It’s a Cruel World

‘Strange World’ was performed by the Mickey Hart Band, The Dead and the Rhythm Devils.  Mickey wrote the lyrics for this song and the music was composed by Mickey and Warren Haynes.  The Rhythm Devils is a name that is used to refer to the two Grateful Dead drummers, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, and the music they play together in a number of situations.  Hart and Kreutzmann formed the group known as the Rhythm Devils in 2006.  After the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995, some of the former members of the Grateful Dead including Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann created a group known as The Dead.  The Mickey Hart Band recorded the album Mysterium Tremendum in 2012, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information on this group.

Hart grew up in Brooklyn and Long Island, estranged from his drummer father, Lenny Hart.  Mickey’s father convinced his son to work for him in the Hart Music Store in San Carlos, California and when Mickey took the job, they changed the name to Hart Drum City.  One of the renowned drummers to visit the store was Sonny Payne, who played with jazz legend Count Basie.  Hart met Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann at the Filmore in August 1967 when they were introduced by an unknown stranger.  Hart, Kreutzmann, and Payne attended a performance by Big Brother and the Holding Company the Janis Joplin-fronted band at the Matrix and Payne was unimpressed, so he left.  Mickey stayed with Bill and later they bought a bottle of Scotch whiskey and wandered through the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco, drinking and drumming on parked cars.

Kreutzmann invited Hart to visit the Grateful Dead rehearsals at a warehouse called the Potrero Theater on 308 Connecticut, but Hart couldn’t find the place.  On September 29, 1967, Hart attended his first Grateful Dead concert, which was held at the Straight Theater on Haight Street.  During the band’s intermission, Kreutzmann invited Hart to sit in with the band on the second set.  For nearly two hours, the band performed the song ‘Alligator’, which segued into the song ‘Caution’, and Hart was invited to join the band.  He moved into a closet in Kreutzmann and Lesh’s Belvedere Street apartment and became the sixth member of the band.  Hart would often take LSD with Kreutzmann or hypnotize the other drummer before shows in attempts to rhythmically mesh their two drumming styles.  Mickey Hart is listed by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time.  The lyrics in ‘Strange World’ seem to fit in perfectly with the Covid-19 pandemic world that we are all living in now.

Strange world
Time’s running out
It’s crazy
Make me want to shout

No escape
Nowhere to turn
Clock keep ticking, ticking, ticking
No money to burn

Living in a strange world
Oh, oh, oh
Living in a strange world
Oh, oh, oh
Living in a strange world
Oh, oh, oh

And desolation
It’s a cruel world
There’s so much frustration

The world’s going mad
It’s getting real bad
Oh, it’s getting real bad


Don’t give up without a fight
You know everything’s gonna be all right
You got to be strong to survive
Got to keep hope alive
Keep hope alive

Is an act of fate, an act of fate
The sun comes up tomorrow, up tomorrow
It’s never too late, it’s never too late
Never too late

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the theme is Cruel/Evil/Horrible/Monster/Wicked.

13 thoughts on “It’s a Cruel World

  1. Looking into a crystal ball??? I feel like there was a tarot reading here?

    The world’s going mad
    It’s getting real bad
    Oh, it’s getting real bad


    Great choice, Jim! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s