Thoughts on the Dead

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

Signing For The Sound


Regardless of whom he was signing the book for, Phil refused to inscribe anything but “You’re a strong independent woman who don’t need no man, Phil Lesh.”

It really held the line up.


art bobby  pointing

Get it?

Not Pronounced “Smoo”

Boxing Day in Texas 1969 at the McFarlin Auditorium on the campus of SMU.

Billy is still on an airplane, so they give the longhairs some country music to open up: an always-fun Monkey and the Engineer, an out-of-tune All Around This World, and a one-time only rendition of The Master’s Bouquet.

Then there is a Dark Star>New Speedway Boogie. Dark Star>New Speedway Boogie is a thing that happened, it was recorded, and I am pointing it out to you to enjoy.

But yet you are still here. Go to the enjoyment: it calls you, and offers mai tais and tittyfucking.

You have to know it off with that.

What’s bad about either of those things?

Absolutely nothing. It’s just the repetition makes it weird.

Bloody mary and a lubed-up armpit?


Light A Candle, Curse The Art Less

jerry art white hair comics

A rarely-visited wing of the MoMTDA houses Don’t Tell Me This Town Don’t Have No Art, a show comprising Dead murals, inspirational posters, banners painted for sick children, etc. The sentiment behind the art obviates any criticism on any level, aesthetic included. Making fun of stuff like this is like being the guy who points out how much more efficiently the money invested in the whole Batkid thing could have been spent: you’re right, but also, shut the fuck up.

Call It A Day

jerry phil hey now

When Phil started throwing his imaginary giant penis at the photographer and Garcia began loudly demanding “special, grown-up hugs,” the photo shoot was over.

Boob Weir

bobby fish story

When Bobby did this, the crowd loved it and thought Bobby was being real passionate-like and becoming overwhelmed by the emotion of the song, but in his head, he was just practicing for the night’s boobie-time, which he had decided would include motorboating. (Bobby, of course, called it “motor-Bobbing.”)

Fair Fight

One time at a pool party, Garcia and Bobby were drinking mai-tais and thinking about doing some titty-fucking when they saw Hunter talking to John Perry Barlow by the grill. John Perry Barlow was in control of the fire; he had also brought the meat, which he had killed with a rifle made out of liberty and butchered with a knife made from freedom. Hunter wanted a burger and a frank because he had been eating healthy and he deserved a treat.

“Mine can beat yours,” Bobby said

And that was probably true, mostly because John Perry Barlow is a big farm dude. And because he was waving his pistols around to emphasize a point he was making at the time, but to John Perry Barlow’s credit, he had only fired the guns two or three times, which he would argue was “the absolute fewest times I could have discharged my weapons at a pool party with children present.”

Garcia mulled it over.

“How would we even…,” Garcia said. “Would we poke them with sticks?”

“Well, that’s how we race the groupies. So: yeah, sure.”

Except Hunter heard and got insulted, so he moved somewhere they speak the wrong language and didn’t call anyone for seven years.

Pictures At An Exhibition

painting jerry roses

Among the paintings at the MoMTDA (pronounced: Mom: taDAA! like you just did a trick) is this chalk-on-flat-thing entitled “Flowerbeard: the least intimidating pirate.”

It is housed in the show called Flores Para Los Muertos or “Again with the Roses?” This curation of the seemingly innumerable pieces of art (Dead, terrible) that have, like, Phil getting eaten by a venus flytrap, or Bobby in a bush, but mostly Garcia and a bunch of roses runs until June in the Main Hall.



Little Surfer Bob

bobby surfing

Seems legit.

The Dead didn’t surf: Northern California isn’t the place for it and they weren’t very much good at balancing on the ground, let alone a surfboard on the water. Also, Keith tried to put a wetsuit on once and they found him two days later all wrapped up in the thing, crying and scared.


Well Endowed

art jerry death star microphone

The Museum of Modern Terrible Dead Art was founded in 1976 and moved into its current facility in ’89. The iconic building was designed by someone the band thought was I.M. Pei, though the guy’s lack of math skills, insistence on being paid in cash, and the fact that he was clearly a Puerto Rican woman  should have tipped them off to the ruse. That building was sketched to occupy eight dimensions at once, but didn’t meet code in any of them.

The band then brought the famed Frank Gehry to create the space, but while they’re utter nincompoops with money and a good caper, they always did have, you know: fucking aesthetic taste, so they recognized Gehry as a faddish hack whose buildings were ugly and instantly dated and empty of heart and basement and why do they all have to be so damn shiny and, like, 20 seconds into the first presentation, Billy punched him, not just in his dick, but in his load-bearing dick, and that’s structural damage there.

At this point in the process, things broke down even further, as it was learned inadvertently that Brent had–at some point–been turned into a Jason Bourne/River Tam type super-badass and his operating code was the word “Guggenheim,” which obviously came up a whole bunch, especially after Bobby heard it and had a giggle fit. So, every time Bobby would say Guggenheim, Brent would take off full-tilt boogie for the nearest food court and start cracking skulls and then get a hot pretzel. It was the opposite of helpful.

The plans changed to housing the collection in an old warehouse off the 101 near Sausalito and things ran smoothly once the band was left out of the decision-making process.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 603 other followers