West L.A. Fadeaway

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

Looking for a chateau
Twenty one rooms but one will do
Looking for a chateau
Twenty one rooms but one will do
I don't want to buy it
I just want to rent it for an hour or two

Met an old mistake
Walking down the street today
Met an old mistake
Walking down the street today
I didn't want to be mean about it
But I, I didn't have one good word to say

Chorus
West L.A. fadeaway
West L.A. fadeaway
Little red light on the highway
Big green light on the speedway, hey, hey, hey

I had a steady job
Hauling items for the mob
I had a steady job
Hauling items for the mob
You know the pay was pathetic
It's a shame those boys couldn't be more copacetic

I met a west L.A. girl
Already know what I need to know
I met a west L.A. girl
Already know what I need to know
Name, address and phone number, Lord
And just how far to go

[chorus]

Looking for a chateau
Twenty one rooms but one will do
Looking for a chateau
Twenty one rooms but one will do
I don't want to rent it
I just what to use it for a minute or two

[chorus]

Little red light on the highway
Big green light on the speedway, hey, hey, hey
Little red light on the highway
Big green light on the speedway, hey, hey, hey
The earliest versions of the song (eg 12 Sep 1982) included a verse that Robert Hunter sang but Garcia soon dropped from his version:
Here's what Ginger says
She walks right, she ain't nobody's fool
Here's what Ginger says
She always tries to play by the golden rule
She says if you treat other people all right
Other folks probably treat you right too
An early version by Robert Hunter in a solo performance in November 1981 reveals some differences in the lyrics:
Well I'm looking for a chateau
Fifteen rooms but one will do
Well I'm looking for a chateau
Fifteen rooms but one will do
No I don't want to buy it
I just want to rent it for an hour or two

Chorus
Well, well, well, West L.A.
Well, well, well, fade away
Little red light on the byway
Big green light on the freeway, hey, hey, hey

Oh I quit my job
Running items for the mob
Well I quit my job
Run [right on] hideouts for the mob
Well the payment was pathetic
It's a shame those boys can't be more copacetic

[chorus]

I met an old mistake
Walking down the street today
Met an old mistake
Walking down the street today
I didn't want to stutter
But I could not think of one good word to say

[chorus]

Here's what Ginger says
She walks right, dresses right, talks right, now think Ginger you
[Shoulda know] [?] Ginger says
I think that Ginger used to know

She says if you treat other people right
You'll find that other people will usually treat you cool
That's what Ginger says

West L.A. fadeaway
West L.A. fadeaway
[tape cuts]
Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     (studio) Mar 1984 In The Dark   (note 2)
     (studio) Jan 1987 In The Dark (note 1)
     27 Mar 1987 30 Days Of The Dead (2013)
     26 Jul 1987 View From The Vault IV (DVD & CD soundtrack)
      3 Oct 1987 View From The Vault III (DVD & CD soundtrack)
      9 Jul 1989 Grateful Dead Scrapbook (DVD) (note 3)
     19 Jul 1989 Downhill From Here (video/DVD only)
     22 Mar 1990 Spring 1990 (note 4)

Recordings from dead.net Tapers Section

"The Dead" Concert Recordings

Furthur Digital Downloads and CDs

Ratdoglive CDs and downloads

Phil Lesh and Friends Digital Download Series

Weir-Robinson-Greene Trio Live!

Bob Weir Solo Acoustic Live!

Mickey Hart Downloads
 
Other Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     1998 Live, Vol 1 Joe Gallant and Illuminati
     2003 Ukelele Summit 5 Various (Maacho)
     2003 Still Going On The Daugherty McPartland Group
Notes
(1) also on the compilation The Arista Years
(2) alternate version issued as a bonus track in the box set Beyond Description (1973-1990)
(3) DVD included with deluxe edition of the Scrapbook
(4) also on the compilation So Glad You Made It


Futher Information
For an online discussion of the lyrics to this song see the deadsongs.vue conference on The Well.
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography
For information on references in the lyrics see David Dodd's Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
For online chords and TAB see www.rukind.com
For sheet music, see:
          Grateful Dead Anthology Volume 2 (piano arrangement)
          In The Dark Songbook (piano arrangement)
          Garcia/Hunter Songbook (vocal line and chords/TAB)

 


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