of the tune.

 The text of it -- I don't believe I've ever actually listened to all the
 words to it.  Ever.  I have the gist of it; by now I probably could recite
 it if I really had to, but the text of it is more of the same in a way, it
 doesn't have a whole lot of light in it.  It's very dense, and it's
 angstridden to boot.  So it seemed to me when we were starting to record it,
 in order to save it from an effort to make it more attractive, I thought
 that what would work with the song would be to just go with it, to go with
 the angularity and the sort of asymmetrical way it's structured, and play to
 expose that.  An early possibility that occurred to me was that this would
 be an interesting song to do something really strange with. And this is
 where of course Mickey comes into the picture, 'cause he's one of the guys
 that holds down the strangeness corner and he's always a willing accomplice
 in these ideas.  So I thought the Beam, which is an instrument that people
 feel about about the way they feel about Victim or the Crime, the tune -- I
 thought, let's take two of the things that really have a huge potential for
 really upsetting people --

 BS:   A polarization tool.

 JG:  Absolutely -- and let's combine them in a happy marriage, something
 that will be a real horror show.  And it's turned out to be strangely
 beautiful. I really enjoy it, now.  When me and Mickey started working on
 it, I'd be sitting there listening and say "You know, I may be going crazy,
 but I'm starting to like this..."

 BS:  I am too.  Initially I thought it was one of the oddest things I had
 ever imagined.

 JG:  Well, it certainly is strange.  It's one of Weir's stunningly odd com-
 positions, but it's also very adventurous.  It's uncompromising; it's what
 it is, and the challenge of coming up with stuff to play that sounds intel-
 ligent in the context has been incredible, but also appropriately gnarly.  I
 really wanted that part of it to work.  I think we did a nice job on the
 record with it.  It works.  Whatever it is, it works.  I'm real happy with
 it because it was one of those things that was like, "What are we going to
 do with this?" It's like having a monster brother that you lock in the at-
 tic.  It's like a relative that you -- "God, I hope nobody comes over when
 he's eating...." But that's one of the things that makes the Grateful Dead
 fun.

 We've got a handle on it, I think, now, and there's also places for us to
 take it.  I think it may open up into something truly monstrous.  It may
 turn into something truly monstrous in the future, and certainly the re-
 corded version works.
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #17 of 27: Rollin' & Mumblin' (masonskids) Wed 16 Jun 04 15:34
    
Excellent!  Thanks for posting that!!!
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #18 of 27: They did the mash (comet) Wed 16 Jun 04 21:13
    
Thanks for brightening my day, David.
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #19 of 27: David Dodd (ddodd) Thu 17 Jun 04 08:10
    
Wow. Great interview material! Is there more?
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #20 of 27: AZanimal (zepezauer) Thu 17 Jun 04 08:15
    
That's great.  The great live versions really do seem to revel in
their darkness and monstrosity.
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #21 of 27: David Gans (tnf) Thu 17 Jun 04 09:03
    

I've been going through various interview transcripts lately, for a couple of
reasons.  This and the "Fooliish Heart" comments are from interviews
conducter in September 1989; I produced a "Built to Last" promotional CD for
Arista.  Bonnie Simmons and I did the Jerry interview extracted here.

I'll be posting more as time permits.
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #22 of 27: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Thu 17 Jun 04 10:14
    
Way to go, David, we need more of this.
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #23 of 27: Lightning in a Box (unkljohn) Fri 18 Jun 04 16:59
    
That's great stuff. Thanks David.
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #24 of 27: William Jason Baggett (billybaggs) Wed 16 Jan 08 12:28
    
i was listening to a version of this last night on the way home and i
was just thinking about what the lyrics mean and what jerry may have
been thinking or feeling while playing the song.  wasn't jerry using
pretty regularly in spring 90?  i mean, it almost seemed to me in some
way that bob was reaching out to jerry in some way.  any thoughts?
  
deadsongs.vue.210 : Victim Or The Crime
permalink #25 of 27: beneath the blue suburban skies (aud) Wed 23 Jan 08 08:41
    
bob didn't write the lyrics, gerrit graham did.
  

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