Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: 1968 (page 1 of 2)

The Low Spark Of Tie-Dyed Boys

Is it humid?

“Yeah, man. It’s fucking humid. Leave it alone.”

You look like Rob Tyner.

“I told you to leave it.”

Is that Steve Winwood?

“Yeah.”

Cool.

Okay, Read Ahead!

For your literary and historical pleasure, Enthusiasts, TotD presents a reading list designed to edify, educate, and entertain. First up because it deserves to be first is an always-welcome new post on Hooterollin’ Around that details the Dead’s whereabouts in the first half of 1968. Adventures! Business ownership! Flatbed trucks! A guy named Toody! This one’s got everything, ladies and gents.

Well, almost everything. At one point, Corry–he writes the damn thing, you know Corry, he’s a good egg–relates the story of Garcia and Bobby (with Bobby on bass!) playing a protest gig outside of San Quentin; he alludes to a picture of the event, but does not post it.

I helped. I am a historian now. I have credibility.

Stop it.

So, yeah: in 1968, rock bands were allowed to set up outside maximum-security prisons and jam. This was a regular occurrence; it was in protest of the death penalty in California. Enthusiasts will note that there is now no death penalty in California. Ipso facto: the Grateful Dead brought down the death penalty via the power of rock and roll. I would like to present this opinion as an academic paper at next year’s Dead Scholars conference.

This picture can also be used to give paper cuts to, or jam up the ass of, any of those little ticks that say, “The Dead weren’t a political band, maaaaaaaan.”

(Can you imagine if a band tried this bullshit today? Like if Run The Jewels set up outside Leavenworth? The cops would shoot them in their faces before the first chorus, and then the gold-plated tin dictator would cheer. “They were disrespecting our jails, which are just like the troops. Cops did their job! Flag!” For all the talk about The Man back in the old days, you were allowed to get away with an astonishing amount of foolishness.)

This next one isn’t so much an article as it is a picture, so I’ll just show it to you and cut out the middle man:

That is a Slingerland Songster, Enthusiasts, and that–not the “log” guitar made by Les Paul–was the first commercially-available solidbody electric guitar. It kind of looks like Peanut, Garcia’s short-lived experimental Alembic from ’71, and there is another point of comparison. Like Garcia’s guitars, this sucker was pricey. Slingerland sold the axe, a hard case, and a little amplifier for $150 in 1939. Which means it cost $2,500. Unsurprisingly, the Songster failed to catch on.

Finally: the story of the monkey and the engineer, Australian style. Trust me.

Pic Of A Pic Of A Pig

Oh, Garcia, no. You are not a pirate, Garcia. Put them boots inside them trousers. Your buckle does not swash like that, Garcia.

Caption Contest

Whatcha got?

Fair-Leather Friends

“SOMEONE DONE GAVE ME A YOUNG BOY.”

Oh, not two days in a row.

“AH HAVE ALREADY BEGUN TO RAISE HIM IN THE TRADITIONAL PRESLEY FASHION.”

Which is?

“AH PULLED HIM OUTTA SCHOOL AND BOUGHT HIM PROSTITUTES OF VARYING ETHNICITIES.”

That’s not how you raise a kid.

“HOW ELSE WILL HE KNOW HOW TO MAKE LOVE TO A CHICANA?”

That kid shouldn’t be making love to anything or anyone. He should be asking Santa for a Red Ryder BB gun.

“BB GUN? HELL, NAW. GOT HIM AN UZI.”

Please stop buying weapons and whores for children, Elvis.

“AH NEED A MALE HEIR. SOMEONE MUST CONTINUE MAH NAME, AND ALL OF MAH PHILANTHROPIC EFFORTS.”

What philanthropic efforts?

“EMPLOYING CHARLIE HODGE.”

Sure.

“NOT A LOTTA PEOPLE C’N AFFORD A FULL-TIME SCARF-AND-WATER MAN.”

Elvis?

“YEAH?”

King?

“UH-HUH?”

That kid looks fucking terrified.

“WHA?”

“OH, NO! YOU RIGHT, BOY! AH MUST HAVE GIVEN HIM MAH HEEBIE-JEEBIES!”

Not a thing.

“SOMEONE CALL DR. NICK.”

NO! Do NOT call Dr. Nick.

“DR. NICK IS A LICENSED PEDIATRICIAN.”

He is not. Not at all.

“DRIVER’S LICENSE COUNTS.”

Elvis, we need to take a break.

“YOU’LL BE BACK.”

I know.

A Pig Out Of Time

pigpen jerrt fuzzy organ 68

Hey, Pig. Whatcha doing?

“Don’t you ‘Hey, Pig’ me, punk! The Pig’s out here sweatin’ and frettin’, tryin’ to make it right for the boys and girls out there so they can MAKE IT, and you come around here, what, once a month? Say ‘Hey, Pig’ every four weeks?”

Aw, Pig.

“Wait! I know what you are now! You’re a period!”

Hey, man.

“Monthly menace! Get what you need and skedaddle back to that brokedown present o’ yours! That’s your game!”

Pig, that is not my game. I have no game.

“That’s what all the ladies say, too!”

Pig.

“Aw, the Pig’s just pulling your leg a li’l bit. Didn’t mean nothin’ by it.”

You could visit, y’know. You have access to a Time Sheath. Brent’s here all the time. Had to chase Garcia out of Soldier Field at least twice.

“Nah. I’ve taken a look, and you done fucked up damn near everything! Fightin’ in the streets and hatred in the air!”

That was going on in your time, too.

“That’s what I’m sayin’! Supposed to get smarter, aintcha? World’s doin’ the exact same bullshit fifty years along! Enough to put a Pig in his cups!”

Well, it didn’t take too much to do that, did it?

“Heh, no. You know the ol’ Pig’ll take a drink.”

Yeah.

“Besides, ain’t no place for a bluesman no more. When’s the last time you saw one out in the wild?”

Been a while.

“Yeah.”

Pig?

“What now, you scribblin’ simp!?”

Why are you guys so blurry?

“Don’t be puttin’ that on the Pig! Your magic typewriter done goofed us all up!”

Yeah, could be.

לֹא תַקִּפוּ פְּאַת רֹאשְׁכֶם וְלֹא תַשְׁחִית אֵת פְּאַת זְקָנֶךָ

mickey mustache twirl 68

Hey, Snidely. Whatcha doing?

“Tying women to things.”

Railroad tracks.

“No. Other things.”

Whatever. Question.

“Shoot.”

What’s it like being the only Jew in the Grateful Dead?

“Simcha Torah is very lonely.”

Sure.

“I’m the only one who eats the hamentashen, so I get fat every year.”

Okay.

“Sometimes when Billy’s drinking, he’ll point out ovens to me.”

That’s crossing a line.

“Probably, yeah. Ya gotta remember: I’m not the Jewiest Jew that ever Jewed. I like the outdoors and blowing shit up and getting in fights: I’m more like an Israeli than a Jew.”

Non-Jews will not see the distinction.

“Fuck ’em. Although I did teach Phil about Kabbalah.”

What do you know about Kabbalah?

“Nothing. But Phil knows less. I tied some yarn around his wrist, slapped some bacon out of his hand, and charged him a grand.”

Nicely done.

“Oh, I also did a klezmer album, Keepin’ it Kosher with Mickey?”

How did it do?

“The album was never released.”

The people need to hear it.

“They probably don’t.”

No.

The Man Who Isn’t There

jerry soft focus carousel 68

During ’68, Garcia would slip into soft focus on occasion. People would rub their eyes, and wipe their glasses on their shirts; it wasn’t them. It was him. He would not explain where, or from whom, he had learned this trick, and it scared the shit out of Bobby.

By the Fillmore West shows in late February of ’69, he had stopped doing it altogether, and everyone sort of forgot about it. The memory was fuzzy.

Les Paul, More Hair

Jerry Garcia 68082-5

Hey, Garcia. Whatcha Doing?

“Busting the teeth off combs, soloing.”

Cool

Dancing In The Streets

img_3304There is a convention for intellectuals and big-brains of all sorts in Albuquerque this week regarding the Dead. I was neither invited not notified, but I do have a good question for one of them researcher types to figure out: when was Phil allowed out from behind the drums? He was still hiding back there in some of the shots from Europe in ’72. By the Wall, it was physically impossible to stand back there anymore, and that continued with the more-traditional band setup that followed the de-hiatusing.

That’s what the Dead did in ’76: de-hiatused. Like you deplane.

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