Thoughts On The Dead

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

Hell Brent For Leather

Douglas Adams had his Infinite Improbability Drive, but he didn’t go far enough: I introduce the Infinite Infinity Drive.

Assume infinity.

Assume the multiverse.

Therefore, if where you are is not where you want to be, then in one of the infinite universes where you are is where it is at. One can figure which is which by building a computer large enough to calculate infinity. Since such a computer would necessarily have to be larger than infinity, it might seem impossible, until one remembers that infinity must by definition contain, say, infinity+24.

It’s bigger on the inside.

You are teetering on the brink, my friend. 

9/5/79 at MSG (Do I favor East Coast show over West Coast? Am I a Coastist? Do I believe that the West Coast is fine and all, just as long as it stays over there? Yeah. Sue me.)

I am hissing at you. Hissing. Hssss.

It is, obviously, a Brent. Much like strangers at airport bars, I’ve always had an iffy relationship with Brent, but I’m going to give him a concentrated listening, at least until I can staunch this bleeding head wound. I woke up to vomit last night, like you do, and I THWACKED my head into the samurai swords I keep loose in the bathroom, the one room you’re almost guaranteed to roam around in like a piano tuner nightly. (I’m sure blind people must have gone to Dead shows, but did they bring the dog in with them? It seems mean to the dog, what with the dog-hearing and a Dead show had to be, like, the most INTERESTING SMELLING PLACE IN THE WORLD to a dog, but a guide dog has to be like those guards outside Buckingham Palace.)

(BUT, if you were blind, would you ever go to a concert or put on headphones without your dog, or the biggest, strongest, most loyal buddy in the world with you? Like, your brother just happens to be The Big Show. And I’d rather have the dog: some drunk asshole will have a go at The Big Show just because, but nobody messes with dogs. Music would cut off all your connection to the outside world; you wouldn’t be able to hear anyone sneaking up on you and people sneak up on blind people all the time)

My equivocation towards Brent lies with his playing and his voice. His playing is tremendous: he fit in with the band instantly and added new layers with his adroit B3. His playing stepped up everyone’s game and though his Rhodes could sound tinkly, it was still a welcome relief from the constant piano block-chords of the later Keith years.

I just never warmed to Brent’s voice. It always sounded like a hack comic doing a Michael McDonald impression. I’m sure there are those of you who disagree. I am sorry for your wrongness.

1 Comment

  1. But the tortured soul element. That’s what Brent really brought. I can’t change your mind on the voice. I get why people don’t like it, I just do. What he brought though, was the darkness. The dead had done and seen some truly ugly shit by 79 but was still making happy go lucky music. You throw Brent in and now you have the other half of the yin yang represented properly. It makes the band more honest.

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