Thoughts On The Dead

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

Go Banana Slugs!

Sure, maybe the past week or so has been Thoughts on the (1978) Dead, but last I checked, I wasn’t being paid, so I can do whatever. 6/4/78 at UC Santa Barbara

The show of the day is NOT one of the latest batch: nothing almost-great about this one; just top to bottom greatness, from the stampede out the gate of Bertha to insanely happy bounce of Tennessee Jed to the highlight of the first set (and there is serious mad magic in this first set), Jack Straw featuring Bobby trying to top Garcia’s enthusiastic line-readings only to crack himself up and lead the whole band to red-line Betty Cantor’s recording equipment.

Is there a second set? They do!

That makes no sense on any level.

I’ve talked about the problems Samson had before: it could get boring, repetitious, and most of all, wobbly. But once in a while, they played that motherfucker like Wolverine berserking out, slicing the rhythms in pieces and making it feel un-manly for being hairless. Garcia can’t even wait ’til the song starts to start knocking phrase and lines and IDEAS out the ballpark and Bobby is in your right ear playing what can only be described as Sci-Fi guitar and the drummers have Voltron’d themselves into one great, hairy, dickpunching beast and everything is perfect, everything is just exactly perfect.

Why are you still here? Go there; listen to that.


  1. As a Californian, I understand that there are just too many UCs and Santas for anyone to keep track of, but the Banana Slugs are the mascot of UC Santa Cruz – appropriately enough, the home of the Grateful Dead Archive, but you already knew that.

    UCSB’s mascot is the Gauchos.

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