Thoughts On The Dead

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

Riding A Gateway Bus

The cities of the American West have shopkeepers for fathers and whores for mothers. Of course, so does every other city on this planet, but the West is so young that there are photographs of the settlers. (Well, the most recent batch.) This puts a crimp in mythology.

The original city walls of Rome, we’re told, were laid out by Romulus after laying out his twin brother Remus in a fight over where the boundaries should be placed. Which is a rude thing to do, but he was literally raised by wolves.

And since this happened around 2800 years ago, we have no proof one way or the other. Common sense says that human nature is human nature and, therefore, Rome was originally a trading post situated near a river for easy access, a couple guys set up an inn and stables, a few women built a house, then a church came by a little later to collect tribute from the inn and tell everyone the woman’s house was one of ill repute.

Things begin, but nothing simply starts.

As is the case with the location of 7/25/72. Portland finds our heroes in town for the last two shows of an astoundingly good four show mini-tour, the first half (mostly) of which is available on Volume 10 of the criminally underrated and foolishly cancelled Digital Download series.

It’s a doozy, but instead of the usual review–

You’ve never seriously reviewed a show in your life. You pretend to have a philosophic/aesthetic disagreement with the practice, but it’s mostly that you can’t be bothered.

–I shall present the awesomess of this show in a somewhat novel way: I’ll list a fact about this show or the city of its birth, and you guess True or False. Ready? Go:

  • There’s a jam about 15 or 16 minutes into The Other One that would turn Miles Davis into a small white girl named Lucy. Garcia’s on the slide guitar and I will venture this: they never played this jam before or after and it’s a glorious piece of music.
  • Portland is the capital of whatever state it happens to be in.
  • This show might as well take place in Phil’s skull. There’s just so much goddamned Phil; a normal person might cry “Hold!” but we demand “More!” The proper amount of Phil is like the proper amount of money or tuggers or compassion: as much as possible.
  • The first set contains a twelve-minute medley of Negro spirituals that peters off into shame.
  • Trey played guitar.
  • Loser’s outstanding. No joke for this one: it’s just an absolutely HoF version of a tune that’s hit-or-miss for me.
  • The city of Portland is actually 21 miles inland and was named after its founder, Allen Portland.
  • The transition between He’s Gone and Greatest Story is hilariously muffed. Bobby, Phil, and Billy all roar full-throttle into the rocker after the gentle come-down of He’s Gone’s coda. Except they do it one at a time, and it doesn’t matter because Garcia needs to tune his guitar, anyway.
  • They do make up for it by utterly killing Greatest Story.
  • Four minutes after Portland acquires its first nuclear missile, Seattle will cease to exist.
  • A very rare BIODTL with π beats.
  • That it has the most strip clubs per capita in the country might seem fun, until you remember that strip clubs are depressing: not one person in that building is happy to be there. Strip clubs are the opposite of the Olympics.
  • Okay, some people enjoy strip clubs, but they’re 19-year-olds or guys with vanity plates on their ‘Vette.
  • Although, it could just be the strip clubs I’ve been to. They;’re always such dank, clearly mob-owned places with posters for Bud Lite and the DJ yelling at the patrons to hit up the ATM, or, as he called it, the “Ass and Titties Machine.”
  • So clever, those strip club DJs.
  • Maybe Portland–being progressive and sensitive and new age to the point of satire and parody–has eco strip clubs, where the ass is organic and the titties are locally sourced.
  • An artisanal, small-batch strip club is what I’m talking about here. Owned cooperatively by the dancers. Free admission for bicyclists. Poles made from recycled steel. Giant high heels made from salvaged lucite. All lap dances will be carbon-neutral.
  • But, in the end, it’s still just a lonely dude paying a pretty girl to stick her butt in his face.
  • Most of Sugar Mags is missing.

The correct answers are: TTFTFFTTFTFTTTF, though not in that order.


  1. so when the hell r u gonna publish a book so i can buy it? (punctuation is always optional on the inter web)

  2. u tease & poke fun at nor-cal hippi slobs, that’z kool- but u crozz line, precious line, casting notions on their so-called power to transform miles>? not so-kool with ur lil itchy brew blog

  3. Not everybody in “NorCal” (We Natives never call it that) are dyslexic Sons and Daughters of Cattle Rustlers and/or Whores. Me? 4th Generation San Franciscan, Bavarian descent. Wood Craftsmen, Professional types, light house docents, pilots, etc.. Old L.D.’s like me…

    Live way North of The City now. Plan to just: “Keep moving North as idiocy encroaches.”

    The Paramount in Portland was a fine place to see a show. One of those majestic old Fox Theatre type places.

    Tease and poke all ya’ want, Bub. It’s great fun.

  4. Loyal reader and longtime Portland resident checking in. We actually do have a vegan strip club here. It’s true, I know a girl who dances there. There’s also one called Dancin’ Bare that features the famous cartoon dancing bears on the signage. I drive by it every day on the way to the dog park and see the girls out front smoking butts in the rain. They look cold.

    I’m thinking about moving.

  5. Darn it. I had the weirdest S.Clay Wilson thing going on when you said: “…when I drive by on my way to the dog park and see the girls smoking butts…”

    By the way, the whole “Dancing Bears” thing is a ripoff from Bear Alignment and Brake Service logo, way back in the 30’s.

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