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

Tag: 1986

Four? Loco!



How you holding up?

“This corona shit’s for pussies. Back in ’82, we had something going around called groupie pox.”

That sounds terrible.

“Contracting it was fun.”

Sure. Small question about the microphones on Bobby’s speaker cabinet.


Why four?

“There’s not four. Look careful. There’s five.”


“Weir had been complaining about wanting a fuller sound. So we did that to shut him up. I think only one mic is actually plugged in.”

Placebo mics?


Always something new with this band.

“Never boring, though. Except when we’d play Indianapolis. That was always boring.”

Cold Sweat

Elvis went nuts, and so did Michael Jackson. In her own low-key, tasteful way, Barbra Streisand might be crazier than entire lunatic asylums. But no one–no one at all–went bull goose starkers like James Brown did.

This is not, Enthusiasts, a legendary and historic performance; it’s just a 1980’s night in New York, but it has its charms. What, you ask?

  • The robot from Rocky IV introduces the set.
  • The band plays for 20 minutes before James decides to show up.
  • Holy shit, is he high.
  • I would say “high as a kite,” but kites honestly do not fly all that high.
  • Maybe if you brought a kite to the International Space Station, then James Brown would be as high as that kite.
  • James Brown: Hardest Working Man in Show Biz.
  • James Brown’s corset: Hardest Working Support Garment in Show Biz.
  • Are…are…are they playing the Entertainment Tonight theme song?
  • Jeff “Skunk” Baxter on guitar, for some reason.
  • The band is literally wearing Sexual Chocolate’s tuxedos.
  • The most half-assed “Put the cape on the Godfather and then he comes back” routine you’ve ever seen.
  • And–tell me if I’m lying, I dare you–James Brown is so high he cannot open his eyes the entire show.
  • So much fucking Jheri Curl.

Security To The Stage, Please

From relentless commentator and Prime Minister of Park Slope Drew, we get this from 2/11/86. It’s the Boys with the Brothers and approximately 84 million people are onstage and the cut for tonight is Eyes of the World.

Every Neville in the world is up there, banging and hammering and some rude motherfucker brought his goddamn drum machine and maybe the monitors aren’t working, or maybe there’s just too many Nevilles, but it does not work.

Give it a listen: it sounds like Garcia wants to throttle someone, specifically someone large, black, and invited by Mickey.

Seriously: how many Nevilles are on the stage? Are Longbottom and Chamberlain there, too?

PS Starting in Spetember on CBS: Too Many Nevilles!

Long, Strange, Etc.

How much Dead do you listen to?

I listen to two shows a day, on average. During the day, I’m in the car: it’s South Florida, so everywhere is 25 minutes away from everything; either from pure distance or rain in the summer and  Canadians in the winter. Load up a show (or three or four, just in the case we have sound quality issues) onto The Precious (which is what I began to call the iPhone after I woke up one night fondling it) and make my way through, say, 11/1/77 from Cobo Arena in Detroit that features a Hall-of Fame Estimated in great gulps throughout the day.

Then another show here in Fillmore South at night, while I write these bloggings. Or avoid writing them. Or pretend to, let’s be honest: whole lotta pretending to write goes on. Trollope finished 47 novels and uncountable shorter works while keeping up a heavy correspondence load and a job at the Post Office. Three paragraphs about how much I like an obscure country-rock song and I’m spent, man.

Plus, the temptations of those twin succubi, the internet and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.*, sing to me from the cliffs like a mangled classical allusion.

“Just ONE peek at Headyversion! And you can COMMENT on SOMETHING. It will be GOOD advertising!”

Why are you capitalizing like a Marvel character from the ’60’s?

“MY ill intent, and YOUR creeping insanity!”

Makes sense.

“You know you NEED to HEAR this 86′ Frost Desolation Row! And WHILE you’re THERE, you know you might as well CHECK the COMMENTS!”

I don’t wanna check the comments.

“It says HERE that SUGAREE is WTF!”

It says that?

“It actually says there’s XTRA WTF.”

Did you capitalize that, or–


Then, I gotta listen to this shit, yo!




So, there are digressions to the process, is what I’m trying to say. The path of the Enthusiast is more than heavily influenced by Brownian motion.

*Avid readers and eager beavers will recall that this is what I have named the physical piece of equipment that houses The Library because it is  small, black, and remembers everything.