"Chest Fever" was written as a reaction to "The Weight." It is what Robertson refers to as a "vibes" song. "At the time I'm thinking, 'Wait a minute, where are we going here with Buñuel and all of these ideas and the abstractions and all of the mythology?' This music, for us, started on something that felt good and sounded good and who cares. 'Chest Fever' was like, here's the groove, come in a little late. Let's do the whole thing so it's like pulling back and then it gives in and kind of kicks in and goes with the groove a little bit. If you like 'Chest Fever' it's for God knows what reason, it's just in there somewhere, this quirky thing. But it doesn't make particularly any kind of sense in the lyrics, in the music, in the arrangement, in anything."
The beginning always remained a showcase for Garth Hudson. On the recorded version he opens with a bit of Bach's Toccata & Fugue In D Minor. He adds, though, with a whimsical smile, "After that it becomes more unqualifiable, more ethnic." Hudson's intro eventually evolved into what became known as "The Genetic Method."
I want to know how much of the show is scripted and how much is crazy
A poem need not have a meaning and like most things in nature often does not have.
The coming into being of something new
does not by that fact deprive what was of its proper place. Each thing
has its own place, never takes the place of something else; and the
more things there are, as is said, the merrier.
I am not careful to justify
myself. I own I am gladdened by seeing the predominance of the
saccharine principle throughout vegetable nature, and not less by
beholding in morals that unrestrained inundation of the principle of
good into every chink and hole that selfishness has left open, yea,
into selfishness and sin itself; so that no evil is pure, nor hell
itself without its extreme satisfactions. But lest I should mislead any
when I have my own head and obey my whims, let me remind the reader
that I am only an experimenter. Do not set the least value on what I
do, or the least discredit on what I do not, as if I pretended to
settle any thing as true or false. I unsettle all things. No facts are
to me sacred; none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker,
with no Past at my back.
What he did in that walk, was from the irresistible promptings of
instinct, and a disinterested love of art.