Thoughts On The Dead

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

Bobby, Browne

Two new Dead-related items from FoTotD David Browne winging over the transom today, Enthusiasts, and you should go read them; the first is about the Dead playing the grand opening of the North Face store in North Beach, and two important things happened that day.

First: this was the Dead’s first corporate gig. Later on, they would do Levi’s commercials, and sell ice cream, and a veritable Wall of Merch; every one of these ventures caused Deadheads to accuse them of selling out, but true Enthusiasts know that the Dead began selling out the very instant anyone offered them any money. (Although, North Face could be seen as “clean graft.” It was hip and chic and snow-bunnies and apres-ski were big back then, so it wasn’t like hawking toothpaste or anything.)

Second: this may have been the first time the Hells [sic] Angels were used as security, and that turned out to be a miscalculation down the line.

(The article is in Men’s Journal, and after ten minutes of poking around the site, I have come to a conclusion: men don’t like being outdoors as much they like buying geegaws to facilitate being outdoors.)

The other piece is in Rolling Stone, and it’s an interview with Bobby. There’s an illustration that goes with it, and the artist was laboring under the delusion that he was working for the Wall Street Journal. Look:


Right? Like he’s written an op-ed about the primacy of copyright law, or how climate change can best be cured via the free market.

Now, do I accuse David Browne of things? Yes, of course, obviously. I could not accuse the man more vociferously; there is much vocifer in my accusations. Was I discussed? I was not, Enthusiasts, though I found several allusions. (You can find allusions to yourself in anything if you’re crazy enough.)

There is an interesting exchange, though, in which Bobby talks (just a little, and obliquely) about the rumors of waywardness and dipsomania that sprung up that year he kept falling over in public. Bobby brings it up first, and then David asks him about it, and then Bobby starts talking about 1972. Go read it; I’m not lying.


  1. Bobby’s like a kid with divorced parents; spend a few years with Phil, spend a few years with the drummers, see them all together at the reunion.

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