Thoughts On The Dead

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

Reasons 5/8/77 Is The Best Evar Grateful Dead Show

  • Donates a lot to charity, and not just that: the right charities, y’know?
  • Stops the car to help turtles across the street.
  • Ducks, too.
  • The greatness of the sound of the Betty Boards is very rarely better demonstrated than on this show; her soundscape is like an army cafeteria tray: everything has its own space; those spaces fit together into a whole.
  • The holes make a whole.
  • The Lazy Lightning>Supplication. When Bobby starts ranting about how dizzy ain’t the way that you’re making him feel, you believe him just a bit.
  • Bobby dizzy.
  • Phil. Just: Phil. So much Phil. Too much Phil?
  • If you think there’s such a thing as too much Phil, then you can’t sit with us at lunch anymore.
  • Jill sometimes has too much Phil and slips a xanax in his smoothie and the afternoon is so much quieter.
  • 5/8/77 did not throw a Hungry Man Frozen Dinner at anyone, let alone an old man, anywhere.
  • Getting back to Phil, and the muchness he displays this evening, his opening notes to Scarlet Begonias are perhaps the most joyous he has ever played, almost overwhelming – a violent joy.
  • There must be a point at which superballs no longer superball, right? Even baseball-sized balls of the bouncy rubber don’t do that neat whipping-around-the-room thing that terrifies the cat so much, so the threshold at which mass supersedes boing must be rather low.
  • But, what if Bear got a hold of the formula and emboinginated the shit out the rubber to the point where you could make half-ton cannonballs out of the stuff and they would be just as bouncy as the little toys?
  • Then you get a helicopter and a pilot with nothing to live for and drop the fuckers onto downtown Los Angeles during lunch hour.
  • Buildings would come down, right? I’m neither an architect nor a civil engineer, but I would imagine some new piles of rubble would be built that day.
  • Your helicopter would be shot from the sky, but rightfully so.
  • Anyway: that’s what Phil sounds like – a superball the size of a pizza oven ricocheting off the Staples Center and taking out an overpass for the 110.
  • Also, probably killing a shitload of people.
  • Am I alone in saying that Phil’s tone from Barton Hall this night was not worth the lives of several dozen strangers, all with lives and dreams and families? Some of whom had their pets with them?
  • There will be collateral damage in the animal companion sector. Mistakes were made.
  • Phil during S>F is like: “Oh, that’s what you do. Okay. Got it now; no more questions, Mr. Lesh.”
  • And then Garcia starts playing twiddlydwam and hootywow with his MuTron.
  • The MuTron has the greatest name of all the effects pedals, and those were some good names, but it wasn’t on-the-nose like the Wah Wah or needlessly vulgar like the Big Muff
  • Y’know, just to break character and be honest without the silly surrealistic nonsense: they are absolutely killing this Scarlet>Fire and I fucking love the Grateful Dead. They make a good noise.
  • The spring tour was Keith’s last consistent one with the band. There are shows from November of ’77 that his drugged-out droning make nearly unlistenable, but he is still playing his ass off here.
  • Fuckin’ DEEEEEWWWWWWW, brah!
  • Bro, I need you to here and chest me in the manliest of fashion: thrust your pectorals into mine, for they are jacked and stoked and knock-out and turned-around – I say “yes” to being bro to my bro. I will be your Bromeo, but you need to motherfuckin’ RECOGNIZE this DEW that THE BOYS are puttin’ down, Bro J. Simpson.
  • Okay, I’ve never done this before, but fuck it: Cornell Day. Here’s a list WITHIN a list.
  • Things The Dew Is Better Than:
  • Mountain Dew.
  • Voodoo.
  • Sussudio.
  • Israeli pop singer Dudu Fisher.
  • Da Doo Ron Ron by The Crystals. (That’s a damn good song in its own right, though.)
  • Scooby Doo.
  • Scuba Doo. (This was a Hanna Barbera cartoon about divers with a talking seal friend who solved underwater mysteries. It was not a hit.)
  • Sodoku
  • Dog doo.
  • There is no try; only do or do not.
  • Deuteronomy
  • The Dew is not better than doobie, but it is most certainly better with doobie.
  • Until next year, Enthusiasts.


  1. “Getting back to Phil, and the muchness he displays this evening, his opening notes to Scarlet Begonias are perhaps the most joyous he has ever played, almost overwhelming – a violent joy.”


  2. In the interest of blasphemy, I prefer the May 9 show.

  3. It’s a real good show, alright, but “the best” show, cmon, yer not serious, right? Ya might wanna give that some reel thought.

  4. That opening slide up the neck that Phil does at the beginning of Scarlet? You know, brrr-BURRRRRRRRRUMP? Blew a speaker in my car on the second day I owned it.

  5. they do make a good noise. Thats for true

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