Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: jerry garcia (page 1 of 133)

Plays Central Park About A Quarter To Nine

The rarest (and scariest) Billy of them all: Shirtless Billy.


“Are we all playing red guitars, man? It’s gonna look like we planned it.”

“Ah, the dummies out there will hardly notice.”

“I’ve, uh, also got my shirt off.”


The scariest (and rarest) of all possible Mickeys: Mustache Mickey.


Picture courtesy of the great Jesse Jarnow, who wrote about this show (6/22/69) in his outstanding book Heads: A Biography of Psychedelic America, which you should buy and read. You can also listen to the afternoon’s offering via a two song SBD (which is crappy) or a full-ish show AUD (which is also crappy).


Ramrod’s Little Orphan Annie afro is always so easy to pick out in a group shot.


This is the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park. Martin Luther King once gave a speech there, but did not play Dark Star. WINNER: Grateful Dead.

Someday, Your Name Is Gonna Be In (Bush League) Lights



You know what I’m gonna ask, right?

“They’re Christmas lights.”

Thought so. Jesus, that looks terrible.

“You should’ve seen the first version.”

Was it spelled wrong?


Hell of an organization you guys had.


Back And White

“Guys? Hey, guys? Why is my piano set up so my back is to the crowd? Is it cuz I’m ugly?”

“Uh, no. No, definitely not. Nuh-uh.”

“Nah, man.”

“The ol’ Pig don’t think you’re ugly, KG! It’s just that your looks is an acquired taste!”


“You’re scaring off the skank, Sloth! Hide your face!”

AIDS: A Problem

From the Comment Section, Tor Haxson pitches in with some highly useful videos from the In Concert With AIDS show. Above is Garcia and Bobby trying, in their way, to cut a donation spot. The efforts are typically bush league, with Garcia winning the “Quotables” competition with “Send money, and anything else you got.”

Then, Bobby and his chest thatch get interviewed. It goes poorly, as Bobby cannot seem to find a happy medium between single-word answers and logorrhea.


No, don’t shine it up. Put the rag down, fuck off with your bronzo. Maybe that hair was supposed to be in the gate. Could be those scratches in the negative were put there by the Lord’s fingernails. Tuck in your own fucking shirt if it’s so important to you.

Don’t you dare gallant up my goofus.

Chooglin’ On Down To Get Busted In New Orleans

It was nice of John Fogerty to let Bobby and Garcia hang out onstage while he played the old hits. Our heroes added little to the proceedings other than backing vocals, but even the awesome power of two fully bush league chooglers can’t quite trainwreck the afternoon when the rhythm section was Steve Jordan and Randy Jackson.


What a fetching kerchief, Mr. Forgerty.

“Go fuck yourself.”


Sparks Fly On Haight Street When The Boy Prophets Walk It Choogly And Hot

You can’t hear the church bells; the guitars are too loud. Those scuzzy boys and their rockyroll. Someone told those boys, those snotty little brats, that they’d never die, and–seeing as how they were too busy learning how to play a D chord to attend to their studies–they bought it. That’s freedom rock, man. Turn it up. And it drowns out the church bells.

They ring ’em for babies, even the dead ones, and they ring ’em for couples, even the ones who were beating on each other in the rectory before the ceremony, and they ring ’em when the soldiers come home. Soldiers come home one way or another. Izzy the Priest slit his wrists in the mall. Right where Santa sits come December, but it was April and so he wasn’t there. Bells rang for Izzy the Priest, too.

And, lo, Joseph did return to his fields and to his brothers.
He looked so fine.
“Brother,” they said. “Where did you get that coat?”
Joseph answered them,
“In a Dolly Parton song.”
Behind every prophet is a brother rolling his eyes.

The guitars are too loud; you can’t hear the church bells. Assumption of their toll is the odds play.

Will The Circle Be Non-Smoking?

Bobby spent the entirety of the Europe ’72 tour looking like he was gonna ask you to help him put a couch in his van.


In 1972, European buildings were either 1,000 years old, or 25 years old. Nothing in between.


Sam Cutler and Don Quixote have the same shape skulls.

It’s What We Do; It’s Why We’re Here

“Good evenin’, folks. We’re the Grateful Dead. We play rockyroll music.”


The Dead’s career can also be read as three men’s desperate struggle to not have the least expensive guitar.

“Mine needs two cords, man.”

“Yeah, Jer. I see that. Nifty. But, uh mine has a motorized pickup that goes back and forth. And fancy crap on the fretboard.”



That should have been the line in the poem.

My name is Ozymandias, king of kings;
Look upon my works, you wieners, and despair!

Much better.


When was the last time you called someone a wiener? Probably been too long. Try it; you’ll left-foot a fucker. No one’s expecting to be called a wiener in 2019.

You have veered off-topic.

It was more of a drift than a veer.

Either way.

All I Know Is That She Sang A Lille While

Hey, Mrs. Donna Jean. Whatcha doing?

“Ah’m boogyin’, sugar. Most nobody don’ know what kinda moves Ah got.”

You mostly just swayed gently onstage.

“Ah was under strict instructions! Miz Donna Jean, we ain’t that kinda band. That’s what e’rybody would tell me. Otherwise, Ah woulda done a li’l hotsteppin’.”

I had no idea.

“Dancin’ Queen Donna Jean. That was mah nickname growin’ up in Alabama. Ah once had the honor of performin’ the tango with Governor Wallace.”

What was that like?

“He kept jammin’ his pecker into mah stomach.”

Sounds right.


I see you back there, Ramrod.





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