This 11-minute number is about the New York gangster Joey Gallo, who was gunned down by a rival at a restaurant in New York City. Dylan's song is a highly sensationalized account of Gallo's life.
A number of the songs on Desire, including this one, were co-written by the songwriter/theater director Jacques Levy, who had co-written the Byrds song "Chestnut Mare." Levy also acted as stage manager on Dylan's 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue.
This song generated controversy as it was thought that it glorified the violent activities of Gallo and it took liberties with the truth. Dylan responded to these accusations in a 2009 interview published on his website: "Jacques Levy wrote the words. Jacques had a theatrical mind and he wrote a lot of plays. So the song might have been theater of the mind. I just sang it. Some say Davy Crockett takes a lot of liberties with the truth and Billy the Kid too – FDR in Trinidad. Have you ever heard that?"
Squatch from California While much maligned by Dylan fans Joey was likely the strongest Dylan Dead song. Check out the 87 JFK and Giants Healy Matrix recordings on Relisten - sound is way better than the Dylan Dead album. Garcia singing back up to Dylan and the powerful stadium Phil bass bombs make it worth a listen.
Barry from New York, NcI really like the DYLAN AND THE DEAD version of this song. One of the things I will go to my grave now knowing is... why people hate DYLAN AND THE DEAD so much? I love the album yet everybody else considers it the worst of the worst.
The chorus of "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir" in "Lady Marmalade" is French for "Do you want to sleep with me tonight?" When Labelle performed it on television, they had to change it to "Voulez-vous danser avec moi ce soir" (Do you want to dance with me tonight?).