I present you with a partial list of the reasons the Dead again and again faced financial ruin:

  1.  Lenny Hart. This might not have been the Dead’s fault; they were the most goyish band on the planet and I am including Ladysmith Black Mambaza and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in there. These were laid-back Catholics and Protestants from Northern California and they could not possibly be expected to recognize the clear and present danger inherent in a Jewish guy screaming about Jesus. Any time a Jewish guy starts screaming about Jesus, that guy should be watched carefully, because he is up to something. There is a secret list of Jews that other Jewish people all secretly despise, and those guys are pretty close to the top. Also on the list is the family from Hardcore Pawn on TruTV.
  2. The Wall of Sound. The Dead answered George Carlin’s agnostic riddle, “Could God make a rock so big that he himself could not lift it?” with a resounding, “Yes, if He made it out of 20,000 fussy, cutting edge tube amplifiers, He could.” The people who built the Wall were immensely clever, but why did they not take an hour to sit down with a list of gas prices and some scratch paper and figure out how much it would cost to drag that techie-version of Hoarders around the damn Midwest? Think of it this way: the Grateful Dead built the Heaviest Thing in the World and then kept moving it. That gets pricey. Especially if you do it in 1974. You know: during the GAS CRISIS.  THEY BUILT A SOUND SYSTEM THAT REQUIRED 20 TRUCKS TO MOVE DURING THE GAS CRISIS.
  3. Ron Rakow. Someone tell me why I know who this man is, please. You should feel as ashamed as I do for knowing that.
  4. The Grateful Dead Movie. Garcia labored over this thing for 4 years. The animation–the fucking cartoon–cost half a mil. When he decided to include the Nitrous scene, was he thinking, “This is my Citizen Kane?”
  5.  Egypt. They played in Egypt to an audience of 32 Egyptian tour guides, a hundred rich white kids in tie-dye, 13 camels, and the monkey from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Bill Walton was also there; he and the monkey became besties. This is the box score for Egypt: two junkies, at least three full-blown alcoholics, one drummer with a broken arm, a fucked-up piano. Plus everyone was doing the Ol’ Cairo Hotstep, if you know what I mean. (I am talking about diarrhea: foreign places give you diarrhea because they are foreign.)
  6. The White Slave Trade. You probably don’t know about this, reading all those Dead sites that don’t want you to know THE TRUTH, but the Grateful Dead were heavily, heavily invested in the international sale and distribution of top-of-the-line white slaves. Men, women, children–it did not matter. If you were white, the Grateful Dead would snatch you up (Billy did the actual snatching) and sell you in shady backrooms for purposes best not delved into. Rest assured there was butt stuff involved.