Shakedown Street (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Shakedown Street"
Single by Grateful Dead
from the album Shakedown Street
ReleasedNovember 15, 1978
Songwriter(s)Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter
Producer(s)Lowell George

"Shakedown Street" is a song by the Grateful Dead. It was written by lyricist Robert Hunter and composed by guitarist Jerry Garcia.[2] It was released as the title track on the album Shakedown Street in November 1978. The song was first performed live on August 31, 1978, at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, in Morrison, Colorado.[2] The song "From the Heart of Me" was also played for the first time during the performance.[2] It depicts the reasons for inner-city urban decay. The album Shakedown Street reached number 41 on the Billboard Top 200 for 1979.[3]

The term "Shakedown Street" was later used colloquially to describe the area outside of Grateful Dead concerts where vendors sold their wares.


"Shakedown Street" was produced by Lowell George.[4] The song was recorded and mixed at the band's studio, Club Le Front, in San Rafael, California.[5] The recording took place throughout July 31, 1978 and August 18, 1978. "Shakedown Street" is found on the band's original album Shakedown Street (1978) as well as single recordings on Shakedown Street/France (1979), and Alabama Getaway/Shakedown Street (1981).[6]

Musicians include:[7]

Shakedown Street vending[edit]

After the song's success, many Grateful Dead followers, or Deadheads, used the name for the vending areas outside of Grateful Dead concerts during the 1980s and 90s. These areas were a place to purchase merchandise, food, and often illicit items.[3]

In more recent years, the music and arts festival Bonnaroo has used the term to describe the concert's long strip of vending.[8]


  1. ^ "Take a walk down 'Shakedown Street'". Massachusetts Daily Collegian. 2023-11-15. Retrieved 2024-01-27. "Shakedown Street" is a direct result of the pop music climate of the time.
  2. ^ a b c Dodd, David. "The Annotated 'Shakedown Street'". The Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics. Retrieved 2007-02-21.
  3. ^ a b Planer, Lindsay. "Shakedown Street" song review. n. pag. Allmusic. Web. Retrieved 21 Sep 2011.
  4. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 283. CN 5585.
  5. ^ "Shakedown Street : Review". 2000-06-30. Retrieved 2016-03-14.
  6. ^ "Grateful Dead Family Discography: Shakedown Street / France". Retrieved 2016-03-14.
  7. ^ "Grateful Dead Family Discography: Shakedown Street". 1978-11-15. Retrieved 2016-03-14.
  8. ^ "Bonnaroo Top 5 Activities: #4—Shakedown Street". Archived from the original on March 27, 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2011.

External links[edit]