like many young people who got into the grateful dead later in their career because of age, ignorance or any other whathaveyou’s, skeletons from the closet was one of my first grateful dead album purchases (american beauty was my very first one, and i bought it along with deep blue something’s album that had “breakfast at tiffany’s” on it. i regret nothing).
“the golden road (to unlimited devotion)” is the first song on the skeletons album, and was the first psychedelic 60’s radio single i think i ever heard. i remember reading in some dead biography that jerry didn’t like playing it for whatever reason, and to my knowledge was only played 4-5 times in 1967.
when jerry died and the various grateful dead member offshoot bands emerged, phil and friends were the ones to play it first and most often, as he was reviving a lot of their early music that had been shelved for so long.
this song has long been a staple of my early morning rise and shine mix- it’s not what the dead became known for, but it’s an upbeat song that always puts me in a good mood and even moreso than touch of grey was the closest the band ever got to writing a traditional pop song.