8 – Hallelujah hatracks (Really?)
4 – Dead keyboard players. Not 4 keyboardists for the Dead, 4 dead keyboardists. How is it possible that the mortality rate for musicians in an improvisational country-rock outfit is higher than that of those guys who parachute into forest fires? The family crest of the Dead keyboardist read Pertransiit sine me (Go on without me).
3 – Fancy little shoe racks for TC’s fancy little ankle boots.
210,000 – Number of dollars Lenny Hart stole from the band while “managing” them.
40,000 – Number of dollars Lenny Hart stole during the meeting to try to explain the financial irregularities when someone left the door to the safe open. They were trusting men, at first, our Dead.
88 – Keys on a piano.
176 – How many Keith usually saw.
1 – Number of times a crew member looked Phil directly in the eyes. Just that once.
95 – Live albums released, 110 if you count the Digital Download series (One of which I’m listening to now, the Donna-tacular 4/30/77 at the Palladium in NYC. (Audience copy, if you’re into that sort of thing. Harumph. But, seriously, it’s an AUD: think about whether that’s the person you want to be. AUD guys are to Enthusiasts what fat guys fluent in Klingon are to Trekkies)
13 – Studio albums
2 – That were any good at all.
0 – Number of times the question, “How many fingers does the Grateful Dead have?” can be answered with a whole number.
12,000 – Amount extra versus a standard P.A. it cost to tote the Wall of Sound around. Luckily, it was worth the price because it was “the righteous thing to do, man.” That is an exact quote from Blair Jackson, who was actually talking about something else entirely, but FUCK CONTEXT.
6 – Months it took the righteous thing to do to break the band’s back.
2 – Drummers.
1 – Drummer.
2 – Drummers.
12 – Teenage male hustlers found horribly mutilated throughout the 80’s in a pattern correlating to the Dead’s tour schedule. The culprit was never found, but was described as having luxuriously thick blond hair and singing the high harmony part. The pattern stopped briefly in 1989, but picked up again–far more rapidly now–in 1990, except this time it was females and there’s a weird theory that there were two guys based round this mystery man they call Suburban Lanky. Doesn’t make any sense at all, if you asked me.
40 – Milliseconds after Bobby asked, “Tonight, what if we open…wait for it…with the encore?” that his dick got punched.
300,000 – Dollars spent by Mickey in the winter of 1977 to create his most ambitious percussive masterpiece to date. Mickey planned and rehearsed diligently. He spent over a year writing the score and hired musicians from all over the world, building them a brand-new studio. Then he locked them in that brand-new studio, set it ablaze, and recorded their dying screams. Lou Reed is quoted as saying, “Why didn’t I think of that?” The album was never released, except in Norway where it reached #31 on the Billboard-flurgen charts.
14 – Bucks for the Oven-Roasted Shrimp and Sun-Dried Tomatoes at Phil’s new hotspot, Terrapin Crossroads. Come for the food, stay for the Phil!