Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: oteil burbridge (page 1 of 10)

I Fought The Chaw, And The Chaw Won

Everyone needs to put some damn shoes on.

“Oh, no. Shoes are the foot-killer; I shall not wear them. I will let trips to Foot Locker pass over me like a wave, and when they are gone only my tootsies shall remain.”

Nicely done.

“Besides, I was talking to Josh, and it turns out that sneakers are, like, two grand a pair nowadays.”

Not normal sneakers. Just his  handmade limited-edition bullshit. You can get a pair of Adidas for $65.


One other thing.

“You want some Fret-Eeze?”

No. What’s with the chewing tobacco?

“I enjoy a good dip. See, what you do is–”

I know how it works.

“–you put a pinch between your cheek and gums.”


“Mm, what flavor.”

Chewing tobacco is absolutely the most disgusting way of ingesting nicotine. And least cool.

“I don’t know about that. How about that thing that looks like you’re sucking on a robot’s dick?”


“That scene is not for me.”

Good call. But the dipping has to stop.

“I’m gonna keep doing whatever the hell I want.”

Good. We’re agreed.

Cake Up To Find Out


Stop yelling, Shapiro.


Knock it off.


Happy birthday, Oteil.

“Thanks, man. Grew up a lot this year. Gave a lot of thought to what kind of man I am, and what kind of man I want to be. What kind of family I belong to. Did a lot of thinking.”

You had a heavy year.

“I had a heavy year.”

But you have a nice cake.

“Look at this shit!”

Yeah, it’s your Vinnie Vincent makeup.

“An ankh. It means life. Same thing as a Jewish chai.”

And makes an excellent mace. Ankh is a fine melee weapon. Plus, it’s funny to beat someone to death with the symbol of life.

“That’s not funny.”

Agree to disagree. Get any nice presents?

“My family. Our health. Success and freedom and faith. I got the same gifts today I get everyday, man.”

Sure, okay.

“And my wife got me a drone.”


“4K camera, does 65 mph, hooks right up to your phone. It’s awesome.”

Don’t hurt yourself. What did your boy get you?

“He painted me a picture. He learned how to paint this year, and he painted me a picture. It’s me and him and a giant frog. I love it. I already put it up in the bus.”

A giant frog?

“He’s really into frogs right now.”

Cool. Is that cake real cake?

“How do you mean?”

Are there eggs in it?


What about butter?

“Oh, no.”

Then it is not cake.

“Of course it’s a cake. Look at it.”

I’m not saying that what you have there is not cake-shaped. I’m saying it is not cake. It is a cake of Dessert Substance™. No butter, no eggs, no cake. No exceptions. This aggression will not stand.

“It’s my birthday, and I’m gonna call it cake.”

Okay. Happy birthday, buddy.

“Thanks, man.”


“Shapiro! You’ve been yelling for ten minutes!”


Why are you an enemy of the homosexual community?

“Excuse me?”

You treat gaiety as a joke.

“I do not! It’s a fun shirt.”

You may as well shoot up a gay nightclub. Or a library.

“A library?”

Apparently, the drag queens are hanging out at libraries now.

“I am an ally.”

That shirt is like queer blackface. You put on your costume, have your fun, and then go back to enforcing heteronormativity and eating Chick-Fil-A.

“Stop it.”

How gay?


How gay would you go for Trey?

“Fully gay. I would be up for anything.”

Dude. There’s some wild arrows in the gay quiver.

“I would assume it’s just like hot yoga with penetration. Bring it the fuck on.”

I like your gumption.

“You gotta be your own cheerleader, man.”

So true.

Hard In The (Face)Paint

“Hi, there. You must be Vinnie Vincent. My name’s Bill Walton, and I’m in multiple Halls of Fame: NCAA, NBA, and loving life.”

“There’s a Hall of Fame for loving life?”

“Yes, and I’m in it.”

“Great. Anyway, Bill, I’m Oteil Burbridge, not Vinnie Vincent. We’ve known each other for years.”

“You fooled me with your makeup. As I mentioned, I believed you to be erstwhile KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent. That young man simply couldn’t get out of his own way. Of course, both Paul and Gene are tough to deal with. Rambunctious spirits with mean holds on their wallets. I barely lasted six months with them.”

“You were not in KISS, Bill.”

“No, not in the band. I was in the KISS Army. This was during the Dead’s hiatus, and I needed a band to follow around so I would have a new place to take drugs and noodle-dance every night.”

“So you went on tour with KISS?”

“I did! Poor decision. Musically, at least. They’re not very good at playing their instruments, or singing, or writing songs. Skilled at wearing wacky get-ups and selling tee-shirts, but not top-shelf musicians. Little to no jamming, either.”

“Yeah, they’re not great.”

“And I was not befriended. The members of the Grateful Dead have become like brothers to me, sharing their hopes, dreams, and skank as we wandered across this bright blue ball just spinning free. Whereas KISS was, in turn, predatory and downright hostile towards me. Ace puked on my shoes and mistook me for someone of Polish-American heritage.”

“How do you know he thought you were Polish?”

“He kept calling me a Polack.”


“Gene tried to sell me a Camaro. He said that it was a collector’s item, limited-edition KISS Kamaro, but I could spot no modifications or alterations to the vehicle. It was just a Chevy. Later, I learned that Gene didn’t even own the car.”

“Bill, I gotta get ready for the show.”

“Mickey once sold me an MG that exploded as I was driving it home, but it wasn’t like he was swindling me. That’s the MG nature. You’re buying a series of breakdowns. I still have the car. Let’s road trip, Oteil. You and I, cruising across California and the rest of America in my MG. We can discover the wonders of nature, and get truly authentic Tex-Mex.”

“Can we discuss it during the set break?”

“I call it halftime.”


Kiss And Makeup

This is unacceptable.

“The rando or the makeup?”

Is he wearing white jeans?


Both. Both the rando and the makeup are unacceptable.

“The makeup is fun and vibrant.”

You look like Vinnie Vincent.

“I do not look like Vinnie Vincent.”

Have Mark Slaughter and Dana Strum recently left your solo band, The Vinnie Vincent Invasion, because of your shitty attitude and thieving ways?


You sure? Cuz you look like Vinnie Vincent, dude.

“You can’t bring down my good mood, man.”

Holy shit, does the rando have the Twin Towers on his shirt?


You need a Parish.

Burbridge Is Ra

Pst. Oteil.

“What’s up?”

Don’t tell Clapton you’re black.

“I think he knows.”

Well, don’t remind him.

In Hiding

You are not as in on the joke as you think you are, buddy.

“Of course I am. I’m trolling.”

Or are you self-owning? Fine, fine line. Why are you hiding in your toppermost?

“I love it in here. There’s so much coze. And comf. An over-abundance of the two, in fact. If the world knew about the sensual delights of the toppermost, I believe global peace would be achieved. Who could fight in this?”

So tell everybody. I noticed you referred to them as “robes” in your GQ interview.

“The toppermost is a secret garment for the elite. You know that. I start blabbing about ’em in magazines and I can’t buy anymore.”

Sure. This one seems to be one of your favorites.

Sunrise in Santa Fe And The Sprinklers Have Just Come On At The Golf Course?”

Good name.

“It sounds better in the original Japanese.”

Everything does.

“Ask yourself: why does this toppermost have five colors?”

I don’t want to ask anyone that.

“Five is a big number in Japan. That whole Shinto thing they’ve got? Five is huge with them. It’s like how the number three is big with Christians. Japan is nuts for the number five. Now ask me why it has these particular five colors.”


“Because they complement each other. Full stop. Combining the theological with the pure aesthetic. Logos and pathos, thesis and antithesis, all that jazz. Clothes are the new punk rock, y’know.”


“Was it the punk rock thing?”

Oh, yeah.

“You’re talking to a very comfortable John Mayer.”

“What the fuck are you doing, dude?”

“Excuse me?”

“We’re in the middle of a show, buddy. You blipped out of existence.”

“I’m at a photo shoot.”

“Right, great, but you should be on stage in Mexico. Oteil is very worried, and Bobby’s gonna notice any second. Photo shoot for what?”

“To show off my fancy clothes.”

“Yuh-huh. Any chance a Time Sheath got mixed up with your laundry?”


“Get the fuck back here.”


Happy And Barefoot

Look at you, all happy and barefoot.

“We had the rugs deep cleaned. I tried to get Josh to kick off his shoes, but he started talking about Ibaldi’s Theory of Lace Color, and I think I blacked out. The boy likes to explain his outfits.”

He does.

“So, uh, he’s still got his shells on.”


“Your shells. Foot’s an oyster. Shoe’s the shell. Gotta slide on outta your shell, man. That’s where the living is done.”

All of you are getting weirder.

“Mickey is not only wearing shoes, but playing them.”

Sure. This is Mexico?

“Oh, yeah. It’s a hoot. Right on the beach, got the Holy Roller Monster Moon going. Nice check. Cannot complain about this check. Plus, uh, I wasn’t incapacitated by a shrimp taco this year.”

Right. Last year, you caught Montezuma’s Revenge.

“Rough 24 hours. Went through three toilets.”

Glad you’re healthy and happy.

“Better than the alternatives, yeah.”

The Tenor Of The Situation

“MotherFUCKER! How am I back here? Me and Miles drove off in his Lamborghini.”

“Did he turn left?”


“There you go.”

“Bob, you’re gonna explain what the fuck is happening or I’m shoving my horn up your ass.”

“Branford, are you familiar with the concept of semi-fictionality?”

“Oh, this is some white people bullshit.”

“I won’t argue with you about that. Pig’s girlfriend and Merl Saunders said the exact same thing. I,uh, don’t know much about black people, but I do know that you folks are aggressively averse to time travel. Our bass player gets real pissy about it.”

“I’ll bet.”

“His name is Branford, too, as I’ve mentioned.”

“Uh-huh. Yo, Oteil?”


“Why does Bobby think you’re named Branford?”

“The Grateful Dead thinks every black man is named Branford.”

“I don’t know if I’m pissed off or honored.”

“I’d be pissed off if they knew white people’s names, but they just make up shit for them, too.”

“Uh-huh. You gonna tell me what’s happening here?”

“Well, remember that I’m the new guy.”


“But we’re stuck in some sort of lazy universe full of unexplained magick.”

“Why’d you stick a ‘k’ on that ‘magic?'”

“Because magic is card tricks. This shit is some bullshit.”

“Uh-huh. And is there any–”


“–way out ofOH C’MON!”

“Oh, hey, man. You back?”


“Did you talk to Oteil?”


“There you go.”


“Yelling is almost always counter-productive, man.”

“Well, can you blame me? This is downright unsettling.”

“You get used to it. Good thing is that dying is less consequential.”

“What? You can’t die in here?”

“Oh, no, you can. But then the guy who co-wrote Billy’s book comes to the afterlife and brings you back in a racecar.”


“It’s not the most efficient method, probably.”


“That can’t be who it sounds like.”


“This is all just stupid.”


“Hey, King.”


“No, I don’t want to.”



“Yeah, man?”

“What the fuck?”

“Well, it’s like the snake said to the old lady: You knew we were weird before you jammed with us.”



How Oteil Are You Now?

Hey, Oteil. Happy birthday, buddy!

“Thank you, sir. Having a good one.”

Is that your present?

“What now?”

The slim teen boy.

“He is not my present.”

You can do stuff on them and make them think they deserved it.


Little tip? Get yourself some pliers and pull those braces off first.

“Can we be done?”

What are you gonna name him? How about Toby?

“I’m leaving.”

Can I borrow your slim teen?

“Get away from the boy.”

But I’ll buy him beers!

“You’re a monster.”

Happy birthday?

« Older posts