Thoughts On The Dead

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

Horde, Tour

Younger Enthusiast, I cannot overemphasize how unprofessional the past was. In 2016, putting on a concert is a science, literally: people have written dissertations on the subject. (Okay, it’s a soft science.) But in 1973–and this picture is from the Watkins Glen Festival on 7/27/73*–no one knew what they were doing, ever.

The promoter of the show (Bill Graham) wanted to protect the band from numbskulls; he just didn’t know how. The high stage is only half the equation. You also need a moat filled with enormous security guards. Otherwise, as pictured, there will be boosting.


At least two people in this photo are using cell phones.


99% of being a Rock Star was enjoyable, but this bullshit? Here’s the analogy: one of you breaking in to my home while I wrote. Keith Richards was completely right to whack anyone who got onstage with his Telecaster.

Speaking of Rock Stars: the Dead’s crew were probably a little rough with the guys, less so with the girls, but if you pulled this shit on Led Zeppelin then you’d be dead.


Thanks for the help, Number 12.

*Wait, this might be RFK. I don’t give a shit. It’s definitely ’73. Listen to the Watkins Gen soundcheck.


  1. What is the woman standing holding? Is she Donna or an attractive groupie?

    • Thoughts On The Dead

      December 30, 2016 at 11:10 pm

      That is a very un-Donna-like pose, and I’m not getting a Godchaux vibe from her, so I’ll say “not Mrs. Donna Jean.”

      (I thought it was her for a while, too.)

      Is she waving a makeshift flag or is the sheet affixed to the scaffolding and it just looks like she is because of the angle? Dunno.

      • I think it’s not-Donna-fox-with-flag.

        Also, maestro sideways vibrola on Bobby’s SG. I’d never seen — or at least noticed — that before.

    • Luther Von Baconson

      December 31, 2016 at 10:52 am

      sheets, flags, & whatnot seemed to be a thing

  2. Can we talk about Phil’s hat?

  3. The 70’s!

    Those were the days.

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