Hard To Handle

Lyrics: Otis Redding
Music: Otis Redding

Sung regularly by Pigpen with the Grateful Dead, but not revived by them after he died (except for a couple of performances with Etta James). But subsequently played by The Other Ones, Phil Lesh & Friends and The Dead.

Pigpen sang the verses pretty much the same each time, though the rap in the middle varied - this is from the version on "Bear's Choice":

Baby here I am, and I'm a man upon the scene
I have to give you what you want but you gotta come home with me
And I got a whole load of good old lovin', and I got some in store
When I get through throwin' it on you got to come back for some more
Boys and things will come by the dozen
But that ain't nothing but drug-store lovin'
Pretty little thing let me light your candle
'Cause mama I'm sure hard to handle
Now yes I am

Actions speak louder than words, and I'm a man with great experience
I know you got you another man but I can love you better than him
Take my hand and don't be afraid, I'm gonna prove every word I say
I'm advertising love for free, so won't you place your ad with me
Boys and things will come by the dozen
But that ain't nothing but drug-store lovin'
Pretty little thing let me light your candle
'Cause mama I'm sure hard to handle
Now yes I am

[Pigpen improvised rap]
Give it to me
I got to have it
Some of your love
I'm a big old man
Sometimes
I get hard to handle baby
Sometimes
I get kind of hard to handle now
Yes I want to have
Some of your love
Some of your love
Make me feel pretty good now, yes it do

Baby here I am, and I'm a man upon the scene
And I can give you what you want but you gotta come home with me
And I got a whole load of good old lovin', and I got some in store
When I get through throwin' it on you got to come back for some more
Boys and things will come by the dozen
But that ain't nothing but drug-store lovin'
Pretty little thing let me light your candle
'Cause mama I'm sure hard to handle
Now yes I am
Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     23 May 1969 Road Trips Volume 4, Number 1
     17 Apr 1969 Download Series Vol 12
     12 Dec 1969 Dave's Picks Volume 10
     20 Dec 1969 Dave's Picks Volume 6
      2 Feb 1970 Dave's Picks Volume 6
      4 Feb 1970 A Night At The Family Dog (DVD)
      4 Feb 1970 Download Series: A Night At The Family Dog
     14 Feb 1970 History Of The Grateful Dead Vol 1 (Bear's Choice)
     15 May 1970 Road Trips Vol 3 No 3 (late show)
     Jun/Jul 1970 Festival Express (DVD)
     29 Apr 1971 Ladies And Gentlemen ... The Grateful Dead (note 1)
     31 Jul 1971 Road Trips Number 1, Volume 3
      6 Aug 1971 Fall Out From The Phil Zone
      6 Aug 1971 Road Trips Number 1, Volume 3 (bonus disc)
      7 Aug 1971 Dick's Picks Vol 35
 
Other Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     1976 New Riders New Riders Of The Purple Sage
     1998 Live, Vol 1 Joe Gallant and Illuminati
Notes
(1) the audio from this show is also used on the soundtrack of the video Backstage Pass


The original version by Otis Redding is available on many compilations - Pigpen sticks pretty closely to the verses as Otis Redding sang them, and even his raps borrowed ideas from the ending of Redding's recorded version.