Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: phil lesh (page 1 of 102)

On Your Left

Takes a couple seconds to realize what’s wrong with the picture, right?


Opposite Day, as always, was a complete disaster.


“Hey, uh, guys? We wearing our enormous glasses today?”

“Obviously, Weir.”

“Yeah, man. Biggest you can find.”


If you don’t like 9/1/79, then you don’t like the Dead. And if you don’t like the Dead, why are you reading this bullshit? Who am I even addressing here? Ah, screw it: life is pointless.


Which band had the most lefties in it? I can’t think of any with more than one southpaw player. (Not counting natural lefties who learned to play right-handed because left-handed guitars were tough to find and/or more expensive.)

My Doctor Said I Need A Backiotomy

In the face of watery doom coming my way, I have forgotten to wish our dear Philbert J. Lesh a speedy recovery from what someone other than Phil referred to as “minor back surgery.” We can be sure that those were not Phil’s words, as no one in the history of medicine has ever called their own procedure “minor.” It’s only minor when it’s someone else on the table.

We love ya, buddy; you’ll be at TXR yelling at the busboys in no time.

Why did you use that photo?

Phil’s in it. He’s the one with the googly eyes.

Jesus, it’s like talking to a drunk marmot. The man’s having surgery.


And you used a photo of him dressed as an angel from the Go To Heaven album.

I see the inappropriateness now.

But you’re gonna leave the picture there?


I hope that hurricane eats your dick.

In Which Novelty Rears Its Head

Phil? Fat.

Garcia? Skinny.

Cowboy? Fancy.

Must be 1979. Go listen to 12/5 from the Uptown Theatre in Chicago, the third show of a run recently showcased in the Dave’s Picks series. The He’s Gone is dreamy, y’all. D-R-Eamy. Someone call the nurse, cuz Dr. Eamy is scrubbin’ in.

Are you going to be obsessed with “Dr. Eamy” now?

Yes, I am.

Saturday In The Park, I Think It Wasn’t The Fourth Of July

40% casualty rate is good, right?


Billy found his drum kit in a Cracker Jack box.


Why are they set up like a normal band? Pig should be on a different truck ten yards away, or Phil should be in the driver’s seat. This is, like, how you’re supposed to do it.


Phil still weighs exactly the same, and still has the same amount of hair.


Young Garcia = Chubby Slash.


That fucker was at every single rockyroll show in the 60’s. The shirtless dude with no body fat doing his freaky-deaky arm-wavey dance? He was at every show.


Obviously, Pig is not playing the gargantuan Hammond B3 organ that was his usual instrument; that is a far more portable (and affordable) Vox Continental, and it is unbelievably cool.

See? Sounds good, too:



Black Star, Dark Star

What the hell is this?

“Oh, it’s you. I thought you were dead.”


“Hoped. I hoped you were dead.”

Alive and kicking. What is going on here?

“Playing the Apollo. First time.”

Really? Because when I think Apollo Theater, I think the Grateful Dead.

“It’s that kind of bullshit that made me wish for your death. The smartmouth bullshit.”

Sorry. Why is there a guy rapping?

“I told you: Apollo Theater. You don’t feature a guest verse or two, that asshole with the broom comes out and chases you off the stage.”

Sure. You have any idea what the guy’s name is?

Please don’t–

“I wanna say Branford.”

–say Branford.

“Pop, his name is Talib Kweli.”


“You didn’t know his name!”

“That’s it, Grahame! Your’re grounded!”

“But I’m on tour.”

“You’re grounded from your tour. You can’t go on the road, and no wifi.”


“Keep it up and I’ll take your beard off its hinges!”

Always nice catching up, Phil.

“We don’t need to do it again for a while. Or ever.”

It’s A (Mocca) Sin

“Hey, uh, guys? Did we forget something?”

“We’ve got our soft-soled hippie shoes.”

“And our enormous guitars.”

“Sure, right, yeah, uh-huh. But, uh, aren’t there usually people in the seats?”

“Goddammit, we forgot to sell tickets.”

“Let’s blame Mickey.”

“He doesn’t join the band for two weeks, Lesh.”

“I don’t give a shit. I say this is Mickey’s fault.”

Eye Of Horus, Forgotten Chorus

“Hey, Billy?”

“What, Mick?”

“You and me are Bass Drum Buddies.”

“Yuh-huh. That’s right, pal.”



“And we’re Mustache Muchachos.”

“We both got mustaches, yeah.”



“I love drumming with you.”

“It’s a treat, man.”

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!”

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