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

Tag: ramrod (Page 1 of 3)


Regardless of what Grand Funk Railroad might have asserted, the Grateful Dead were the most American Band.

Grand Funk didn’t make any claims to their level of American-ness. They stated that they were “an” American Band.

Fuck you and your centrism.

I’ve grown tired of your bad attitude.

Took you much longer than most people. Anyhoo, the Dead were as American as diabetes, cheating in baseball, and having a solid-but-not-perfect grasp of geography. 97.3% of all Dead shows took place in the States–you can check my math if you want: 65 foreign gigs out of 2356 total–and half of that remaining 2.7% was Canada. Yet the band did not spread its love, and love-related infections, evenly.

Five states (not four, like I said Without Research) saw no Grateful Dead shows whatsoever: Delaware, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, and Arkansas. The middle three make sense, as those locations are a million miles from anywhere, and they’re not on the way to someplace decent, and no one lives there, anyway. Skipping Delaware and Arkansas is more puzzling, though. Delaware is tiny and pointless, but there is a big-ass college there that, by all rights, the Dead should have hit in 1971; Arkansas was such a reliable rockyroll tour stop that anthems were written about the local chicks. Grand Funk wrote one. Remember Grand Funk? We were just discussing them. You forgot? It was, like, 200 words ago; how could you forget? Are you taking your medicine?

Please stop harassing your readership.


You’re making no sense tonight. It’s worse than usual.

Furthermore, the Dead played five states only once, but you could also count it as six. To wit: the band played one-nighters in Montana (74), New Hampshire and Mississippi (both 78), Idaho (83) and South Carolina (85), but they also only went to Alaska once, in 1980. While on the tundra, they played three nights in a row, but I think it should count along with the other five.

And, as long as we’re talking Dead-related confusion, here’s that fucking Les Paul Junior that pops up throughout the 70’s:


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.

All I Know Is That She Sang A Lille While

Hey, Mrs. Donna Jean. Whatcha doing?

“Ah’m boogyin’, sugar. Most nobody don’ know what kinda moves Ah got.”

You mostly just swayed gently onstage.

“Ah was under strict instructions! Miz Donna Jean, we ain’t that kinda band. That’s what e’rybody would tell me. Otherwise, Ah woulda done a li’l hotsteppin’.”

I had no idea.

“Dancin’ Queen Donna Jean. That was mah nickname growin’ up in Alabama. Ah once had the honor of performin’ the tango with Governor Wallace.”

What was that like?

“He kept jammin’ his pecker into mah stomach.”

Sounds right.


I see you back there, Ramrod.





We Can All Agree That…

…Mustache Garcia is the worst Garcia. Sweatpants Garcia was the saddest Garcia, and Clean-Shaven Garcia was the most unsettling Garcia, but Mustache Garcia was awful in every way.

…Billy’s beginner’s paunch is adorable.

…No favors are done by Ramrod’s hair. Grow that shit out, Ramrod. You look like one of those naked holy babies in the Sistine Chapel

Come Saturday Night, I Let My Ramrod Rock

Due to illness, the part of Ramrod will be played by the Fourth Doctor.


Is Garcia wearing his coat backwards as a makeshift blanket? Ramrod’s got his shearling on, and those are warm as fuck; where are they? Did the Dead play Ice Station Zebra?


Milk? Is that a pint of milk, packaged in the familiar cube of waxy paper that used to accompany our school lunches? Who the fuck is drinking milk? Nothing about this picture makes any sense at all.



Bidet Of The Locusts

The second bidet was installed in the bathroom like normal, and after Billy was appraised of how foreign an object it was (“You mean even the name’s French? I’ll pass.), the band was free to launder their nethers to their hearts’ content.

The road crew began using it as a drinking fountain immediately; Phil and Bobby beat them back with truncheons and chair legs.

“Back! No! Not for you, beast!”

“Not beast,” the road crew said. “Always to walk on two legs. Never to walk on four.”

“Drink from your bowls!”

And then Ramrod started licking himself. It was a weird afternoon.

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