Day 197: Me and My Uncle, 6/28/74

Grateful Dead Dick's Picks 12 album cover artwork

No offense but a lot of times I get the impression that Me and My Uncle is a throwaway song. I’m pretty sure it was the most played song ever by the Grateful Dead, and if not it’s got to be in the top 3.

Yet this ubiquity is precisely what piqued my interest in this version. Dick’s Pick, vol. 12 is one that is almost universally raved about. It seems that Dick Latvala was pretty maticulous in his curation of these releases so the fact that he included Me and My Uncle out of all the other options available to him from a 1974 show raised an eyebrow. Now maybe he just needed to fill 3 minutes on a disc, but who can say for sure. Speculation will only get one so far. So here we go. I don’t feel like this song needs much commentary or contextualization. I would, however, be interested to hear from any readers who have a standout version of Me and My Uncle seared into their brains. On occasion even the ubiquitous songs can shine and I’m intrigued as to what folks think about this one.

Billy beats out a tempo here that mimics the sense of urgency felt by the protagonist in the song here. Garcia doesn’t match it though. In an interesting juxtaposition he lays back a bit from the breakneck speed Bill the Drummer sets. His solo is quick and to the point. Keith offers some boogie woogie support of his. Phil doesn’t limit himself to the standard Root-Five oompah bass part here and dabbles with pentatonic tones throughout, among other things. The pace is so fast the song is over in under three minutes. You can hear Keith tag the ending to himself after the rest of the band stops. Ha!

Complete Setlist 6/28/74

Loading Facebook Comments ...
One Comment
  1. Weir comes up with a corny little introduction, then has to count off the song several times before he has everyone on board. You could say this song didn’t vary much from version to version, and you would be pretty much right. So if you have heard this one a hundred times, don’t expect big surprises. But let me tell you that Jerry nails a hot solo the first chance he gets. That’s good, because you know he only gets one chance. The rest flies by without incident and the crowd seems to dig. Okay!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *