Terrapin Flyer

Lyrics: [none]
Music: Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann

An instrumental portion of the Terrapin Station Suite, recorded on the studio CD "Terrapin Station." It is the up-tempo portion immediately after the lyrics to At A Siding end (it starts at 11.03 into the CD track). See Aaron Donovan's and Todd Corey's analyses for further information.

The Grateful Dead only once attempted to play it live, on 18 March 1977, but abandoned it after half a minute. In an interview in Relix in 1978, Bob Weir said:

"We had worked up the [Terrapin Flyer section of the Terrapin suite] for the Englishtown show [on 3 September 1977]. I even put on the double-necked twelve-string and I was gonna play it. But then Mickey decided at the last moment that it was too hot and he was exhausted - that "Flyer" section requires a whole lot of energy from the drummers, 'cause they're doing 32nd notes at a pretty good clip, and he has to hold one arm up and do 32nd notes on the cymbal all through the section. so we scrapped it."
Mickey Hart in an interview with David Gans 1984 said:
"Keith Olsen was a good producer, and a good engineer. He was the most qualified. But he had a problem: he didn't know the Grateful Dead, and he wanted to mold the Grateful Dead in his own image. He did something that was one of the most disrespectful things that has ever happened to me musically in my life. On the second side of Terrapin, 'At a Siding' and 'Terrapin Flyer' are mine. The 'Flyer' was supposed to be a timbale solo with me and Garcia doing duets, timbale and guitar. Olsen erased one of the beautiful timbale tracks in Europe and replaced it with all these strings. He played it for me, and my mouth dropped. He didn't ask, he erased it off the master and replaced it all with strings. I put my timbale solo back on."
More recently, Bob Weir has played "Terrapin Transit">"At A Siding">"Terrapin Flyer" with Ratdog and with Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros.

Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     1987 Terrapin Station (note 1)
Other Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     1996 Play Terrapin Station The Mudkats
     Jun 2021 Live In Colorado Vol 2 Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros

(1) also on the compilations The Arista Years and The Best Of The Grateful Dead


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