China Cat Sunflower - The Grateful Dead

Rola: China Cat Sunflower
Traducción: China girasol gato
Intérprete: The Grateful Dead
Compositor: Robert Hunter, Jerry Garcia
Disco: Aoxomoxoa
Productor: Grateful Dead


"China Cat Sunflower" is a song performed by the Grateful Dead which was first recorded for their third studio album Aoxomoxoa. The lyrics were written by Robert Hunter and the music composed by Jerry Garcia. The song is typically sung by Jerry Garcia. The first live recording of this song appeared on Europe '72, paired (as was typical) with "I Know You Rider". Lyrically, this song has many literary references, including Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, George Herriman's Krazy Kat, and Dame Edith Sitwell's "Polka".

1st mix 4:20 rmx 3:40 Dry drum ratatat and guitar noises, becomes china-lick and song..Jerry vocal phased and multiplies. Multiple background vocal “la-la-la’s”. 1:00 Tim piano licks start appearing and plays constant fills during next verse as vocal starts phasing and modulating. Nice organ fills at 2:05 and 2:20, last verse vocal very phased almost disappears at beginning. Last words ..”Queen of Chinee..”followed by buried “chuey” repeated at least a couple times on the beat. Outtro jam doesn’t fade; just keeps going like a Viola Lee type of thing with “China Cat Sunflower” vocals until band grinds to halt, followed by loose vocals, organ and guitar licks.


Duración: 04:15
Año: 1969
Formato: L.P.
A la venta: 20/06/1969
Disquera: Warner Bros.


Jerry Garcia - guitarra y voz
Bob Weir - guitarra y voz
Phil Lesh - bajo y voz
Mickey Hart - batería y percusión
Tom Constanten - teclados
Ron McKernan - Pigpen



Look for awhile at the China Cat Sunflower
proud-walking jingle in the midnight sun
Copper-dome Bodhi drip a silver kimono
like a crazy-quilt stargown
through a dream night wind

Krazy Kat peeking through a lace bandana
like a one-eyed Cheshire
like a diamond-eye Jack
A leaf of all colors plays
a golden string fiddle
to a double-e waterfall over my back

Comic book colors on a violin river
crying Leonardo words
from out a silk trombone
I rang a silent bell
beneath a shower of pearls
in the eagle wing palace
of the Queen Chinee


1. "St. Stephen"
2. "Dupree's Diamond Blues"
3. "Rosemary"
4. "Doin' That Rag"
5. "Mountains of the Moon"

1. "China Cat Sunflower"
2. "What's Become of the Baby"
3. "Cosmic Charlie"

Aoxomoxoa is the third studio album by the Grateful Dead. It was originally titled Earthquake Country. Many Deadheads consider this era of the Dead to be the experimental apex of the band's history. It is also the first album with Tom Constanten as an official member of the band. Rolling Stone, upon reviewing the album, mentioned that "no other music sustains a lifestyle so delicate and loving and lifelike." The album was certified gold by the RIAA on May 13, 1997.

The title of the album is a palindrome created by cover artist Rick Griffin and lyricist Robert Hunter. According to the audio version of the Rock Scully memoir, Living with the Dead (read by the author and former Dead co-manager himself), the title is pronounced "ox-oh-mox-oh-ah". The words "Grateful Dead" on the front of the album, written in large, flowing capital letters, are an ambigram that can also be read "we ate the acid". The artwork around the bottom edge of the album cover depicts several phallic representations.

In 1991 Rolling Stone selected Aoxomoxoa as having the eighth best album cover of all time.A five-year-old Courtney Love appears on the album's back cover.

The group had already initiated recording sessions for the album when Ampex manufactured and released the first Multitrack recording machine offering 16 tracks of recording and playback (model number MM-1000). This doubled the number of tracks the band had available when they recorded Anthem of the Sun the previous year. As a direct consequence, the band spent eight months off-and-on in the studio not only recording the album but getting used to—and experimenting with—the new technology. Garcia commented that "it was our first adventure with sixteen-track and we tended to put too much on everything...A lot of the music was just lost in the mix, a lot of what was really there." As a result, Garcia and Lesh went back in the studio in 1971 to remix the album, removing whole sections of songs. The result, with the same catalog number, WS1790, but with much of the original's experimental character removed, can be identified by the legend on the back cover that reads, "Remixed September, 1971". The original mix was later planned for CD release, but the original master tapes could not be located. The master tapes were finally located for The Warner Bros. Studio Albums vinyl box set, marking the first time the 1969 mix has been available since the 1971 remix replaced it.

In Grateful Dead history, Aoxomoxoa had a number of firsts connected with it. It is the first album the band recorded in or near their hometown of San Francisco (at Pacific Recording Studio in nearby San Mateo, and at the similarly named Pacific High Recording Studio in San Francisco proper). It is the first studio release to include pianist Tom Constanten as a permanent member. It was also the first to have lyricist Robert Hunter as a full-time contributor to the band, thus initiating the Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter songwriting partnership that endured for the rest of the band's existence. It was also the first time the band would put emphasis on acoustic songs, such as "Mountains of the Moon" and "Dupree's Diamond Blues." Lesh played acoustic bass for the first time, commenting that "the fun part of that was trying to play in tune with no frets to guide my fingers, just like a violin."

The lengthy sessions for the album would put the band deeper into debt with Warner Bros. Records—specifically, a total cost of $180,000 for Aoxomoxoa, it was their most ambitious and costly venture to that date. It would be the last time the band would ever run up such high studio bills.


The Grateful Dead: San Francisco

The Grateful Dead were an American rock band formed in 1965 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The band was known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, improvisational jazz, psychedelia, and space roc]—and for live performances of long musical improvisation. "Their music," writes Lenny Kaye, "touches on ground that most other groups don't even know exists." These various influences were distilled into a diverse and psychedelic whole that made the Grateful Dead "the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world." They were ranked 55th in the issue The Greatest Artists of all Time by Rolling Stone magazine.

The fans of the Grateful Dead, some of whom followed the band from concert to concert for years, are known as "Deadheads" and are known for their dedication to the band's music. Many referred to the band simply as "the Dead."

Phil Lesh and Jerry Garcia were brought together by Gert Chiarito in 1964 to perform on The Midnight Special, her Saturday night radio program on KPFA, Berkeley.

The Grateful Dead began their career as the Warlocks, a group formed in early 1965 from the remnants of a Palo Alto jug band called Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions. The band's first show was at Magoo's Pizza in suburban Menlo Park, California on May 5, 1965. They were still known as the Warlocks although the Velvet Underground were also using that name on the east coast. The show was not recorded and not even the set list has been preserved. The band changed its name after finding out that another band of the same name had signed a recording contract (not The Velvet Underground who by then had also changed their name). The first show under the new name Grateful Dead was in San Jose, California on December 4, 1965, at one of Ken Kesey's Acid Tests. Earlier demo tapes have survived, but the first of over 2,000 concerts known to have been recorded by the band's fans was a show at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco on January 8, 1966. Later on that month, the Grateful Dead played at the Trips Festival, an early psychedelic rock show.

The charter members of the Grateful Dead were: banjo and guitar player Jerry Garcia, guitarist Bob Weir, bluesman organist Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, the classically trained bassist Phil Lesh and drummer Bill Kreutzmann (who then used the stage name Bill Sommers.) Lesh was the last member to join the Warlocks before they became the Grateful Dead: he replaced Dana Morgan Jr. who had played bass for a few gigs. With the exception of McKernan, the core of the band stayed together for 30 years, until Garcia's death in 1995.

The name "Grateful Dead" was chosen from a dictionary. According to Phil Lesh, in his biography, "...[Jerry Garcia] picked up an old Britannica World Language Dictionary...[and]...In that silvery elf-voice he said to me, 'Hey, man, how about the Grateful Dead?'" The definition there was "the soul of a dead person, or his angel, showing gratitude to someone who, as an act of charity, arranged their burial." According to Alan Trist, director of the Grateful Dead's music publisher company Ice Nine, Garcia found the name in the Funk & Wagnalls Folklore Dictionary, when his finger landed on that phrase while playing a game of "dictionary". In the Garcia biography, Captain Trips, author Sandy Troy states that the band was smoking the psychedelic DMT at the time. The term "grateful dead" appears in folktales of a variety of cultures. In the summer of '69, Phil Lesh told another version of the story to Carol Maw, a young Texan visiting with the band in Marin County who also ended up going on the road with them to the Fillmore East and Woodstock. In this version, Phil said, "Jerry found the name spontaneously when he picked up a dictionary and the pages fell open. The words 'grateful' and 'dead' appeared straight opposite each other across the crack between the pages in unrelated text."

Other supporting personnel who signed on early included Rock Scully, who heard of the band from Kesey and signed on as manager after meeting them at the Big Beat Acid Test; Stewart Brand, "with his side show of taped music and slides of Indian life, a multimedia presentation" at the Big Beat and then, expanded, at the Trips Festival; and Owsley Stanley, the "Acid King" whose LSD supplied the tests and who, in early 1966, became the band's financial backer, renting them a house on the fringes of Watts and buying them sound equipment. "We were living solely off of Owsley's good graces at that time.... [His] trip was he wanted to design equipment for us, and we were going to have to be in sort of a lab situation for him to do it," said Garcia.

One of the group's earliest major performances in 1967 was the Mantra-Rock Dance—a musical event held on January 29, 1967 at the Avalon Ballroom by the San Francisco Hare Krishna temple. The Grateful Dead performed at the event along with the Hare Krishna founder Bhaktivedanta Swami, poet Allen Ginsberg, bands Moby Grape and Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin, donating proceeds to the Krishna temple. The band's first LP, The Grateful Dead, was released on Warner Brothers in 1967.

Classically trained trumpeter Phil Lesh played bass guitar. Bob Weir, the youngest original member of the group, played rhythm guitar. Ron "Pigpen" McKernan played keyboards and harmonica until shortly before his death in 1973 at the age of 27. Garcia, Weir and McKernan shared the lead vocal duties more or less equally; Lesh only sang a few leads but his tenor was a key part of the band's three-part vocal harmonies. Bill Kreutzmann played drums, and in September 1967 was joined by a second drummer, New York native Mickey Hart, who also played a wide variety of other percussion instruments.

The year 1970 included tour dates in New Orleans, Louisiana, where the band performed at The Warehouse for two nights. On January 31, 1970, the local police raided their hotel on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, and arrested and charged a total of 19 people with possession of various drugs. The second night's concert was performed as scheduled after bail was posted. Eventually the charges were dismissed, with the exception of those against sound engineer Owsley Stanley, who was already facing charges in California for manufacturing LSD. This event was later memorialized in the lyrics of the song "Truckin'", a single from American Beauty which reached number 64 on the charts.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario

Nota: solo los miembros de este blog pueden publicar comentarios.