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© Neal Preston/CORBIS
“It’s three women – three verses, three different women – one of whom is Joni; one of whom is Christine Hinton, my girlfriend who got killed; and one is another girl whose identity I promised I wouldn’t reveal.
“You know, it’s hard to judge your own work, but I think this might be my best song – although I’m still trying to beat it. [Laughs] Musically, it’s really intricate and delicious. It goes 4/4, 6/8, 7/4, each verse in a sequence. I didn’t know it until one of the Grateful Dead guys said, ‘Did you ever count that?’
“I like it musically, I like it lyrically, and I like the mood that it creates a lot. The guitar pattern, I can’t say how it came about. I just fooled around and it came out. It’s in a very odd tuning that a guy from the Midwest showed me one time. Nobody really owns tunings. I’ve shown it to thousands of people over the years, and they went off and wrote their own songs.
“I do think this one is beautiful. It could be my best.”