Thoughts On The Dead

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

Oteil Burbridge’s Long-Lost Origin Story: Unlost At Last!

Literally everything is wrong with this photo. From the rando’s sneakers to Josh’s eyebrow game. Every single thing.

“Oh, it’s not that bad.”

Who’s talking? Wait, lemme guess. It was vaguely optimistic and not slurred. Oteil?

“Hey, friend.”

You’re such a cheerful guy.

“Got a lot to be cheerful about. I’m a blessed man.”


“Happy, healthy family. Money’s rolling in. Hell, I’m sorta in the Grateful Dead.”


“I said ‘sorta.’ I know that my membership has some sorta to it. But, hey: I’m more in the Dead than, like, anyone else on the planet. Jeff Bezos. How much he worth?”

Like, a hundred billion dollars.

“And he isn’t in the Grateful Dead in the slightest. You know Cardi B?”

She’s killing this rap game.

“Killing it. But what percent in the Grateful Dead is she?”

Zero. Cardi B is 0% in the Grateful Dead.

“There you go.”

You and Jeff really are the reasonable ones.

“Well, fucking duh. We’re not Rock Stars. They’re all of ’em nuts. It does something to your brain, man. Rewires stuff. Lose touch with the real world. I once had to sneak Gregg Allman out of a grocery store because he thought the produce section was the backstage spread and went hogwild on the carrots. Man ate, like, forty bucks worth of carrots in ten minutes.”

All of that story is terrible.

“And then I tried to, like, explain what had happened to him, because he was blaming Clive Davis, and I say to him, ‘Gregg, that’s not how the supermarket works,’ and he just stared at me for a while. Then he played his harmonica. I don’t think I got through to him.”

Almost certainly not.

“These four aren’t the worst I’ve seen.”

Who was?

“Ozzy. That man had no relationship with reality.”

Why do you know Ozzy Osbourne?

“I played in his band for years, man.”

No, you didn’t.

“I did, but I used a different name.”


“Rudy Sarzo.”

Stop it.

“Look it up.”

I looked it up. You were not Rudy Sarzo.

“Different haircuts.”

Different hair, Oteil. That guy’s white.


Uh-huh. Your contention is that during the 1980’s, you performed with Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, and Whitesnake as Rudy Sarzo?

“It is.”


“The Hair Metal scene of the 80’s was racist as shit, but I had power ballads in my soul. So I pulled a White Girls.”

Going the other way is called “pulling a Soul Man.”

“No, it’s called fucking blackface.”

Oh, right. Forgot. Listen, Oteil: I love you, but you were not a King of the Sunset Strip.

“Believe what you want. I have my memories and my leather pants. I can’t get into the pants any more, but I still have them.”

Nope. Too weird even for this shitshow.

1 Comment

  1. If only there were some technology — say, perhaps, a sheath of some sort — that would allow someone to visit Oteil on Sunset Strip in the 1980s …

    That would be enjoyable to read about, I bet.

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