Grateful Dead – “Stella Blue” Live
A Broken Angel Sings From A Guitar!
“Stella Blue” is a track from Grateful Dead’s eighth studio album, “Wake of the Flood.” It was released on October 15, 1973. This song is a collaboration of Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia and was first performed live on June 17, 1972 at the Hollywood Bowl. It was part of the first set and is a staple in their concert repertoire. They played it a total of 328 times.
As seems to be always the case in Hunter’s songs, this one is character-driven, with the narrator portrayed as someone who is down and out, and who may have been so for quite some time.
Again, the song has raised many questions and the first of which is: Who or what is Stella Blue? That’s almost always the case with other Grateful Dead tracks — it has a touch of mystery and leaves basically everything to the imagination (and mood) of the listener.
In performance, “Stella Blue” could take on a number of moods, or, more likely, fit easily into a number of moods I might be bringing to the show as a listener. It could be wistful, mysterious, even angry once Garcia got to the solo.
This one has been a favorite the moment I first heard it!