One of Nigel Tufnel’s guitars–a sunburst Les Paul Custom–reportedly produced the greatest sustain of any guitar in the world. The Dead fired Keith and hired Brent in order to–among many other reasons, most notably the booze, heroin, and protracted “I know the chords!” comping–bring more sustain into the band. Nigel just took care of an object in his search for this almighty, mysterious sustain, but the Grateful Dead threw an entire goddamn family off of their payroll to hear certain notes decay slower.
These were deeply, almost frighteningly passive-aggressive men. This is the a transcription of the final conversation between Keith, one of the various criminals “managing” the band, and Phil, who is the only band member there. Garcia is hiding in the closet, having accidentally burned down both his hotel room and, against all reason, a Burger King he hadn’t even been to. Weir is at a local tailor’s shop, screaming at the poor immigrant, “I’ll tell you when they’re short enough, Giuseppe!” Mickey has found a new percussion instrument in Mongolia called the Ggggggggggggg and he is now spending $1.5 million of the band’s money to create a drum-opera around it. This album will never be released. Billy’s down at Old Salty’s Tavern; look for him at the corner of the bar, his captain’s hat pulled low and throwing back Tequila Sunrises.
This exchange was recorded by Betty Canter and only recently made available to the public when she couldn’t make the rent on her bus terminal locker. Things have not been just exactly perfect for Betty in quite some time.
“Keith, there’s something we need to talk about.”
“Glorfabooble makka makka,”
This was pretty much all you could get out of Keith at this point. It didn’t matter all that much because even fucking Bobby told Keith what to do. They didn’t treat Keith right: they got him hooked on drugs, slept with his wife, and pretended like he didn’t look like a hairy Eric Stoltz from Mask. Every time Keith started feeling his oats, Mickey would throw his drumsticks down and scream, “You’re not my REAL keyboard player! I hate you!” Then he would run upstairs and slam his bedroom door and cry.
(Honestly, you can see Mickey doing that, can’t you?)
“Keith it’s about the playing. We really need to hear more sustain, so…”
“You’re gonna buy me a Hammond B-3?”
“No, we’re going to fire you and your wife. And within the year, we’re going to sabotage your car so you die in a fiery car crash that everyone will think is an accident, but WE’LL KNOW! Because you KNOW TOO MUCH, Keith Godchaux! Mwah-ha-ha!”
There are two things you should have gotten from the above exchange: 1: Phil Lesh is a diabolical mastermind who once launched the Baxter Building into space; and, 2: That is the only instance on the internet of the phrases “Keith Godchaux” and “knows too much” getting that close together.