Being a fan is necessarily humiliating. The two parties cannot be of equal status; this is by definition. A fan is not a customer, though the two positions are often co-held, as a customer is in a reciprocating relationship with the artist, athlete, entertainer, whatever: You got the goods, and I got the currency. Let’s swap. Such is not the case with fandom. From the subjects come cheers, claims of love, and more blowjobs than there are stars in the sky; in return, the object says Thank you very much after the slow numbers and checks into hotels under assumed names so fuckers like you can’t find him.
Recall that “fan” comes from “fanatopsis,” which is an Ancient Egyptian word meaning “a guy who gets over-excited and throws himself under Pharaoh’s chariot wheels.”
When Garcia was alive, he owned a home in Sonoma. He shat there, specifically but not exclusively in the toilet. After Garcia died, he longer needed the house (or toilet) and it was purchased by a fellow named Henry Koltys.
This may or may not be him:
(Mr. Koltys has also created KidsLast, which calls children of divorce in the middle of the night and tells them it’s their fault Mommy and Daddy don’t love each other anymore. Personally, I don’t see how that helps anyone, but free speech is free speech, right?)
Anyway, Henry tore the old shack down so he could erect a house more befitting a man with his haircut, and–being a capitalist–chose the action which was both most predictable and most depressing: he sold Garcia’s shitter to an online gambling site. This was Golden Palace, whom the more depraved of you will remember from paying palookas and Butterbean to paint its name on their chests during boxing matches, and bought one of William Shatner’s kidney stones.
(It should be noted, however, that the company was doing all this stupid bullshit in the aughts before the Crash of ’08, and everyone was spending money like an asshole back then. Golden Palace was just trashy about it.)
SO the online gambling site buys the dead rock star’s crapper from the lawyer. These are the lumps you take for a market economy. In the Soviet Union, you couldn’t buy a toilet at all, let alone a famous one, and if you left the seat up, you were sent to the gulag. In terms of the freedom to engage in the defecatory appliance trade, we’re leading the world.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the Capital Theater. (Don’t be naive: Shapiro would totally install Garcia’s commode in the Capital Theater, and it would be in a VIP bathroom that he would charge extra to use.) While waiting on the curb for pickup, the toilet disappeared. A helpful angel, perhaps? A tweaker? Scabiolus, the angel-tweaker? Or, you know, the garbage men?
Or maybe it was a Deadhead, one with a sense of dignity, and who didn’t have a bad back. Maybe a guy, could be a gal, someone with a station wagon or a van who figured it was fair enough to display the man’s guitars, or even that bad luck briefcase of his, but Christ leave a poor fellow’s toilet out of it, huh?