Thoughts On The Dead

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

I’ve Got A Tie-Dyed Ticket

Before settling on the seemingly-obvious-from-the-start decision to “just call Trey’s guy” to distribute the tickets to the newly-added Fare Thee Medium Well shows in Santa Condor, the surviving members of the Dead who aren’t Mrs. Donna Jean considered many alternate methods to get those precious tix in the Deadhead’s hand.

  • Tickets hidden in bars of chocolate, Wonka-style; winners get to see the Dead, plus probably diabetes.
  • Leaving the tickets in the Nevada desert and setting groups of Hollywood celebrities against each other in a wacky sprint across the sand.
  • “Racist Olympics.” I’m not even gonna say whose idea that was, because you know.
  • I have no idea what it means, either.
  • Requiring Deadheads to make videos about how big a Deadhead they are and how big their Dead boobs are and how hard their Dead boners get and whether or not they love ducks and all about their sister who is a crystal meth junkie who is transitioning to pills and stabbing people; so, Grateful Dead: please let me come to wherever the fuck Santa Calafragilistic is and boogie to your choogly-type music.
  • Kill for them: blood in, blood out.
  • Use an antiquated request system. Accept only the most arcane method of payment. Process via middle-aged hippie sitting at a table with a show from ’73 playing in the background.
  • Bobby wanted to just leave them under people’s windshield wipers at the mall. He had not worked out how to get the money beyond a vague mumbling of “honor system, man.”
  • Mickey suggested they go back to their hippie roots and ask for donations and people could pay whatever they wanted.
  • Everyone rejected that, not partially because Billy would stand at the entrance shaking down fans.
  • I totally would do that, Billy said.
  • Phil, pretending not to be reading a text from Jill, asked if it were possible to play for one guy–or maybe two, three, whatever–and charge that guy $14 million. We could do it at the restaurant.
  • And Bobby said, Fourteen? Fourteen million American dollars?
  • And Phil said, Yeah, Bob. Conservatively.
  • And Bob let out a slow, sweet whistle while Billy openly grabbed at himself in an animalistic fashion.
  • And think about it, Phil said. We jam for this rich guy for three hours, say some bullshit about Garcia wanting it this way, and we’re in Marin before the evening news. Also, since it’s my place, your meals would be half-off.
  • Plus, Billy said, speaking for the first time since the “Racist Olympics” suggestion, we can make this rich asshole pay us in krugerands and hire a helicopter to fly over the city and we could piss on people in suits and the Irish and when the cops and the taxman comes looking, we take off for Hawaii and they can’t touch us.
  • Why couldn’t they touch us?
  • Hawaii has no extradition policy with America, Billy explained.
  • Because it doesn’t need one because it is America, Phil explained more correctly. Hawaii is a state.
  • Nah.
  • Phil became agitated and went in the corner to text with Jill and Peter Shapiro; he also drank a kale smoothie from the place Bobby had told him about; he was enjoying it.
  • Hawaii’s a state, Mickey said.
  • Yeah. State, Bobby nodded.
  • So, Billy asked, they honor American currency?
  • Yup.
  • Absolutely.
  • They don’t use seashells for cash?
  • No.
  • Absolutely not.
  • Godammit, the guy exchanging my money has been ripping me off for twenty years.


  1. The names of six different corporations appear on that map.

  2. I swore I had no interest in going to the “farewell” shows because, well, I’m old and living in the past as far as the Dead are concerned (I stopped going to shows after ’83 because I thought they were slipping).

    But then: 1) a show lands virtually in my lap and 2) a Deadhead friend who is also a 49ers season ticket holder has access to an exclusive presale on Monday.

    I may be going after all. But it’s still going to be hard to live up to my memories of Winterland.

  3. Arcane payment/delivery method:

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