Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: precarious lee (page 1 of 10)

Every Silver Jerry’s Got A Coat Of Grey



–carious Lee? Oh, hey. I have more questions about this.

“Figures. Shoot.”

What the fuck, man?

“The speakers?”

Obviously. Among other things, but obviously the speakers and their configuration is our primary focus. Are they being held up by the power of suggestion?

“Among other things.”

Like rope?

“Could be. I personally don’t recall tying anything down, but someone definitely could have.”

Wow. My further line of inquiry concerns the overall jankiness.

“Lotta jank with the Dead, yeah.”

This picture has been placed at Silver Stadium in Rochester, New York, and dated to 6/30/88.

“If you say so.”

This was a show at Silver Stadium in June of 1986:


Professionalism could be achieved in 1986. It wasn’t ’72 anymore.

“And yet the kids came.”

Every other band was right to work their crews like dogs.

“Good thing I don’t work for one of them. We ran into those guys a couple times.”


“Those Van Halen jagoffs. Mike’s okay, but the brothers like getting drunk and biting people. They’re vicious little fuckers. And Bobby’s terrified of David Lee Roth.”


“Instinct. For most of the people he meets, David Lee Roth inspires a fight-or-flight response.”

I can see that. Precarious, could you look at one last photo, please?

“Do it to it, chief.”

This is, once again, the Grateful Dead at Silver Stadium in Rochester, New York, on the 30th of June, 1988.

“Need a little zoom-and-enhance on that one.”

No, I like the long view that shows just how bush a league could be. That, sir, is the limit of bush. No league can contain more bush than that. That picture represents the exterior of infinity.

“What you need to remember about our audience–”

Don’t use the drug excuse.

“–is that they were on drugs. It’s true. Most of ’em spent the show staring at a stranger’s neck.”

Stop it. A couple of tie-dye banners. Some curtains to hide the exposed machinery. A proscenium. Something. Anything. You could have done anything and it would have been an improvement, as this is the bare minimum. You stacked heavy shit up, plugged it in, and cracked a beer.

“We were drinking beer while stacking shit up and plugging it in.”

I expect more out of the Grateful Dead’s road crew.


Lee’s Tower


I didn’t call for you, Precarious.

“You were gonna.”

Yeah. I was just stunned into silence. Dude, what the fuck?

“Be more specific.”

I cannot. The lack of aesthetics and basic safety requirements is all-pervasive. The stage looks like a Radio Shack, but not a good one; the Radio Shack in the bad mall, where the knife fights break out every so often. The bad mall wasn’t always the bad mall, but the economy and demographics and all that. Used to be a place that sold fancy popcorn. Flavored, seasoned, nice packaging. Now there’s nine stores that sell baseball caps. Time will do her marching, Precarious.

“You got a question?”

I asked it: What the fuck?

“Their choice of apparel and instrument is on them.”

Granted. Do you remember why Garcia was wearing his going-to-court jacket on stage?

“I do not.”

Did the road crew make fun of Bobby’s pink guitar?


Was there any thought whatsoever given towards purchasing a tie-dyed scrim to hide some of the more unattractive geegaws and wedged monitors?

“Obviously not.”

Why not?

“This way is easiest for us.”

A performance stage shouldn’t be set according to the laziness of the road crew.

“Not lazy. Efficient.”

What about the tower of speakers behind band?

“Yeah, maybe that was a little lazy. We probably should have set up the rigging.”

Wooden palettes and a forklift, right?

“How else would you do that?”

Holy shit, those cabinets at the top aren’t even strapped down, are they?

“I don’t recall anyone dying, so we must have done it right.”

That’s not how that works.

On The Whole, I’d Rather Be In Colorado*



Just piled up the blankets and left ’em there, huh?

“Looks like it.”



What the fuck is that box?

“An ice dispenser shaped like W.C. Fields’ head.”

Obviously. Why?

“Why did we have it, or why is an ice dispenser shaped like W.C. Fields’ head?”

The first thing.

“Margaritas. We also had a blender shaped like Carmen Miranda.”



You fuckers thought I was kidding, didn’t you?

It’s not that I don’t know how to do research, it’s that I can’t usually be bothered.


*One would assume that this shot of Garcia is from Red Rocks; I am unaware of any other venues the Dead played where their backdrop was shale.

You’ll See It When You See It



This is just terrible.

“The stripes are nice.”

No. Why is there graffiti on the stage?

“Because Stash Blum is a vandal.”

The levels of bush in this league are way too high.

“You’re disappointed now, don’t look in the upper left of the picture.”


Now Take Another Step Back



Was there any attempt to wrangle the fans into pens, thereby ameliorating the chances of a crush, or was no attention whatsoever paid to safety?

“Second thing.”


Deform Follows Dysfunction



Can I ask you a question regarding cable management?

“I have no idea what that is.”

Well, you answered my question.

“All right.”

What’s with Phil’s bell-bottoms?

“Got a sixer in each flare.”


“Yeah, well, he was the only one of us who went to college.”


No Human Being Would Stack Books Like This


“Still here.”

Did it have to look so janky?

“Didn’t have to, nah. But it was easiest.”

The lights look like they have a disease.

“There was a bug going around that tour.”

What’s with the misfit monitor?

“The wood one pointed at Keith?”


“Well, we switched out the homemade monitors for a professional system in ’77, I think. But Keith was attached to Monty.”


“He named the monitor Monty.”

Did he talk to it.

“He did a lot of things to it. Him and Monty were close, let’s leave it at that.”

Jesus, you people were running a loose organization.

“Nothing organized about it, chief.”

The Ol’ Infield Shift



How is this even possible?

“Anything’s possible if you don’t give a shit hard enough.”

It’s astonishing.

“We got used to it.”

Evidently. Are the lights in the wrong place?

“Nah, they love it there.”

What’s Mrs. Donna Jean doing?

“Wandering about in an angry stupor.”



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.


Sticker, Mydland Falls

Brent’s Stickers: An Explainer

War Chicken reading “Rottweil” #1 Brent, as you may know, was born in Germany; his father was a pretzel and his mother was a set of rules. The badge represents the specific German state, or DeutschePlatzenMamaLookaBoobooDay, where he spent his youth.

War Chicken reading “Rottweil” #2 Stickers fall off, man. Gotta back your shit up.

Jacksonville Jaguar mascot A combination of Time Sheath access, a lack of football knowledge, and a predilection for America’s shittiest cities led Brent to become a diehard fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Brent had Bortlesmania.

Jesus, it’s another Rottweiler Brent, buddy? Can we chat? Great. Yeah, I’ve seen your Rolex. Nice. Anyway, pal: maybe you should dial back the German pride. Are you aware of the demographics of the Dead’s audience? It’s like a Boca Raton of the mind out there.

Stealie #1 (little, bottom) It’s the Dead, man. Gotta slap some Stealies on shit.

Stealie #2 (little, top left) Brent wanted people to know for sure that he wasn’t Rick Wakeman. No pussyfooting with Brent (except when he stuck his foot in women’s pussies).

Stealie #3 (big, top right) We get it, Brent. Even Mickey thinks this is too many Stealies.

Flying Eyeball Thingamabob I don’t know; who gives a shit; don’t we have anything–literally anything–better to be doing?




What’s with the tape?



“It’s sterile.”

Again: so?

“Just pointing it out.”

Seriously, man: tape? Was this the best way to attach the synthesizer to the organ?

“Best? No. Easiest.”


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