Thoughts On The Dead

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

Sunday Morning Coming Around

art jerry crucifix

First off, while Garcia truly couldn’t dress himself, I’m quite certain that he neither owned nor wore a thong with his face on it. (It can be purchased on Etsy, however.)

Second: fuck this. Fuck this in the neck with a steak knife. The Dead were men (and Mrs. Donna Jean, who–for the record–was no shrinking violet when it came to throwing punches, fucking people she wasn’t supposed to, or using her BMW to play bumper cars in the parking lot when she got drunk and irritated.)

People are not to be worshipped, especially these ones; their humanity was overwhelming, and not in a charitable, restore-my-faith-with-a-Buzzfeed-video kind of way: it was messy. Their humanity got all over innocent bystanders, harmonica players, hotel bar patrons, and high-school-aged foxes. They were junkies and drunken reprobates. One of them was Billy, for fuck’s sake.

The only thing that happens when you put a man on a pedestal is you get a better look at his ass.

Third: August 12th, 1995, came and went. No Garcia. Of course, that might have been because he was cremated.



  1. Gross.

    It may just be that I’m a dick, but I haven’t felt any kinship with most other Deadheads I’ve met, or the “scene” in general as I perceive it. A lot of those heads, along with the uninitiated, have this idea that the Dead project happiness and light, and I’ve just never heard it that way. That Jerry was a spiritual leader of any kind, as you point out. Any number of interviews tell you that he actively discouraged that idea; what we know of dude’s life suggests that he was pretty troubled.

    Sure, there’s lots of joy in an opening Bertha, 70s Scarlets, HC Sunshine, etc. When the Dead first grabbed me, it was Jerry’s soulful voice and the humanity in the songs he chose to sing. Everyone makes the technical comparison to Bluegrass but I think the subject matter is more important. The best Hunter songs read like hippie Stanley Brothers: love, loss, death, trains.

    Have you listened to Sly Stone’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On? That’s a record I listen to and FEEL the dope. It’s dark, slippery, ugly. It happens to boogie plenty, too. 1979-1985 GD feels exactly the same to me. I still love it, but it’s amazing to me that the twirler types latched on to it at all.

    I’m happy to have ’em all around, of course – except for the guy at Ratdog who kept stepping on my foot and calling me “brah” – I’ve just never been able to reconcile the perception with the band’s output. Different things to different people, I guess.

  2. That “artwork” is a straight-up Dali cop, if you didn’t know.

    Totally not into the cult of personality thingey, either. And how anyone ever confused that nonsense with Garcia, or the Dead…that’s even dumber than thinking “Comfortably Numb” is a prodrug song.

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