Dead co-founder Bob Weir is credited with the lyrics and music for this song, but the seed came from words by Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. The story of this collaboration was told differently by Weir and Hunter, but the essence is that Hunter gave a lyrical sketch to Weir, who then spent a night tinkering and coming up with something very different from how the sketch started.
As Weir recalled in a March 2, 2004 interview with David Gans, he took a verse by Hunter and wrote "One More Saturday Night" around it. When he took it to Hunter for feedback, Hunter decided the song was now Weir's baby and so should have Hunter's name removed.
Hunter's recollections were a little less congenial. In 1978, he said he was so unhappy with Weir's rewrites that he didn't want anything to do with the song and asked his name to be removed.
A Long Strange Trip by Dennis McNally favors Hunter's version, as McNally describes them clashing over the issue and Hunter thinking Weir's rewrites were just plain bad.
Consistent across all accounts is that Weir wanted to name the song "U.S. Blues." Hunter refused and decided to write his own "U.S. Blues," which led to the Dead song of that name.
Hunter sent a verse of lyrics to Dead.net
. David Dodd, who writes extensively on the site, reports that's he's not sure it is the verse Hunter shared with Weir so many years before - the one that spawned "One More Saturday Night." From the looks of it, though, it certainly may be.Dynamitin' depot, bricks are pourin' down
Cost your reputation if they catch you hangin' round
Ev'ry choice you look at serves but to confuse
Reckon you could call it the United States Blues
Oh baby, One more Saturday night
Unhuh, One more Saturday night
The verse contains the term "United States Blues," which would explain why Weir initially wanted "U.S. Blues" to be the title.
The song is about as straightforward a rock and roll tune as the Dead have, which has caused divisions among Deadheads over the years. Some love it, while others find it trite and unrepresentative of what the Dead are supposed to be about.
Ironically (for a song titled "One More Saturday Night"), the tune was first played live on a Tuesday. It was October 19, 1971, at the University of Minnesota's Northrop Auditorium.
Bruce Springsteen has covered the song during some live shows.
From 1966 to 1967, the Dead frequently played at the Santa Venetia Armory in Marin County, California. The line, "Now everybody's dancin' down the local armory," almost certainly refers to this time.
The Dead's final performance of the song was on July 8, 1995. All told, they played it 340 times.
Bob Weir (with the Dead backing him in the studio) recorded the song again for his Ace solo album released in May 1972. He released it as a single with "Cassidy" as the B-side.