Thoughts On The Dead

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

My Old Kentucky Home

“Hey, Bobby? I was hoping you’d play slide tonight,” is a sentence only uttered by one man in history.  It is our bad luck that the man was Bobby. He used to talk to himself a lot, on the road somewhere between Iowa and Summer. Immediately after viewing the classic made-for-TV movie ‘Sybil,’ Bobby demanded the rest of the group recognize his other selves, except Bobby had named them all Bobby and they all had his personality and, quite honestly, Bobby hadn’t even decided real concrete-like on precisely how many of them there were, so the whole situation just played itself out, quietly and quickly

Dear whoever put together the soundboard tape for 4/21/78 at Rupp Arena: thank you for doing what you did, allowing me to–at virtually no expense–possess this show, this wonderful artifact. But there is no such thing as 4 minute and 40 seconds of stage banter in 1978. Maybe in ’70, they would have sat there bullshitting with the rowdy kids in the front row on the Fillmore East, but no longer. Not here, now.

From the end of the Hiatus (June of ’76) to Keith leaving the band (2/17/79) can be seen as a gradual speedening up. Not a typo, a choice: speedening.

But here’s the thing about 4/21/78 at Rupp arena: apparently no one showed up and the security was dicks. That’s the story. Which is the problem with knowing anything, really, about the actual gig part of it–it removes the textuality of the text (well, not just the text, but also the text) and places the praxis of the ur-Dead and the…ah, fuck it. i can’t even make fun of that kind of crap anymore.  The best thing one can say of any music is nothing, there’s music on, shit the fuck up. But the second best thing you can say is, “Listen to this. Now, Now, you must.” When he got excited about an upcoming song or passage or transition, my friend Glenn would grab your forearm and he was strong. There was no getting away from the Sugaree he was offering you.

What I’m getting at is that I like to look up the shows that I listen to and read the reviews, but sometimes you see things like this:

This was a really good show for the Dead. I am from Lexington so I know they were probably playing to just a few thousand fans inside a huge 24,000 capacity seating arena. I guess that’s what they mean when they say their were plenty of seats down in the front. This was the first time the Dead ever played Lexington and it would also be their last time. That’s too bad, I wish I knew why.



PS: Seriously, go listen to the Rupp show. They’re killing it.


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