Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: phil lesh (page 1 of 101)

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!”

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.

Who Ya Got?

Sunlight, we are told, is the best disinfectant. We are told this by non-doctors: try sitting out on the deck with an open wound and see where that gets you. What you wanna do is take a slug of whiskey straight from the bottle, pour most of what’s left on the injury, make a manly face, guzzle the rest of the booze, and then say something like “Today was supposed to be my day off.” Do not use the rays of the sun as a medical treatment, Enthusiasts. (Unless you have a Vitamin D deficiency.)

But transparency does wonders for government, in theory, which is why political donations are open records and thus we can know that Phil thinks Beto is neat-o. Does Phil like Beto strictly because they both play bass guitar? No. Does Phil like Beto mostly because of the bass thing? Well, it’s either that or the man’s accomplishments, such as being tall and having hair.

But who are the other Grateful Deads supporting in the 2020 race? TotD breaks it down for you:


John Hickenlooper. (Longtime friends from Bohemian Grove.)


Believes that donating to politicians “just encourages ’em.”


Andrew Yang, but tells everyone he’s a Bernie guy.


Only contributes secretly to Super PAC’s. (“Hey, Republicans buy singles, too.”)


Cory Booker, but it’s not the black thing; it’s the barefoot vegan yoga thing.


Kamala Harris, and it is the black thing.


Chimenti goes with the candidate with the best hair, and so Chimenti is a Tim Ryan man.


Whatever Republican challenges Trump in the primary, but not Bill Weld. (“Ah ain’t openin’ mah purse f’r no Brahmin, sugar.”)


No donations, dead.


No donations, dead.


No donations, dead.


No donations, broke.


Never even voted when he was alive, so why should he get involved now?

The Fullest Muppet Possible Given The Genetics

No one gives your ’77 beard enough credit.

“Yeah, she’s pretty manly.”

I don’t know if that sentence makes sense.

“Well, obviously my beard is female.”


“It’s, uh, sitting on my face. Not to get too Billy about the whole thing, but only ladies are allowed to saddle up.”


“But, you know, the characteristics displayed are masculine. Robustness, stolidity, forward-thinking.”

If you say so. Why do you have Dee Dee Ramone’s haircut?

“I asked for it specifically. Gotta keep up with the punkers.”

Okay. Tell Phil I say hi.

“He’s not fond of you.”

I’m aware.

Fare Thee A Little Bit Better Than This

After a great deal of discussion, the school board decided that Heather Has Three Daddies, At Least Two Of Whom Are Schnockered wasn’t appropriate for the library.


Ginge on a binge.


Li’l Orphan Xannie.


“Whose shoulder hurts?”


“Over here.”

There’s Not Enough Question Marks For This One

The important questions, Enthusiasts. We concern ourselves with only the most vital of the day’s issues. Let lesser sites finger their rosaries over peace, war, coffee cups left on tables, et cetera. These are trifles. No, we’ll not be spending our ever-shrinking lives boodling about in the intellectual shallow end. We’re gonna get down to what’s really real, you and me.

And, thus, we come to our question: Did Phil yoink Bobby’s BMW shirt?

I told you it was important.

An Aesthetic



Why must there always be pandemonium?

“Referring to?”

The stage. It looks like a woodworking shop had a baby with a Guitar Center, and then the baby exploded.

“Eh. Band liked it this way.”

How could anyone like this?

“Maybe ‘like’ is wrong. How about ‘The band didn’t give a shit if it looked this way?'”

That sounds right.

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