Eagle Mall

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Robert Hunter

A suite of songs written by Robert Hunter for the Grateful Dead but never used:

Robert Hunter gives the following account in "Box Of Rain":
This saga was written in 1968-1969, a pet project of mine intended for setting and performance by the Grateful Dead. In retrospect, it was too ambitious a lyric project for practical consideration. The direction we took with Workingman's Dead was more to the point. However, the warm reception given by audiences to Terrapin station, a similarly outré oeuvre concerning some of the same characters, shows that the boundaries of rock can be succesfully stretched more than is commonly conceded - unless, of course, one is seeking a "hit," in which case more normative rules probably apply. Eagle Mall recounts the trials of a nomadic people and embraces the notion of eternal recurrence. The concluding parts of the reprise are intended to be sung simultaneously as a kind of "round."
In a letter written on the first anniversary of Jerry Garcia's death, Hunter wrote:
You had to say to me one day, after I'd handed over the Eagle Mall suite, "Look, Hunter - we're a goddamn dance band, for Christ's sake! At least write something with a beat!"
In Dennis McNally's book of interviews with Jerry Garcia, "Jerry on Jerry" he reproduces a manuscript page with some Jerry doodles and what is described as a 'setlist':
     Dark Star     Clementine
     St Stephen     What's Become Of The Baby
     11     Dum De Doodly Do (presumably Cosmic Charley)
          China Cat Sunflower
          Impatient Man (no idea what this is)
          Cortical 5
          Eagle Mall
This looks odd for a setlist - much more like a tracklist for an album. But it indicates that Jerry was thinking about playing or recording Eagle Mall.

Further Information
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography


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