It’s sequel time here in Fillmore South:

Things I love about the Dead, Part the II

  • When Bobby would say “Thank you,” in that silly high-pitched voice.
  • The end of China Doll where it generally dissolves a little and then Garcia comes in all by himself with the “Take up your China Doll” part, which is really difficult to sing, because the notes are weird AND you have to get the time right, since you’re basically counting the band back in with it AND it’s pitched pretty high, but he got it right far more often than not.
  • The beginning of Truckin’ they’d do sometimes, with the whistles and the snare drums: BRUM-bum BRUM-bum BRRRRRR rum-bum.
  • Occasionally, later in the career, when Bobby would (as is the running gag with both my bloggings and, you know, actual recorded-on-tape reality) forget the lyrics to Truckin’, Phil would start BOMBING away at him and then come in on the next part where they all sing just SUPER LOUD, so clearly seething at the fact that it’s been ten years: learn the words, man.
  • He’s Gone. Not so much on the “Bop bop bop” coda.
  • The jam after Seastones from 6/23/74. Seriously, try to listen to Seastones. Now, on acid. But listen to what Garcia does right after: he plays the sweetest, softest lines, and leads everyone back from the dark place where Ned Lagin touched them.
  • The Baby Dead. The way they would take a riff and just brutalize it, tear it apart and put it back together, mostly the same but weirder for the journey.
  • Their refusal to give in to peer pressure. Often, they would be the only ones in the room who wanted to smoke and bullshit and yell at Bobby for five minutes; the other several thousand people present preferred some form of entertainment. Because, holy god, do these baboons take a long time in between songs. Sometimes for no discernible reason: you can’t hear them talking, nor are they tuning. Were they just wandering around confused for three minutes at a time? It’s not unprecedented: Thelonious Monk did it.