Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: 1972 (page 2 of 8)

The Boys Will Be Boys


Sometimes we go left to right, sometimes we don’t. This is one of those “don’t” times.

  • You could show Lawrence of Arabia on Keith’s forehead.
  • As with all early Dead photos, one member is wearing a silly hat. (Not Pig; Pig’s hat is not silly; Pig’s hat is awesome, but only on Pig. Were any other Grateful Dead wearing the hat, it would become silly.)
  • Calm down, Phil.
  • This might be a shot from Europe ’72, I’m not sure, but it looks cold; someone get Keith a jacket.
  • Later that afternoon, Billy’s mustache and Bobby’s coat made loud, angry love in full view of the students at school for the Deaf.
  • Garcia is friends with a bear, and they have adventures.
  • Also, Garcia is friends with Bear; they, too, have adventures.
  • Seriously, Phil: simmer down.

Let Jersey Choogle


“Jer, y’think we should have a backdrop or something? Maybe, you know, a cleaner kinda look?”

“Huh, yeah, that would look better. But the show starts in an hour, Bobby.”

“That’s enough time. Precarious?”


“Think you can rustle up a backdrop before the show?”

“Saw a high school a mile away. High schools have auditoriums.”

“You know what to do.”


Yes, I Am

You almost certainly know this one: it’s Freddie Scott’s Are You Lonely For Me, Baby from the ’72 Academy of Music run; the Dead only played it once onstage, but listening to it again for the millionth time, I now believe that they only played it once, period. They simply don’t know how the song goes, but it’s close enough for rock and roll, and elegantly scruffed and nicked at the edges. Give it a whirl.

A Terrible Poem About Naked Pole Guy

What a specific rando you were that day,
Naked Pole Guy.

No pants.
Pole dance.
Fame has been earned with far less coin.

Were you with friends?
Did you go it alone?
An isolated incident,
Or were you known for nudity?
(Every group has one.)

Did you get a splinter in your dick?

The guy
With the umbrella in Dealey Plaza,
Kissing the nurse in Times Square,
Who never said his name was D.B. Cooper,
And you.

There are levels to mitzvah–
(Jews enjoy lists)
–the highest form leaves no signature.

To forfeit the naming rights,
Naked Pole Guy:
That is the highest form of mitzvah, and
Naked Pole Guy,
On that day your form was the highest.

I heard you were still in Oregon;
You owned a borax mine,
And many head of cattle.
The internet says you’re abroad:
Scuttlebutt has you in Florida;
That sounds right.

May the sun only stroke you,
And gravity not bother.
May your dick not get splintered,
And don’t ever come down.

A Never-Before Seen Photograph From Veneta

naked pole guy not really

Now we know how he got up there.

Renaissance Men (And Mrs. Donna Jean)

Hey, kids! What day is it?

Prince Spaghetti Day?


Rex Manning Day?

Also no.

Feast of the Fools?


Buffet of the Buffoons?

That’s a fun and evocative phrase, but it’s not a thing. It’s Veneta Day!

Velveeta Day!?

Stop it.

Vagina Day!


Valentine Dimsdale!

That’s not a thing, either.

Reverend Dimsdale from Scarlet Letter‘s fancy, well-dressed brother.

You’re ruining Veneta Day.

Ken Babbs did that years ago.

I’ve been listening to 8/27/72 for God knows how many years, and I keep thinking I’m going to stop hating the sound of his voice and the content of his announcements.


Fucker liked that microphone.

Someone had to be in charge.

Isn’t it weird how people who think that someone needs to be in charge always think that the person in charge should be them?

Downright peculiar.

Let’s stop screwing around and let the nice people listen to the Veneta show.

Sure. What if they want to look at a fat guy with his ding-dong hanging out of his jeans?


Yup. Ding-dong.

You think it’s for Harambe?

Yes. Yes, I do.

Yellow River, Guitar

jerry alligator no sticker

Hey, Garcia. Windy?

“This thing even about us anymore?”

On and off. Focus wanders.

“It’ll do that.”

American, Band

If you do not favor whatever’s going on in the Fillmore, then perhaps try this: 9/30/72 from American University in DC. Fall of ’72 had no bad shows, nor did it have any polarizing shows like Fall of ’73. (Some people like the horns shows.) Just straight, yummy scrumptiousness.


The mix starts off wobbly, but rights itself within a song or two. A ’72 He’s Gone (which is the best kind of He’s Gone) and a sweet and ragged Brokedown are the highlights. Sammy Hagar does not appear, and whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is up to you.

Second Dark Star To The Left

IMG_4373 2


“Jenkins! Get in here!”

“Yes, Space President?”

“Dammit, kid: fix your antenna.”


“The other one.”


“The other one.

“Ah. Better?”

“You look like a Sallarian. Listen: what is this signal that Alien NASA picked up?”

“It’s so odd we call our space agency that, sir.”

“Answer the questions, Jenkins.”

“There are competing theories on the signal, sir. The mathematicians think it’s an equation that proves five plus two is seven.”

“Five plus two is seven, Jenkins.”

“Yes, but this proves it.”

“Have math executed.”

“Right away, sir.”

“You said there were other interpretations?”

“Yes, sir. The generals think it’s a threat.”

“The generals think lunch is a threat.”

“The cloners fed the data into the chromosonometer.”


“Of course, sir.”


“Many, sir.”

“Well, have the cloners executed, too.”

“We’ve tried that, sir. They just make more of themselves.”

“Anyone else weighing in?

“The artists think it’s crap.”

“What do the people think?”

“The people think it’s art.”


“There was one interesting idea, sir. Someone ran the data through a soundifier–”

“Is that really the machine’s name?”

“–and, well: it appears to some sort of rock band.”

“Like Space Bon Jovi?”

“Sort of, sir.”

“Are they any good, Jenkins?”

“That’s subjective, sir. In fact, this might be some of the most subjective music I’ve ever heard.”

“Can you dance to it?”

“Kind of.”

“I’ll need a full report.”

“Yes, sir.”


“Yes, sir?”

“I wasn’t joking: take math outside and shoot it in the head.”

“I didn’t think you were joking at all, sir.”

“Good man.”

Stranger In A Stranger Land

jerry copenhagen bw

Europe in 1972 was not the Europe that exists today; it was still a bunch of little countries that had been trying to kill each other a generation earlier. There was new money every hundred miles, and new cops and officials to give that money to: Europe was a collection of borders with countries separating them.

It was also farther away, and expensive to reach in any medium. Air mail required a whole different set of tools than regular mail: obscure stamps and special envelopes with red-and-blue wainscoting and see-through paper to save on weight. You could not call Europe. I mean, you could if someone else was paying for it, but if the bill was in your name, you could not call Europe.

In 1972, the Grateful Dead didn’t play any shows in Germany.

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