Me And My Uncle

Album: Skull & Roses (1971)

Songfacts®:

  • John Phillips from The Mamas & The Papas wrote this song. In the liner notes to his solo album Phillips 66 (where his version of the song appears), it states: "John often used to tell the story behind 'Me And My Uncle.' Years ago he began receiving publishing royalties from a song on a Judy Collins record with which he was unfamiliar. It was titled 'Me And My Uncle.' He called Judy to let her know of the mistake because he hadn't written any such song. She laughed and told him that about a year before, in Arizona after one of her concerts, they had a 'Tequila' night back at the hotel with Stephen Stills, Neil Young and a few others. They were running a blank cassette and John proceeded to write 'Me And My Uncle' on the spot. The next day, John woke up to the tequila sunrise with no recollection of the songwriting incident. Judy kept the cassette from that evening and then, without informing John, recorded the song for her own record. Over the years the song was recorded by several people, and eventually became a standard of the Grateful Dead. John used to joke that, little by little, with each royalty check, the memory of writing the song would come back to him."
  • This was one of the most frequently performed songs by the Grateful Dead. Other artists to perform it include John Denver and Dino Valente. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France

Comments: 7

  • Patrick from Bushnell, Floridato Barry from New York, I appreciate your skepticism but among artists, these things happen. Joe Ely tells how he wrote a song called Indian Cowboy after a show when he was in Oklahoma. He recorded it on a tape and went to bed. He says he forgot about it. Some time later, he said he was driving down I-35 in Austin with the radio on and he hear Guy Clark singing a song about an Indian Cowboy. He says, I really dug it. So I called Guy and said, Guy, that song Indian Cowboy. I love it. To which he said Guy replied, "You should, Joe. You wrote it."' Huh? His producer kept custody of the tape and when Guy was looking for a song to cover on an album he was recording the producer gave it to Guy. Clark liked it and recorded it. Now it is a regular at Joe Ely's shows, since he re-discovered it. These things happen.
  • Derek from Livingston, MtTo Barry in New York: About your comment concerning Me And My Uncle not landing "onto an LP until 1971." This is incorrect. Dino Valenti recorded it on his LP, "Dino Valente" (sic) in 1968.
  • Barry from New York, NcI just don't buy John Phillips' own account that he forgot that he wrote his own song. The song seems too intricate and complex for someone to write on the spot and forget about instantly. Probably John Phillips was just being modest.
  • Karl from Fairfield, PaThis song was played live 605 times between 1966 and 1995 making it the Grateful Dead's most performed song.
  • Barry from New York, NcThis song was included in the Dead's repetoir since 1966 but did not land onto an LP until 1971 when it was included on the GRATEFUL DEAD (Skull and Roses) album. It was doubtful that few in the audience actually knew the title of the song. At one 1970 concert, someone in the audience kept shouting for a tune called "West Texas Cowboy."
  • Mike from Philadelphia, PaKevin from Reading, PA forgot about "Mexicali Blues" , a song that Weir co-wrote with best buddy John Perry Barlow.
  • Kevin from Reading , PaDead co-lead vocalist Bob Weir has a penchant for singing these western songs, others Weir has covered either with the Dead or his own bands include Johnny Cash's "Big River," and a pair of Marty Robbins tunes, "El Paso" and "Big Iron."
    (Kevin C., Reading, PA)
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