Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To


Regardless of what Grand Funk Railroad might have asserted, the Grateful Dead were the most American Band.

Grand Funk didn’t make any claims to their level of American-ness. They stated that they were “an” American Band.

Fuck you and your centrism.

I’ve grown tired of your bad attitude.

Took you much longer than most people. Anyhoo, the Dead were as American as diabetes, cheating in baseball, and having a solid-but-not-perfect grasp of geography. 97.3% of all Dead shows took place in the States–you can check my math if you want: 65 foreign gigs out of 2356 total–and half of that remaining 2.7% was Canada. Yet the band did not spread its love, and love-related infections, evenly.

Five states (not four, like I said Without Research) saw no Grateful Dead shows whatsoever: Delaware, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, and Arkansas. The middle three make sense, as those locations are a million miles from anywhere, and they’re not on the way to someplace decent, and no one lives there, anyway. Skipping Delaware and Arkansas is more puzzling, though. Delaware is tiny and pointless, but there is a big-ass college there that, by all rights, the Dead should have hit in 1971; Arkansas was such a reliable rockyroll tour stop that anthems were written about the local chicks. Grand Funk wrote one. Remember Grand Funk? We were just discussing them. You forgot? It was, like, 200 words ago; how could you forget? Are you taking your medicine?

Please stop harassing your readership.


You’re making no sense tonight. It’s worse than usual.

Furthermore, the Dead played five states only once, but you could also count it as six. To wit: the band played one-nighters in Montana (74), New Hampshire and Mississippi (both 78), Idaho (83) and South Carolina (85), but they also only went to Alaska once, in 1980. While on the tundra, they played three nights in a row, but I think it should count along with the other five.

And, as long as we’re talking Dead-related confusion, here’s that fucking Les Paul Junior that pops up throughout the 70’s:



  1. Wrayven

    That’s a 58-60 Les Paul Special. The Jr is a single bridge pickup 2 pots affair-think Johnny Thunders, Leslie West & Keith Richards(the Tumbling Dice guitar).Carlos Santana played a similar Les Paul Special in the early 70’s

    The real question is did Pigpen play poker with Freddie King with those chiquitas in Omaha

  2. Tor Haxson

    Here is Grand Funk, with Freddie King, playing some Bill Withers,,


  3. is it about my cube

    I don’t remember the Idaho show being anything exceptional (shocking for an ’83, I know), but it may be the one time Phil actually earns his mic privileges–he opens the show with “Citizens of Boise, submit or perish: you are a conquered people.” Apparently the local populace was a big bug-eyed over the Deadhead circus.

  4. is it about my cube

    The Phishes are playing their first Arkansas show ever this summer, after almost 40 years together (give or take a hiatus). Maybe it’s just not jam friendly?

  5. Luther Von Baconson

    Donna’s but she lost it to Ramrod in a poker game

  6. Mean, Green, Devil Eating Machine

    Look who’s on drums. 🙂

    • Smoke

      Love me some Parish.

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