Help on the Way

Originally Performed ByGrateful Dead
Original AlbumBlues For Allah (1975)
Music/LyricsGarcia, Hunter
Phish Debut1986-04-01
Last Played1986-04-01
Current Gap2091
HistorianChris Bertolet
Last Update2011-12-25


Trey was eight years old when The Grateful Dead composed this daunting musical pairing. But with its time signature trickery and snaking melodies, “Help/Slip” may be the most Phishy sounding piece of music in the Dead’s repertoire, so it seems natural that the band chose to cover it in an early gig at Hunt’s.

With precious few exceptions, the Dead’s live renditions of “Help/Slip” dropped neatly into “Franklin’s Tower” (see the band’s One From The Vault release for the flawless and inspiring 1975 debut of the entire suite). Phish’s only known reading of “Help/Slip,”on the other hand, features some intensely creative jamming before plummeting into “AC/DC Bag.”

Though Phish hasn’t revisited “Help/Slip,” Page and Trey accompanied Phil Lesh & Friends on a wickedly melodic version at the Warfield on 4/16/99. To no one’s surprise, “Franklin’s Tower” (and not “AC/DC Bag”) followed. Trey has performed the "Help/Slip/Franklin's" trifecta with Lesh and his varying lineup no less than four times since.

Grateful Dead "Help on the Way" -> "Slipknot!" 3/24/90 Albany, NY

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