Thoughts On The Dead

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

Dead, Reckoning

This is Wikipedia’s list of all the bands (rock bands and such working in the Western music idiom, at least) that formed in 1965. Go look. I’ll wait.

There’s a couple groups that still sell records and can–in whatever lineup they’re presenting as the band these days–pack a house (The Doors, Floyd). There’s a few that the hip kids still pretend to like (Love, Captain Beefheart, The 13th Floor Elevators), and some others that our older readers my vaguely remember from their one moment in the sun (Country Joe said “Fuck” at Woodstock, The Left Banke sang Walk Away, Renee, The Turtles were Happy Together),

But just one that sold out football stadiums last summer with the lineup up “most of ’em,” and sells out arenas and baseball stadiums this summer with the lineup of “some of ’em.”

And I’m sure you could do this with companies that formed in 1965, or products introduced, or whatever, but the same question would remain: why them? Why not the others?

And here would be the answer to that question, no matter what the specific topic: dunno. The songs? The vibe? The right sacrifices to the correct Abandoned Gods? Your guess is as good as mine. (Well, honestly: probably not as good as mine.)

And here’s the even funner answer: the band doesn’t know either.

In fact, they might be the worst people to ask.

p.s. I do actually understand why the Dead are the Dead, and I’d love to write a television program about it.



  1. My humble opinion is that they represent (Ed), something genuine, that was,is, uniquely American, and could be a very personal yet shared, experience, and was very close to a spiritual experience, where one could, can, feel a spirit inside ones self that was also being shared with the band and again amplified by all the other folks around you, kinda like feeling the holy ghost in church but not exactly THAT.

  2. Don’t wait for it, crowd source it, man!

  3. I would by it, I looked today, at all the 30$ opinions and annotations and Benjy Eisien? accounts and chose Bleak House by Mr. Dickens.

  4. There are SO MANY great bands on this list I don’t know where to start. Also, so many missed opportunities here:

    “I’ve been listening to the Nihilist Spasm Band for years, and I think they are fabulous.”

    “Lothar and the Hand People? When I spin in NYC clubs, they are totally my go-to for primitive theramin vibe.”

    “Have I heard of Steampacket? Seriously? How do you think my pants got like this?”

    “Ok, you aren’t fooling anyone, Chocolate Watchband. I don’t care what kind of bullshit psychedelia you’re selling, we ALL know what a Chocolate Watchband really is.”

    “The Grateful Dead is listed in between The Gods and The Grodes. Which is a perfect representation of the spectrum of being.”

    1965: Big year for the Davids.

    “I lost my virginity to the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and whenever I get the chance, I try to see them during a summer stadium tour.”

    “The Scorpions? I’m sorry, what? No, no, I’ve heard of them, but they are from the 80s. Is this one of those urban legend things? Like Ted Cruz being the Zodiac Killer?”

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