Thoughts On The Dead

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

A Tale Of Two Cities (Temporarily)

Let’s get beyond the irony of the sign on the right: it is basic and obvious, and it would lower us to belabor it.

It’s kinda perfect, though.

Oh, absolutely. It’s the type of detail only a hack novelist or real life could come up with.

Maybe it’s French.

Oh, the Lé Itimatê?



No. It’s just funny.

It is. They wanted to be classy so bad, and they did it so badly.

Right. What and when is this?

This is the International Hotel in 1969; Elvis started headlining there on July 31st of that year. He played the whole month of August–a dinner show at 8 and then another at midnight–and if you adjust for the time zones, then it’s likely the King was performing at the same instant that the Dead were onstage at Woodstock.

We are told this is culturally significant.

Enthusiasts–and I am sure you can see this coming–I would pick this over Woodstock in a hummingbird’s heartbeat. Don’t get me wrong: my heart would be in a shit-strewn field without basic facilities listening to Joan Baez, but only metaphorically; my physical heart would be with the rest of my body in Las Vegas.

This is an opinion best argued in bullet points, Enthusiasts. TotD presents Reasons To Choose 8/16/69 In Vegas Rather Than Woodstock:

  • I reiterate: no Joan Baez.
  • Also neither Country Joe, nor Fish.
  • But fish would be available–sole or flounder, with a choice of two sides–and so would a sweeping variety of other foods; there are also beverages of hard and soft natures.
  • Whereas Woodstock ran out of food.
  • Forget the narrative-induced juxtaposition of Vegas/Woodstock in any societal sense: the place with the food is always better than the place without the food.
  • In the casino that Bill Graham set up backstage at Woodstock, there was no craps table; point: Vegas.
  • Did not rain in Las Vegas in August, and if it did you could just go inside and play craps.
  • I didn’t look that up, but it did not rain in Las Vegas in August.
  • Oh, wait.
  • I did look that up.
  • BOOM, bitches!
  • Don’t call the nice people that.
  • The need to get at me, dog.
  • Don’t talk like DMX, either.
  • Get out of the bullet points.
  • You get out of the bullet points.

Fine. It is worth noting–as long as we’re discussing the narrative-induced juxtaposition of Woodstock/Vegas in a societal sense–that the Vegas lineup is far more diverse on a strictly numbers basis (33% to 15%) but judged by a metric of “southern lunatics” then the Vegas show is not diverse at all.

But look at that show! (Yeah, yeah: it’s two separate shows, but you could see them all in one night)

This is what the Ike and Tina Turner Revue sounded like in 1969:

Four songs–not lip-synced, real performances–and an interview with Hugh Hefner. Feel free to skip the interview if you don’t want to watch Ike get escalatingly more perturbed as Hugh directs all of his questions to Tina, but stick around for the Ikettes. Also, Hugh has invited every single one of his black friends to the taping, and the director is determined to let you see them having a good time.

And this is Wayne Cochran and the C. C. Riders from a few years later:

So there’s that.

There’s no film of Elvis at the International that first run, but this is what he sounded like the week after Woodstock on 8/24/69:

It’s a clear SBD, and uncut: you get to have fun with Elvis onstage as he babbles about whatever comes into his head, and also squirrels.

Then, when those three high-powered, house rockin’ bands are done, you can play blackjack or wear hats or have mob tie; whatever people did in Vegas late at night back then.

Or you could make a doody in a bush while Ravi Shankar sitars at you.

There is no choice.

  • Hey. Excuse me.

Why are you still in there?

  • I don’t know. I can’t leave. Can you help me, please? It’s brittle and loud in here. There are monsters.

Oh, wow. The bullet points are their own separate reality? Never realized. Live and learn.

  • Please help. I shouldn’t be here; I don’t have enough nipples.

You’re on your own.


  1. Did Old Blue Eyes and Little Richard ever duet?

  2. Robert Hernandez

    January 9, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Doug Kershaw!!

  3. Luther Von Baconson

    January 10, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Whoaaaa! Words rocks.

  4. Microdosing.. now you believe?

  5. Dude, you totally dont need food when tripping. I saw every band bith days at Atlanta Pop I that way, better living thru chemistry.

    Which reminds me, I wouldnt cross the street to see that junkie cracker narc DEA wanna be if I eas VIP comped.

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