Thoughts On The Dead

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

The Parentage Trap

Esteemed Commentator Tor Haxson brings to the table an important question, and because I am currently avoiding writing several vital e-mails, I shall attempt to answer this most ponderous of mysteries.

Which Grateful Dead would you want as a parent?

See, I told you it was an important question.

We must start out by noting that none of the Grateful Dead’s children have rampaged through a Burger King, nor been indicted on racketeering charges. Not a one of them has ever been arrested for pissing on a stewardess while yelling “DO YOU KNOW WHO MY FATHER IS!?” They’re all presentable. Any honest reading of the situation must led to the conclusion that the Dead were, at least, decent parents.

But who would be preferred? All members of the band have their pros and cons. To have Phil as a parent means that you would be tall, and have a beard. If that’s how you’d prefer to look, then you should choose Phil. If, on the other hand, you would rather be a hot chick, then Bobby is your best bet. If you’d like a wholesome, hard-working, American name such as Stacy or Justin, then you need to go with Billy; for a hippy-dippy, godless, communist name like Taro or Raya, then Mickey is your man.

Mickey is also an excellent choice because he’s so easy to buy presents for.

“You got me a drum! How did you know what I wanted?”

“Just guessed, Pop.”

Are you going anywhere with this?

Honestly? No.

So why did you write this?

If I stop writing, I’ll die.

Even it’s complete shit?

History will decide its worth.

Go put your head in the stove.

It’s electric.

Put a gun in your mouth in your head in the stove.

Suicide by syntactical recursion. I like it.

Do it.


  1. I know for sure who I’d not want to have as my make-believe Grateful Dead parent—Jerry (beyond laissez-faire in the parental direction and discipline departments, may divorce mom only to marry someone who hates mom beyond rational thought, the whole addiction and dying thing), Keith (morbid depression and alcoholism can be passed from one generation to another, the whole dying thing), Brent (see: Keith), TC (see: Dianetics), Vince (see: Keith).

    Now, Donna would probably make a great Grateful Dead parent but there’s the whole Keith-as-dad (maybe) thing.

    I’m going with Pigpen. Yes, he has similar addiction and early death issues as 3 out of 4 of the other keyboard players, but the conversations would be fantastic and his reputation as a softie leads me to conclude he’d be down for a game of catch and put your watercolors on the beer fridge.

    • NoThoughtsOnDead

      August 30, 2017 at 1:00 am

      I’m getting a little misty as the idea of “…put your watercolors on the beer fridge.”

      • I’m now imagining a TotD-penned dialogue between Ron and his kindergarten-age child. Completely tender, inappropriate, and loving.

        Got awfully dusty in here, didn’t it? sniff

  2. I think I’d have to go with Bruce on this one.

  3. Picture borrowing the car from your GD parent.

    And then you will see why I chose Mickey..

    he would..
    1. know wether or not he even has a car,
    2. he would know where it was,
    3. and he would let you have it and attempt to keep the interaction as short as possible so he could get back to his crazy obsessions.

    Many of them would fail on 1, if they passed 1 they would fail on 2, the remainder would fuck up on 3 by injecting themselves or Natasha in the mix, therefore Mickey wins.

  4. Can we vote for the lyricists?

    Hunter: plenty of money and you wouldn’t see him much, though when he did show up at dinner, you would have no idea what we was talking about.

    JPB: You would always have the best video games and most guns of all the kids on the block.

    • Dad, can we play ‘Settlers of Catan’?

      Hunter: the New ones come as the old ones go.

      Is that a yes?

      Hunter: the garden was sealed when the flowers decayed.


      Hunter: the old man never was the same again?

      Fine. I’ll just go listen to some scream-o music in my room.

      Hunter: It was never in my mind to cause so much pain.

    • JPB would also have the fastest internet connection.

  5. If you want to occasionally star as an unrequited love interest in a semi-fictional reality series about pop’s band, then definitely go with Jerry.

  6. Luther Von Baconson

    August 30, 2017 at 10:47 am

    i think Donna Jean would be a good Mom, though I would prefer her as my baby-sitter.

  7. Bobby. Genuinely loopy like any sitcom dad but basically benevolent.

    • Same guy as last time

      September 6, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      But you’d always be wondering what he does at Bohemian Grove, and what those strange owl figurines around the house are about…

  8. Does Horsnby count as a Grateful Dead for this question? If so, he’s the obvious answer.

    • Hornsby would make you play Basketball, but then he would not play with you because of his precious fingers. Not making fun, they are precious, but really if I tossed a basketball at my dad I would not want the complication of damaging his precious fingers.

      note Bruce does not shake fans hands for this reason.

      • But he would also give you the genes for height and athleticism that make playing basketball a possibility. My own real parents did not do this. The Bruce taketh away, but he also giveth.

  9. Phil. He’s the intellectual of the group, so probably lots of cool books kicking around. Also, longevity genes.

    • Thoughts On The Dead

      August 30, 2017 at 9:33 pm

      Phil may be a Highlander. The Lord has made several solid attempts on the man’s life.

  10. Phil gets points for owning the sensible Dad look for so long.

  11. I say again–Mickey and Hunter, because:

    Less scrap paper in the house to scribble on or pots and pans to drum on (because Dad has already made off with them), but also a lot of good interesting learnin’ goin’ on…and plenty of time to listen to the various Words and Rhythms of the Universe.

    Also, they’d be working out the frames of “Playin,'” “Greatest Story,” and “France,” which I suppose is a Break Even. Which is all I ask.

    This is one of my very favorite rhetorical questions ToTD has ever come up with, btw.

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