The Dead could not exist today. They existed best as a slowly told story, tape after tape popping out of the aether, supplemented by the occasional book and then, of course, THE SHOWS and then not much else. Plus stories told to you by guys two grades ahead of you. Guys two grades ahead of you seemed to know things and they would tell the stories in the Dude Voice, which, when combined with a black light and wood paneling, produced TRUTH. MAN.

It’s no longer acceptable to behave like a rock star. The only people in the 2012 version of America allowed to do precisely whatever the fuck they want to do with (virtually) no repercussions are NFL quarterbacks. Not rock stars, not anymore.

Back in the 1970’s, though, being in a giant touring rock and roll combo meant you were above the law. The Dead got busted twice. Once at 710, and then down in New Orleans. All those years, and they got busted twice? There was never not a moment you couldn’t bust the Dead. All of them, at every moment, were carrying drugs on their person and everyone around them knew that.

Perhaps the quaintest of the Dead’s habits was Airport Antics. They would get whacked out of their gourds and screw around in places now guarded by guys with M16’s. (Incidentally, why do the soldiers at the airports wear the green blobby camoflage? if they want to blend in, they should wear uniforms with Oprah’s magazine and Cinnabons printed on them.)

These men engaged in what would now be classified as drug-smuggling and terrorism. Bobby would be in Guantanamo if he pulled a third of the bullshit he used to pull today. If Dr. Doom needed to rid the timestream of the Dead for part of his plan to finally shove it up that fucking Richards’ ass, he could use his time platform to ship the 1973 version of the Dead into a 2012 airport. They would be machine-gunned to death within minutes. There is zero tolerance  for that kind of nonsense anymore.

Which is sad.