Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: 1965 (page 1 of 2)

Don’t Change Your Hair For Me

Not if you care for me.

Dead, Reckoning

This is Wikipedia’s list of all the bands (rock bands and such working in the Western music idiom, at least) that formed in 1965. Go look. I’ll wait.

There’s a couple groups that still sell records and can–in whatever lineup they’re presenting as the band these days–pack a house (The Doors, Floyd). There’s a few that the hip kids still pretend to like (Love, Captain Beefheart, The 13th Floor Elevators), and some others that our older readers my vaguely remember from their one moment in the sun (Country Joe said “Fuck” at Woodstock, The Left Banke sang Walk Away, Renee, The Turtles were Happy Together),

But just one that sold out football stadiums last summer with the lineup up “most of ’em,” and sells out arenas and baseball stadiums this summer with the lineup of “some of ’em.”

And I’m sure you could do this with companies that formed in 1965, or products introduced, or whatever, but the same question would remain: why them? Why not the others?

And here would be the answer to that question, no matter what the specific topic: dunno. The songs? The vibe? The right sacrifices to the correct Abandoned Gods? Your guess is as good as mine. (Well, honestly: probably not as good as mine.)

And here’s the even funner answer: the band doesn’t know either.

In fact, they might be the worst people to ask.

p.s. I do actually understand why the Dead are the Dead, and I’d love to write a television program about it.


Rambling Rose By Any Other Name

As you know, TotD has declared the Grateful Dead’s 50th Anniversary over.

And, yet, you continue to talk about it.

I could go back to comic books and movies that haven’t come out yet.

Proceed with the anniversary jokes.

This being the date of the first show played as the Grateful Dead instead of The Warlocks, I broke into Nicholas von Merriweather’s private study as the GD Archive on the campus of UC Santa Cruz. (Go Banana Slugs.) Unfortunately, it was three in the afternoon and he was there.

Quickly, I chloroformed him, but it turns out chloroform doesn’t actually work that way in real life, so I Colorformed him, but it turns out slapping vinyl stickers on someone doesn’t work at all. Then, I chlorophylled him, but it–

Stop it.

Anyway, after dispatching von Merriweather, I found one of the true Holy Grails of Dead collecting: a list of names considered for the band never before seen in public! I share it with you now.

  • Portishead.
  • Pig and the Pens.
  • Vascular Disease.
  • Ray Bradbury’s Lusty Negro.
  • Myrtle Beech and the Carolinas.
  • Schmuck Schmuck Goose.
  • Flank Steak.
  • Loin.
  • Rump Roast. (The last three were Bear’s ideas.)
  • Zoo Full of Cock. (Billy’s.)
  • The Sensamillionaires.
  • Homeless Foot.
  • Farrington Jabbersmith, DDS.
  • Motorfucker.
  • Stool Sample.
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
  • The Palo Alto Playmakers.
  • Bazooka Hour.
  • Liquid Scarf Demolition.
  • Low Spiritual Dynamite.
  • Lethal Sanction Demand.
  • Limited Slip Differential. (This went on for quite a while.)
  • One more: Laughable Sasquatch Dong.

Close Enough

This is one of the shots that got rediscovered from the very, very, very first gig (actually the afternoon of, probably) in May of ’65, whereas we are celebrating the first gig under the name The Grateful Dead today, but it’s big enough to make your wallpaper, so I thought I’d pass it along.

End Of The Beginning

One Halloween when I was young, my father walked to the door at around 8:30 and shouted to the neighborhood, “That’s it! Halloween’s over! All children home now!” Now, my father may or may not have been a dick (may) but his lesson was a good one: sometimes, someone needs to step in and declare something done; TotD does so now.

The 50th Anniversary is over. No more Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary, please. I don’t care if next week is the 50th anniversary of Garcia playing an entire set out of tune or whatever: leave me out of it. Today was another in a seemingly unending string of these days; over the past year, we’ve celebrated the 50th anniversaries of:

  • First practice.
  • First practice everyone showed up at.
  • First practice everyone blew off.
  • First practice that didn’t end in a fistfight.
  • First time everyone saw Phil naked (this was within an hour).
  • First time everyone saw Billy naked (right after Phil).
  • First through eleventh time someone tried to explain the scoring system of tennis to Bobby. (“Well, why don’t they just say ‘zero?'”)
  • First time Bobby was the only one to get laid after the gig.
  • First time the harmonies were “good enough, man.”
  • First T-shirt Tuesday.
  • First time the nitties were box-back.

We’ve had a lot of fun this year and, you know: you don’t need an excuse to celebrate the Dead and the wonderful music they left us, or the silly stories we tell about them.

This now concludes the scolding. See you for the 60th.

Bringing It All Back Home

IMG_1639On this day when it seems like everyone connected with the Grateful Dead, including the members of the Dead, have had quite enough of the Grateful Dead’s disorganized bullshit, let’s go back to where it all started.

Commentator and esteemed proprietor of Hooterollin’ Corry shares this shot of Magoo’s Pizzeria, the site of the Warlocks’ first gig half-a-century ago; it may be the only picture left of the place.

There were no VIP packages at Magoo’s. You could get a slice and a Coke for 15 cents; for an extra dime, Magoo would come out from behind the counter and dance the tarantella with whichever customer had the fattest ass. Sometimes, it was Pig.

The specials were written on paper plates tacked to the wall. The checkerboard floors were discolored but spotless. Magoo’s enormous forearms were ashy-pale with a fine dust of dough. There was a cat; it was black; it had a completely unacceptable name. An old woman who spoke no English was there, but not always the same woman.

For the price of a pizza and a beer at Levi’s Stadium, you could have ordered the entire menu at Magoo’s, twice over, then played the jukebox, and gotten tuggers.

Three, Way

phil bobby jerry65
The wind is at our backs; the sun is in our eyes.

The rain threatens, but that’s all: it cowers in the face of determined men, we tell ourselves.

The way has never lain ahead.

It must be made.

IMG_1626Make your way, anyway you can.

No Longer A Kreutzchildd, Not Yet A Kreutzmann

billy cute youngHey, Lil’ Billy.

“Don’t call me that.”

How’s things?

“Ah, you know: band ain’t making any money, got a wife and kid already, car’s fucked up.”

Things’ll turn around.

“Yup. Until then, I’m still cute as hell with a great head of hair.”

You should enjoy those things now.

“Oh, yeah.”

Hey, Mister Tambourine Pig

pig 2 65I don’t care if it’s a digital recreation of a photograph taken fifty years ago and four thousand miles away: I can smell him.

Lipstick On A Pig

pig65This is weapons-grade ugly right here, but Pig’ll always be beautiful to me.

You know: his spirit. Not his physical being, specifically the face area. Hair is also terrible, but the face is where the problem is centered.

His aura, though: like a well-groomed unicorn.

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