On that OkCupid site (SHUT UP! LOVE IS WITHIN MY REACH!), there is a whole questionnaire dealie; one of the questions asks about the size of the Sun and Earth. Binary question: which one’s bigger. The only way to get it wrong is to be joking, because to sincerely answer that incorrectly would mean you were incapable of using a computer. (The comment section on YouTube might undermine my argument there.) I always thought that being wrong on that question was to be the wrongest you could be.

Wrong as usual. This is from an essay about the evolution of Dark Star: I was going to post it for you, until I came on this paragraph, which will go down in history as the wrongest words any human has ever said, tied with “Keith, could you watch the pharmacy for a minute?” and “I will never regret this Yahoo Serious tatoo.”

Late ‘73 versions all too often featured Weir throwing in chord progressions (often one that regrettably has become known as the “Mind Left Body Jam”) whenever he ran short of ideas (cf. 12/2/73 Boston). This is the only flaw of the dense, uncompromising 10/25/73 Madison (what was it about that town in ‘73?) Dark Star. Phil’s playing had evolved by now into dark abstractions and thundering chords. Jerry’s playing has moved in this direction as well, making heavier use of wah and feedback. Their styles achieved an apotheosis of sorts before the hometown crowd at Winterland on 11/11. (Compare Phil’s 2/15 solo to his playing on 11/11 for a measure of the extent to which his approach to Dark Star had changed.)

I am physically angered by this brio’s assertion. BRIO! What the fuck?

Excuse, please.


Why are you saying ‘brio’? Are you trying to do a ‘bro’ thing?

Bro? Is THAT what people are saying? I thought it was ‘brio’, like “Hey, I like your brio, your panache, your elan.”

Is that what you really thought?

If I get back on topic, can we forget this ever happened?

Probably not, but let’s try.

First of all, the author is unclear on if it is the specific name of this jam or the larger fact that jams have names at all that is so regrettable. They played this theme a lot and people needed to put it in setlists; it might have been called Fred, and clearly the band didn’t give a shit. This was the stone ages, before you could just say, “Oh? The jam at six minutes in? I’ll link to it on my sound-tushee and jack off your metaverse all over my blueteeth and my parallax.”  So some random guy in a shitty apartment with an awesome audio set-up named the thing because to him (and it was certainly a him), that jam he kept hearing in Dark Star and Truckin’ reminded him of a track from an Airplane record Garcia played on.

(It may well be a direct rip off of that song, and it is readily available on the YouTube, but I will be skewered with Satan’s dong before I listen to an album called Baron Von Tollbooth and the Chrome-Plated Nun.)

Like the name or not, by this point: that’s what the fucker’s called.

But his other point.

The war in Viet Nam had a new terror for soldiers, a job referred to as a Tunnel Rat. The Viet Cong had built elaborate burrows under the rolling jungle hills of their home, living in there for months: bedrooms, kitchens, you could watch movies, even.

And mantraps. So many mantraps.

The tunnel rat was something like the ball gunner in WWII bomber planes. He was a little guy. This wasn’t like back at home where the coach didn’t want you because of your size: you were needed. You won. Yay.

So the tunnel rat would crawl into the wet abscess in the mud with a flashlight in one hand and a .45 in the other and the number of days he had left on the tip of his tongue.

And sometimes, he would come upon a nest of Cong. Everyone would grab his weapon and the screaming, spit flying from mouths and meals flying across the room with the table, leaping up, “DIDI MAO! DIDI MAO!” Charlie screamed, because my entirety of knowledge of the Vietnamese language comes rom Deer Hunter.

Imagine the hate in that damp, cramped room that no one wanted to be in. The confusion, stench, and anger.

And you won’t be anywhere near how I feel about that statement about the Mind Left Body Jam. The MLB was, on so many occasions, the entire goddam point of why they had been playing music that evening. It was Dark Star’s Dark Star, but better: it was modular and could be packed up and placed wherever they wanted it, heroically after Truckin’ in ’74 or (in a slimmed-down version) appended to Music Never Stopped. It’s the highlight of a damn sight more than a few shows that are inarguable Hall of Famers.


You okay?

Yeah, just need some pudding and a nap and a ’71 and I’ll be right as rain. Is anyone else wrong on the internet?

No, you got everyone.