Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Robert Hunter

THE GRATEFUL DEAD                                                                   1970                                                                   Warner Brothers Records

The only single from the album American Beauty. Chart: #64. Time - 3:13 / 5:09. Flip Side: "Ripple". Released in U.S.A. November 1, 1970.

Recorded at Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco, California, USA, September 1970. Produced by Grateful Dead and Steve Barncard. .

Lyrics were by Robert Hunter, a poet who wrote lyrics to many of the Dead's greatest tracks. writen about things that went on while on the road, including a 1970 drug raid on the band's hotel quarters ("Busted, down on Bourbon Street"). This was their most successful song until 'Touch of Grey' in 1988. The United States Library of Congress recognized this song as a national treasure in 1997. This song, of course, had the band's most famous phrase What a long, strange trip it's been". - Larry -


   Bob Weir - lead vocals, rhythm guitar
   Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, backing vocals
   Phil Lesh - bass, backing vocals
   Bill Kreutzmann - drums
   Mickey Hart - drums
   Howard Wales - organ

Mickey Hart

“This a song those of us who were a truckin' age in the early 70s could relate to. It was autobiographical. We told our story in song. I knew that the words were strong. They were powerful, they were depicting real events in real people’s lives, and they became part of the fabric, part of the history of our day. People could sing it and know there were events directly connected with it.”

Bob Weir - 1997:VH1

“We left some smoking craters of some Holiday Inns, I’ll say that, and there are a lot of places that wouldn’t have us back. All of this is absolutely autobiographical, all the stuff in ‘Truckin.’”

Bob Weir

“Truckin’ is kind of a tongue twister. Hunter wrote it that way out of spite! He just put it together so it’s impossible to sing. It’s not a matter of not remembering the words so much as not being able to get ‘em out sometimes."

Robert Hunter - 1986:Relix

“I wrote that song in several different cities, starting off in San Francisco. I finished it up in Florida. I was on the road with the band and writing different verses in different cities, and when we were in Florida I went outside and everybody was sitting around the swimming pool. I had finally finished the lyrics, so I brought them down and the boys picked up their guitars, sat down, and wrote some rock ‘n’ roll changes behind it.”

Jerry Garcia - - 1972:Rolling Stone

"When Hunter first started writing words for us . . . originally he was on his own trip and he was a poet. He was into the magical thing of words, definitely far out, definitely amazing. The early stuff he wrote that we tried to set to music was stiff because it wasn't really meant to be sung. After he got further and further into it, his craft improved, and then he started going out on the road with us, coming out to see what life was like, to be able to have more of that viewpoint in the music, for the words to be more Grateful Dead words. "Truckin'" is the result of that sort of thing. "Truckin'" is a song that we assembled, it didn't . . . it wasn't natural and it didn't flow and it wasn't easy and we really labored over the bastard . . . all of us together.

It comes out of nothing specific but it's really a lot of like the way it is, just a lot like the way it is, the pace of it and the flow of it and the kinda like fast thoughts that you have as things are happening around you; the ideas in it are right on in that sense. I like "Truckin'" a lot, "Truckin'"s one of my favorites. "

Phil Lesh

"we took our experiences on the road and made it poetry ..... the last chorus defines the band itself."

YOU TUBE STUDIO TRACK OFFICIAL VIDEO YOU TUBE LYRIC VIDEO YOU TUBE LIVE 1972, Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark Truckin’ got my chips cashed in Keep truckin’ like the doodah man Together, more or less in line Just keep truckin’ on Arrows of neon and flashing marquees out on Main Street Chicago, New York, Detroit and its all the same street Your typical city involved in a typical daydream Hang it up and see what tomorrow brings Dallas got a soft machine Houston too close to New Orleans New York got the ways and means But just won’t let you be Most of the cats that you meet on the street speak of true love Most of the time they’re sitting and crying at home One of these days they know they gotta get going Out of the door and into the street all alone Truckin’ like the doodah man Once told me “Gotta play your hand Sometimes the cards ain’t worth a dime If you don’t lay them down” Sometimes the lights all shining on me Other times I can barely see Lately it occurs to me What a long strange trip it’s been What in the world ever became of sweet Jane? She lost her sparkle you know she isn’t the same Living on reds and vitamin C and cocaine All her friends can say is ain’t it a shame Truckin’ up to Buffalo Been thinking you got to mellow slow Takes time, you pick a place to go Just keep truckin’ on Sitting and staring out of the hotel window Got a tip they’re gonna kick the door in again Like to get some sleep before I travel But if you got a warrant I guess you’re gonna come in Busted down on Bourbon Street Set up like a bowling pin Knocked down, it gets to wearing thin They just won’t let you be You’re sick of hanging around, you’d like to travel Get tired of travelling you want to settle down I guess they can’t revoke your soul for trying Get out of the door, light out and look all around Sometimes the lights all shining on me Other times I can barely see Lately it occurs to me What a long strange trip it’s been Truckin’ I’m a going home Whoa, whoa, baby, back where I belong Back home, sit down and patch my bones And get back truckin’ on