Songs Of Their Own | Pete Lavezzoli – Black Peter


To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead, JamBase teamed with Telefunken to produce the Songs Of Their Own video series. We began with a list of 100 Grateful Dead original songs (exclusively their tunes, not covers they often played) and tapped many of our favorite artists to record a cover version either at the JamBase office in San Francisco or at one of the many venues around town and beyond. No song was allowed to be covered twice, and today’s participant Pete Lavezzoli shined through “Black Peter.”

The Grateful Dead’s December 4, 1969 performance at the Fillmore West in San Francisco saw the live debut of “Black Peter.” The Garcia/Hunter composition tells the tale of the final days of a dying man named Peter and was recorded for their 1970 album Workingman’s Dead. Though abandoned between October 1974 and October 1977, “Black Peter” was played live over 340 times, slotted as the second-to-last song of many second sets. Played only three times in 1995, its final live Dead performance came on June 22 at the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, New York.

Florida native Pete Lavezzoli – drummer for Melvin Seals & JGB as well as drummer for tonight’s Phil Lesh & Friends tribute to 1977 Grateful Dead show at Terrapin Crossroads – stepped out from behind the kit to handle lead vocals for this taping of “Black Peter.” Lavezzoli brought along Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz on lap steel guitar, Sean Leahy on acoustic guitar and Scott Guberman on keyboards to the JamBase offices to produce this earnest, bluesy rendition of the melancholy Grateful Dead song.

Watch all of the Songs Of Their Own entries including Jackie Greene, Strangefolk, Midnight North, Anders Osborne & Luther Dickinson, Keller Williams and more via the YouTube Playlist below.