The Phishes do this thing most years when Trey isn’t dead where they cover an album at Halloween. This year, they pretended they were themselves in the future, or the past–i can’t figure it out and really don’t care to. Also, Mike Gordon probably tried to drunkenly finger Abe Vigoda at the after-party.

So, the big Phish sites (and damn, they look better than mine) were advocating for this album or that, when I realized that–as usual–Big Dead was hiding things from us. I broke into Dennis McNally’s condo and interrogated one of the many, many women he had imprisoned as part of his role as a major conductor on the unholy railroad of the white slave trade.

Dude, we’re gonna get sued.

She showed me to a secret cache of documents and recordings that proved BEYOND A SHADOWING OF DOUBTFULNESS–

For fuck’s sake, Crazy Pants…

–that as usual, the Dead were the first to do everything, but poorly. Below are a by-no-means complete list of attempts the Dead made at covering an album.

Abba’s Greatest Hits was out. They tried it at rehearsal but Phil kept wandering away from the beat and then Mickey would pull out his oud and Bobby would start doing his Swedish Chef routine. So, it was interesting, but not quite listenable.

Phil wanted to do Beethoven’s Fidelio, and then he got down on his knees and put his hands in his shirt like had flipper arms and starting telling everyone he was Thomas Quasthoff and the people that got it didn’t think it was funny and Phil’s feeling were hurt so he built a restaurant and charged everyone a million dollars to eat oven-roasted shrimp and watch him jam with his kids. 

Bobby recommended they cover American Beauty and when gently informed about what covering a record meant, he said, “Yeah, I know. But we cover ourselves, man. Aren’t the masks we wear in real life the true representation of our actual selves? Man?” And then Billy, deservedly, punched him in the dick and was suspended indefinitely by the Miami Dolphins.

Our esteemed Prime Minister of Optimus and West Coast Promotions Man, Mr. Completely, reminds us of Phil and Ned’s abortive stab at Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On? in 1974, Seastones-style. It had been going for 45 minutes and showed no sign of ending when a small Chinese man carrying a plastic bag stood courageously in front of the synthesizers.

In a quiet and unsure voice, Vince asked if they could play something from The Tubes. No one said anything. “I already know all the parts,” Vince added. It was quiet until Ramrod told them it was time to play.

Billy said he wanted to try Lonesome Prairies by Dick Punch and Brent said, “Who’s Dick Punch?” and Billy went “Yours!” and punched him in the dick and it was hard to muster up any sympathy at all for him there.

One year, the members of the Dead crowded around Garcia’s iPhone that he had plucked from within the Time Sheath and somehow not set ablaze. They read forum posts, bloggings, articles, and listicles speculating on what their musical costume would be that year and as they read, their mouths took on meins of disgust as they realized that the phrase “musical costume” was perhaps the least cool thing they had ever heard and decided to just play their usual show, but poorly, as to show their displeasure. Billy also posted a comment on one of the sites calling the author’s mom gay.

Thanks to the gents over at The Phunion  for the idea, which they themselves stole from Relix.