Thoughts On The Dead

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

I've Been All Around This World

There are all sorts of statistics available to the bloggist from the lovely and talented people at WordPress: real-time updates of visitors, and views, and clicks, and referrers, and–thanks to the bot I installed in the site’s hidden code–webcam photos of all of you.

Most of you come here directly, which is nifty. Some visitors come from Reddit or Facebook or Twitter; the rest from Google. TotD presents–sporadically at best–a curation of search terms; this is not that.

Instead, we focus on another metric measured by the dashboard of this blogging thing: national location. WordPress tells you, in a well-designed chart, where your visitors are coming from.

A bar graph of the site’s visitors would fit a classic power-line, like a hockey stick on its side, blade sticking up on the left. It’s the same graph for air tragedies, or wealth, or terrorist attacks. Tiny amount of exponentially smaller big fish and then that famous long tail of blips and blops.

The good ol’ US of A is our winner and still champeen by a knockout: in front by a huge margin, and this makes sense. The Dead were, regardless of what those pretenders to the throne Grand Funk Railroad might have claimed, the most truly American (rock) band there ever was. Also, they were drug addicts who didn’t like crossing borders; or, if they were not drug addicts, were not good at crossing borders because they act like jackasses and bring bee pollen or whatever hippie junk food Bobby got busted for in ’77. (Going to the show captured on the last Dave’s Pick, coincidentally.)

This show in November of 1977 took place in Toronto, which, as Enthusiasts will note, is the capital of Canada, which is the next nation down the list, our friendly brother to the North (or the South if you take the scenic route.) This mirrors the Dead’s shows, of which there were 29, making Canada the second-most visited country. This number is a bit skewed, though, due to a whole bunch of ’66 and ’67 shows and the Festival Express adding three shows.

The Dead mostly played Toronto (or the suburbs adjacent) except for a two notable shows in ’73 and ’74 in Vancouver, which, Enthusiasts will note, is the capital of Canada. The band failed to return due to a nasty brawl starting when a local called Phil a “moosefucker.” What Phil–and the rest of the road crew who had instantly begun kicking people in the head–failed to understand is that, unlike the American “pigfucker,” moosefucker was a compliment of rare application: it meant that you were a person of character and poise and inner calm during adversity. Much like the mystical hammer Mjolnir could only be lifted by the worthy; so, too, could the moose be fucked. After all, the Canadians believe, if a moose doesn’t want you fucking it, you simply aren’t going to fuck that moose. For all intents and purposes, a moose is unrapeable.

What just happened there?

It started in Toronto, and then moose rape. I don’t know, man: I’ll get back to the theme.

Watching you, pal.

England is next, on both lists: visitors and shows. They played there in three spurts–’72, ‘82, and ’91, ’81, and ’90; but they also played a one-off festival in 1970 in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, which is too British a name to be real, like Twitley-On-Scupper, or The Right and Honourable Duke of Boroughcester Alistair Daly-Hogg, or Benedict Cumberbatch.

England (with a little help from Wales and Scotland, but mostly a bunch of dicks in London) fucked the planet in an almost poetic sense: colonialism, the middle east, making America, scientific racism. Such high achievers, and now look at them: Top Gear and Kate Middleton’s uterus.

After that, it declines sharply, with most of the countries you’d expect to see: Germany, Australia–the normal places. Strange anomalies do pop up: Solomon Islands is atop India. I cannot be exact with these numbers, but I am confident in saying that India is at least three times larger than Solomon Islands.

Not The Solomon Islands. Just Solomon Islands. Some Spanish conquistador named them in the 1500’s after King Solomon, regardless of the fact that the island contained no riches and already had a name given to it by the people who had been living there for 20,000 years or so. After first contact, the native folks mostly chased the white man away–or ate him–until WWII when the white man wanted to build an air force base. Now I think they do tourism, but their Wikipedia page says that their beach soccer team is the best in all of Oceania, so there’s that.

In the past year, TotD has had nine hits from Saudi Arabia, and I cannot state strongly enough what a bad idea that is. This bullshit has got to be illegal in Saudi Arabia.

There are places on here where–and I’m trying to put this nicely–you need to do more important things. Looking at you, Afghanistan.

Bhutan, Oman, Latvia, Laos: how did you get here? Tell me your secrets, you who have wandered so far afield. Did the pictures of Bobby arouse you? Billy scare you? Guy from Latvia: is Doctor Doom really in charge of your country? If so, are you him? If so, are you really Doom, or just a Doombot? Bhutanese reader: please stop putting the B and the h next to each other; those letters can’t be next to each other. Stop doing it, Bhutan.

Mongolia. Mongolia? Mongolia. Mongolia is so empty that Mongolians don’t even live there: they’re just bused in for National Geographic photo shoots. Mongolians train falcons to hunt for them. They also train reindeer to fish for them. Once, they taught a bear to ride a tiny bike: that bear became a Mongolian TV star and later ran for a seat in the Mongolian Senate with the slogan “Vote for me or I’ll eat you. The bear was caught accepting salmon for votes and was sentenced to three years in the Mongolian Zoo.

7 Comments

  1. I would like to respectfully point out that the GD played England in ’81 & 1990, not ’82 or 1991.

  2. Bobby would have changed the words to “Sugar Mongolia” probably.

  3. Solomon Islands may not be Deadhead Central but there is a guy in Honiara who wears Grateful Dead T shirts all the time, and there is a petition circulating to make King Solomon’s Marbles the national anthem. Opponents of this initiative claim that it is difficult to sing.

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