Thoughts On The Dead

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

If I Told You ‘Bout All That Went Down…

As is my wont (and my tont and my soupt), this begins with a plea, an urgent command from the Library to listen to something, something you’ve almost definitely heard before, but listen to Keith here on 5/7/77 playing Mississippi Half-Step on THE ORGAN FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE TOUR STARTED, THANK YOU.  Forget the sheer tonnage of beatdown Garcia is bringing: listen to the B3!


Okay: I can tell how many people are clicking on what links and the cold, hard fact is that not nearly enough of you are going on to listen to 8/24/72 even though I keep telling you and breaking your toys in front of you and making you wear Dead Mom’s lipstick every Wednesday night. Humpday? Huh. You got no idea.


In the early days, they all had different relationships with the concept of being in tune. Phil agreed whole-heartedly when it came to his bass and his voice in the early days, but after his vocal sabbatical, he was just all over the place. Bobby played in tune and sang out of it, Garcia sang in tune, and played out of it. Keith was just plain out of it.


Tupac keeps making popping up, Morrison went to Africa like Rimbaud, and people will be seeing Elvis along the highway for as long as the Republic stands. Garcia? He’s gone.


39:07 for The Other One on 9/17/72? Why? Why, Grateful Dead: why would you let this happen? Forget the sheer tonnage of notes; instead, note the date: September 17, 1972. It’s been released, officially, as Dick’s Picks 23. This is not just a show they played, this is something they offered for sale in the market with their imprimatur. In other words. the Dead are telling us that this is behavior that they are proud of. “Most bands could play a song for maybe 20 minutes and then it would get weird and sad. It took us 40 minutes. GRATEFUL DEAD RULES, EVERYBODY ELSE DROOLS”


  1. 1) I already knew about 8/24/72 and agree wholeheartedly. No need for clickies on the linkies but thanks! re: 8/27 comparison, I am a bit old fashioned, but in the end prefer shows that are in tune, as opposed to those whose relationship with the nominal key are oblique at best. I admire the psychedelic energy of Veneta, though.

    2) It’s 39 minutes because a detailed track listing would go like this: The Other One > drums > Other One part 2 > space > dissonant Tiger jam > jazzy improv jam > Other One part 3, which is 7 things, meaning each averages about five and a half minutes, and in the scheme of Dead music that’s actually pretty succinct.

    Keep it up. Since I found the blog, I’ve been accusing all my smartest friends of being you. None of them will admit it yet, but I haven’t started with the cockpunching.

  2. Anchovy Rancher

    October 31, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    This shit is way too literate for me.

    “God Damn It, Thompson. I TOLD YOU this was going to happen!”

    p.s.- “I, for the record, have not accused anyone. Of anything. The night is young.”

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