Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: bob weir (page 1 of 190)

And A Friend I Love At Hand

“Weir, you know a little French. Why is everyone calling us pwa-loos?”

Les poilus. It, uh, means ‘the hairy guys.'”

“Just like back home, man.”

Plus ça change. Hey, Jer?”

“Yeah, man?”

“Seeing the world is fun and all, but it’s much better when you do it with your friends.”

“Don’t get sentimental on me.”

“Just saying. You hungry?”

“Weir, if you bring up Arthur fucking Treacher’s one more time, I’m gonna scream.”

“Paris is a very cosmopolitan city. There might be one.”

“There won’t even be a McDonald’s for seven more years, man. Let it go.”

“How about sushi?”

“Maybe. It’s 1972, man. We might have to stick to French food.”

“Then, uh, we’re off on a culinary adventure.”

Francois’ Tower

“Hey, Jer.”

“Yeah, Weir?”

“Gendarme’s got your arm.”

“Good one, man.”

“Y’know, in addition to looking nifty, the Eiffel Tower is also the tallest FM radio transmitter in Europe.”

“Y’don’t say.”

“Oh, yeah. I don’t know any of the deejays over here, though.”

“Wolfman Jack’s Gallic cousin, Wolfman Jacques.”

“I bet he plays a lot of Johnny Hallyday.”

“Give the people what they want, man. Especially if they’re French, or they’ll chop your head off.”

“They’re, uh, easily-riled folks. Historically speaking.”

“Historically speaking.”

“Jer?”

“Yuh-huh?”

“I just realized that this is where they film Superman II eight years from now.”

“Weir?”

“Yuh-huh?”

“Don’t say stuff like that out loud around civilians, man.”

“Sure.”

All The Way From Tamalpais

Hey, Bobby. Whatcha doing?

“I’m going hog-wild. Halfway to banging my head.”

Oh, don’t do that.

“And, uh, I might jump at the end of the song. That’s a primo Rock Star move. You know how that one goes.”

I do.

“Requires a buy-in from your drummer. Everyone’s gotta be onboard with the end-of-song jump. Otherwise, you look like…what’s that word your people love?”

Schmuck.

“There ya go. Y’look like a schmuck. First rule of Rock n’ Roll: Don’t look like a schmuck. No, wait. The first rule is: Always assume she’s got the Clap. Second rule is the schmuck thing. Another good Rock Rule is not to leave your female band members alone with the promoter. Especially if you’re in Buffalo.”

These are all good rules, Bobby.

“Without them, we are merely animals.”

True.

“Question.”

I have absolutely no idea who the people you’re playing with are.”

“All right, then.”

Bob The Hoople

“Boppy Doodle.”

What now?

“The, uh, Scooby Babble. That band you like now.”

Mott The Hoople.

“Sure, okay. Punkers?”

No.

“Heavy mental?”

How have you not heard of Mott The Hoople? You’re in the same business as them.

“Well, no one opens for us, so we don’t get to meet a lot of the other groups on the road. And, uh, we don’t hang out at the Rainbow.”

You guys never did.

“Can you keep a secret?”

Sure.

“They wouldn’t let us in.”

The Rainbow wouldn’t let the Grateful Dead in?

“They said we were the wrong type of Rock Star. Lemmy gave us the finger.”

I’m sorry you had to go through that.

“It hurt a little bit. Phil really wanted to hang out with Harry Nilsson.”

Tough one.

“Right. So, yeah, we were in a bit of a bubble when it came to our peers in the music industry. Also, you know, a lot of people stayed the hell away from us.”

Because you used to drug strangers.

“Yeah. We did that a lot.”

And Then There Was That Time Phil Was In CCR

“Petey Pumphouse.”

“What?”

“My mustache. If I had one, that is. I’d name him ‘Petey Pumphouse.’ It’s informal, yet harkens back to a more masculine era. Lotta hark in that name.”

“I don’t give a shit, Weir.”

“What’s your’s name?”

“I didn’t name my goddamned mustache, man.”

“What if it wanders away?”

“I’m gonna go stand behind the drums for a while.”

“Okay. I’ll, uh, see the two of you soon.”

Hallway Happiness

Hey, Bobby. Whatcha doing?

“Benefit of some sort.”

For?

“Got me. I, uh, would assume not the John Birchers.”

Do they even still exist?

“Yeah. They’re in charge now.”

Right. Who are these folks?

“Wilco.”

Bobby, that’s not Wilco.

“Are you absolutely positive? I mean, uh: would you stake your life on the fact that these gentlemen are not part of Wilco?”

I would not.

“There ya go. Group of guys dressed like this? Nine times out of ten, they’re Wilco.”

Okay.

“And, uh, Baby Garth.”

What?

“Guy squatting down to my left. You know Baby Yoda? He’s Baby Garth Hudson.”

He totally is.

Bobby, Margo, Instruments

Hey, Bobby. Whatcha doing?

“Jamming in front of rich folks. The usual.”

BMI is a publishing company. I never quite understood what publishing was.

“That’s the point. The, uh, concept was invented by mobsters as a legal fiction with which to steal from the artist.”

You’ve thought about this.

“Been in this business 60 years. You mull some stuff over.”

I notice you’re wearing a necktie.

“Felt fancy.”

Okay. Is it a custom poncho?

“Oh, yeah. Can’t get this off the rack. And I went with a lot of upgrades, too. Got a cooling system in here.”

What?

“Like a NASCAR driver’s suit, with the tubes and all that. And, uh, the ol’ girl just knows what temperature to make it. There might be an AI in there.”

Might be?

“She anticipates my moves.”

Don’t gender your poncho, Bobby.

“There are also defense mechanisms.”

“Bobby? Who are you talking–”

thip!

FLUMP

“Huh.”

Bobby, did your poncho just render Margo Price unconscious with a blow dart?

“She shouldn’t have approached from the rear.”

Probably not.

Every Silver Jerry’s Got A Coat Of Grey

Pre–

“Yo.”

–carious Lee? Oh, hey. I have more questions about this.

“Figures. Shoot.”

What the fuck, man?

“The speakers?”

Obviously. Among other things, but obviously the speakers and their configuration is our primary focus. Are they being held up by the power of suggestion?

“Among other things.”

Like rope?

“Could be. I personally don’t recall tying anything down, but someone definitely could have.”

Wow. My further line of inquiry concerns the overall jankiness.

“Lotta jank with the Dead, yeah.”

This picture has been placed at Silver Stadium in Rochester, New York, and dated to 6/30/88.

“If you say so.”

This was a show at Silver Stadium in June of 1986:

“Okay.”

Professionalism could be achieved in 1986. It wasn’t ’72 anymore.

“And yet the kids came.”

Every other band was right to work their crews like dogs.

“Good thing I don’t work for one of them. We ran into those guys a couple times.”

Who?

“Those Van Halen jagoffs. Mike’s okay, but the brothers like getting drunk and biting people. They’re vicious little fuckers. And Bobby’s terrified of David Lee Roth.”

Why?

“Instinct. For most of the people he meets, David Lee Roth inspires a fight-or-flight response.”

I can see that. Precarious, could you look at one last photo, please?

“Do it to it, chief.”

This is, once again, the Grateful Dead at Silver Stadium in Rochester, New York, on the 30th of June, 1988.

“Need a little zoom-and-enhance on that one.”

No, I like the long view that shows just how bush a league could be. That, sir, is the limit of bush. No league can contain more bush than that. That picture represents the exterior of infinity.

“What you need to remember about our audience–”

Don’t use the drug excuse.

“–is that they were on drugs. It’s true. Most of ’em spent the show staring at a stranger’s neck.”

Stop it. A couple of tie-dye banners. Some curtains to hide the exposed machinery. A proscenium. Something. Anything. You could have done anything and it would have been an improvement, as this is the bare minimum. You stacked heavy shit up, plugged it in, and cracked a beer.

“We were drinking beer while stacking shit up and plugging it in.”

I expect more out of the Grateful Dead’s road crew.

“Why?”

Man Of The Poncho

“Did you see Dwayne Yokel’s hat?”

“Dwight Yoakum, Bobby. And, yes, I did see his hat.”

“Magnificent specimen. I tried to trade him my super-poncho for it, but he refused.”

“Super-poncho?”

“I don’t know if you’ve noticed the hood.”

“Oh. Wow.”

“This sucker’s the Swiss Army knife of ponchos. Multiple hidey-holes, some of which are air-tight. Special pocket for my dip. Ask me how many peoples’ stashes I’m holding right now.”

“How many?”

“Nine. There’s just so much storage space in here.”

“It sounds like a wonderful piece of clothing.”

“Super-poncho’s not just clothes.”

“No?”

“WiFi.”

“That thing has WiFi?”

“It’s connected to the Internet of Ponchos.”

“Dwight really should’ve made that trade.”

“I pressed him on it.”

One Yoak Over The Line, Sweet Jesus

“Dwilliam–”

“Dwight.”

“–your hat is eating your head. I don’t mean to alarm you or anything, but I feel it incumbent upon me to warn you. Your, uh, hat’s eating your head.”

“This is just how we wear our Stetsons where I’m from, Bob.”

“New Hampshire.”

“No.”

“I thought you were from New Hampshire. You have that thick accent.”

“I have, like, the opposite of a New Hampshire accent.”

“Vermont?”

“Just smile for the camera, Bob.”

“I don’t do that.”

“Whatever.”

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