Thoughts On The Dead

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

Don’t Cross The Revenue Streams

You’ll excuse me, Enthusiasts, if I repeat myself, but this question has been fingering my mind’s butthole all evening.


Shut up, you. Anyway, to recap:

billboard money

WHAT THE FUCK DOES “FAN DEMAND” MEAN? That phrase refers–and this is the closest I can get to a precise definition–to an assumption based on an aggregate sample of emotions. You send up a publicity trial balloon and then read the response: this gives you an idea of what “fan demand” is. It’s not an actual financial metric.

It’s like McDonald’s reporting their earnings as being higher because of “customer demand” (“Those folks were really hungry, so we figured that was worth a few hundred million dollars.”)

It makes no sense: I thought at first that “fan demand” referred to the projected earnings (the estimated profit) and that the Dead had shattered those projections, but that can’t be right: the Dead knew how much they’d make just as anyone with the ability to do basic math did. (Number of seats x price of ticket) + (Number of seats x average merch purchase) + non-attendee merch + sale of access to the band + webcasts. Hell, I did the math. Peter Shapiro sure as shit did the math.

So: what can it mean? Was there some sort of Kickstarter I wasn’t aware of that raised the initial funds necessary just to get everyone in the same room? A petition written down on $10 million in small, non-sequential bills? I don’t know, and the article does not explain it.

I am genuinely stymied and would like someone to tell me what is happening, please.

There are also many missing revenue sources in this graph, some more legitimate than others. Spies in the Dead’s accountant’s office have slipped me the full story; TotD can now present Additional Incomes From The Farewell Shoes:

  • Since around ’89, Billy has employed a team of orphans as pickpockets; they made a bundle in Chicago.
  • Kickbacks from the taco truck.
  • Ad deal with DirecTV for the blimp.
  • Bribes from Creepy Ernie to wear his clothes.
  • Several thoroughly-insured guitars got “stolen.”
  • Mickey’s mallet endorsement.
  • Payment from artificial rainbow company to advertise their product (Santa Clara only).
  • 20% cut of all sanctioned Three Card Monty games in the stadium. (There were a suspicious amount of Three card Monty games going on in Chicago. Ask anyone who was there. Martin and I had figured out the game and were about to win us some money when Chris–whose brilliant book Paradise Now can be purchased by clicking here–stopped us, as he was raised in New York City, and is therefore street-smart. A very nice street, but still: very smart.)
  • If you gave Peter Shapiro five grand in cash, he would let you watch the spy cams he had installed in the band’s dressing room for a couple minutes.
  • Jeff Chimenti and Bruce Hornsby broke into the 49ers locker room and stole a bunch of shit.
  • Jeff Chimenti and Bruce Hornsby broke into the Field Museum and stole the T-Rex skull and sold it on Ebay.
  • Trey made Mike Gordon pay for his ticket.


  1. Only thing I can think of, and the numbers don’t really make sense here, is it represents the amount of money (in money orders) sent for mail-order tickets when that particular debacle went down.

  2. it’s like how Trump estimates the value of his holdings based on the value of his “personal brand” which turns out to mean “I add 1 to 3 billion on the top based on how I feel about myself that day”

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