“How long are you going to play Eyes tonight, guys?”
“From immediately after drums until the heat death of the Universe.”
“So, the same as last night, then?”
I once heard a ’74 Playin’ that is still being played at this moment. It has been going on for nigh-on-40 years now because Phil is, and I am quoting a man who belongs to several tough-guy unions and yet still allows other people to call him Ramrod, “really feeling it.”
The only reason to play a song for as long as the Grateful Dead played several of their’s is if the lack of music will trigger a bomb. Like the Grateful Dead were in Speed, and Bobby is Keanu so he is pretending to be a Cop On The Edge instead a Cowboy With A Broken Heart this time.
As we’ve discussed, Bobby actually thought he was a fucking cowboy. Now, each of the Dead’s singers had a certain persona they delivered their songs through: Jerry was the Gambler, Bobby was the Cowboy, and Phil was The Guy Who Couldn’t Sing. Now, when Jerry did Deal or Loser or whatever, he was delivering these songs from a uniquely American perspective, one that he and Hunter had crafted to serve as an avatar for the Dead’s sheer Americanness.
For the Dead were the most American band there ever was: far too loud, prone to ridiculous, money-losing foreign entanglements, drugged out of its mind, and dying of diabetes. But also capable of the most astonishing grace–American. And what’s more that than the Gambler, armed with his six-shooter and his wits? Garcia and Hunter recognized this metaphor and wrung all they could out of it.
Except Bobby actually thought he was a fucking cowboy. He apparently spent part of one teenaged summer a’ropin’ and a’rasslin and a’rompin’ and a’ridin’ and whatever the fuck else gentiles do in the summer. You can imagine Bobby traipsing through the fields, shirtless, asking the farmhands if they thought he was pretty.
Thereafter, Bobby was a fucking cowboy and we had to sit through Mexicali Blues every other night