Through Eternity

‘Eternity’ was written during the sessions for Rob Wasserman’s Trios album, with Weir playing a chord progression and melody to Dixon to see if he liked it.  The song was released later on the Grateful Dead So Many Roads CD.  Bob Weir went to see Wille Dixon when he played at the Sweetwater in Mill Valley, a club that was near Bob’s house.  After the show, Weir and Rob Wasserman were hanging with Dixon, and he said, “Well, you gotta come on down and we’ll write some tunes.”   Bob went to jam in Dixon’s garage home studio when a documentary was being made about his life.  Then Rob Wasserman suggested that they work on a song for his Trios record.  They got together in a studio in West Hollywood and kicked some ideas around and agreed to regroup the next day in Bob’s hotel room.  Bob had the song’s signature descending riff, which he wrote based on Wille telling him, “Don’t be going to any of them jazz chords.”  Wille wanted to step slightly out of his bag, which is why he wanted to work with Bob, but he didn’t want to step too far, just do some more extended chord changes and stuff like that, so Weir came up with this Louis Jordan jump-blues style pattern.

Willie slowed it down and they started developing it, and Dixon came up with a chorus and got Weir to sing it with him singing the harmony part.  Then they went to separate corners to hammer out their parts and Willie was jotting down words really fast.  Rob and Bob started working this tune up, and Willie liked it, and he started writing stuff.  Bob had this chord progression and melody that he ran by Willie to see if he liked it and he did, so he started dashing off words.  Dixon wanted Weir to run a certain section by him again and stuff like that, and they started working on a bridge.  By the time they had sort of fluffed up a verse and a chorus, musically, Willie handed Bob a sheet of paper with the lyrics to this song and said, “Now, you go ahead and sing this.”  Dixon asked Weir to read through it and sing the melody to see if they fit.

Bob was really stoked to be working with the legendary Willie Dixon, but when he read the lyrics, he was originally disappointed thinking the writing was almost child-like, wondering if maybe Willie was getting too old or something like that, but Willie told him to, “Sing it out loud,” so Bob started and after two verses and choruses of thinking it rather lame, the eloquent simplicity of the words hit him and his jaw just dropped.  Bob was astounded by the simple grace of this song that he was just given.  Bob sensed that Willie read everything he was thinking, because Willie just started laughing and said, “That’s the wisdom of the blues.”  This was a big moment for Weir because Bob always considered Willie Dixon to be a fucking saint, going way back before he him, and Bob’s suspicions were confirmed after knowing him for a few years.  They finished writing the song with Willie just before Dixon died of heart failure on January 29, 1992.

Wasserman was asked by Dixon to be a part of his Dream Band in 1990 and when he died, Rob dedicated his Trios album to the late bluesman.  Rob Wasserman was not a household name, but he is an extraordinary stand-up bassist who has been a fixture in the music scene for many years, but he is probably best known for his work with Grateful Dead star Bob Weir in the group Ratdog.  He recorded a trilogy of albums, Solo in 1983, Duets in 1988, and Trios in 1994.  Trios assembles some of his friends that got together to record songs in sets of three musicians; no over-dubs, no multi-tracks, just pure, honest music making.  These groups of three along with Rob Wasserman include, Neil Young with Bob Weir, Brian Wilson with Carnie Wilson (his daughter), Bruce Hornsby with Branford Marsalis, Jerry Garcia with Edie Brickell, Elvis Costello with Marc Ribot, Wille Dixon with Al Duncan (from Chuck Berry’s original band), Les Claypool with Chris Whitley and finally Cellists Joan Jeanrenaud and Matt Haimovitz.

I’m lookin’ out my window
I watch the clouds go by
I look to see eternity
The endless rolling sky

You cannot think of eternity
Think of it like time
You try to think, you try to count
You just mess up your mind

Eternity, eternity
Honey, I love you, you love me
Let’s love each other through eternity

Since before man could see
There was eternity
After man is come and gone
Eternity lingers on, eternity lingers on

Everything crawl, creep, or fly
Just live until they die
I love you, honey you love me
Let’s love each other through eternity

Eternity, eternity
I love you, you love me
Let’s love each other through eternity
Through eternity

Well I think about life, we don’t know
Whether it all could be in vain
Look through time, it’s for sure
It’s the greatest gift to man

Music and Love, you can’t explain
Try and understand
The greatest thing could ever be
We make love through eternity
Make love through eternity

When the world think our defeat
Think that we are gone
We’ll still have our place of peace
Our love will linger on, linger on

We won’t care just what who said
If it’s truth or lie
We’ll still have our greatest gift
Our love won’t ever die
Love won’t ever die
Love won’t ever die

Written for Song Lyric Sunday with the prompt of Endless/Eternity/Everlasting/Forever/Infinity/Omega.

17 thoughts on “Through Eternity

  1. The Dixon part was awesome. It has to be cool to not only work with one of your heroes but to be impressed by him at the same time. I’m glad he got to work with him before it was too late.

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