St. Stephen (song)
|Single by Grateful Dead|
|from the album Aoxomoxoa|
|Writer(s)||Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Robert Hunter|
|Producer(s)||Bob Matthews and Betty Cantor|
"St. Stephen" is a song by the Grateful Dead, written by Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh and Robert Hunter and originally released on the 1969 studio album Aoxomoxoa. The same year, a live version of the song was released on Live/Dead, their first concert album. Unlike the studio version, live versions usually included a section of the song called the "William Tell Bridge", which was used to segue into "The Eleven". After being played frequently in live concerts from the late 1960s to the early 1970s, the song fell out of regular performance; subsequent live performances of St. Stephen were thus considered a special event by deadheads.
The song makes reference to the last days and trial of the 1st century AD saint, Stephen, the first martyr of the New Testament of the Bible, who was stoned to death. Many Deadheads believe that the song is about Stephen Gaskin; However, Hunter denied this in an interview.
- Oliver Trager (1997). "The American Book of the Dead". Simon and Schuster,.