Thoughts On The Dead

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

Grate Adventure


The theme park was doomed from the start.

The boffins at Alembic, geniuses at audio innovation that they might be, were particularly ill-suited to designing an amusement park, mostly because of their high tolerance for experimentation and system failure: they sent at least three fully-loaded roller coaster cars hurtling off the tracks in an uncontrollable death parabola in search of what they called “the gravitational sweet spot.”

One of the selling points of the park was the entertainment: the Dead would jam in the open-air amphitheater twice a day; admission was free to park guests. Phil showed up for the first show, got shit-faced on Bordeaux and astronaut ice cream, drove his Lotus home, called in with a family emergency. When Sue Swanson answered and asked what the emergency was, Phil relayed the sad news that his father had died. Sue then reminded Phil that his father had died in 1970 and he (Phil) had written a song (Box of Rain) about it (the dying.) Phil then made a CHHHSSXCH sound into the phone and pretended the connection was bad and hung up.

Also–and there’s no pleasant way to say this–Brent would do stuff to the characters walking around. This stuff was non-consensual, at best. Which is funny when it’s a keyboardist desperately humping an anthropomorphic duck in broad daylight, but not as funny once you realize that there’s a person–most likely a teen person–in the suit and you’re literally watching another human being get PTSD.


  1. Given that my only Dead show was June 30 1987, in an amusement park outside of Toronto, I lolled.

  2. “Let’s get you out of that wet (duck) suit”

  3. What theme park was this exactly? Great blog btw

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