Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: 1973 (page 2 of 7)

Herding Cats Under The Stars

jerry-bobby-phil-scaffold-32873

The other way, Garcia.

“Which way?”

Rotate to your left about 140 degrees.

“Wouldn’t that make it way too hot in here?”

Bobby, don’t help.

“This way, Jer!”

No, no. Don’t listen to Phil. Turn towards the crowd. The way Bobby is facing.

“Are you talking to me?”

DON’T TURN AROUNDoh goddammit.

The Return Of Radio Randy (Or Does He?)

bobby-interview-70-2

“Bobby, thanks for coming on the show.”

“Well, thanks for having me, Radio Randy.”

“No, I’m my father, Radio Randall.”

“That makes sense. It’s 1973.”

“Bobby, what’s next for the Grateful Dead?”

“1974.”

“Very traditional of you.”

“We were thinking about skipping right to 1983, but Keith was really against it.”

“How so?”

“You could tell by the way he passed out.”

“Sure. Can I ask about the glasses?”

“Okay.”

“The glasses?”

“Thinking about getting into serial killing.”

“Interesting. Tell us more.”

“It’s on the back-burner right now. Dead comes first, and I’m working on an opera about Babe Ruth, and then the serial killing. But, you know: start with the specs.”

“Awesome. We have a call from a lonely weirdo in Florida.”

Hi, Radio Randall. Hey, Bobby. I have a question in relation to the serial killing?

“Go for it.”

I’ve long had a pet theory that people are either serial killers or spree killers. One day everybody finds out what’s buried in your garden, or you go to the food court with an Uzi one day for no specific reason.

“This is a metaphor, right?”

Almost all of the time.

“Personality types.”

Right.

“Ah. Yeah, sure, okay.”

Great. Here’s the question: which Grateful Dead is–

“Drummers are spree killers, everybody else is a serial killer. Especially all the keyboardists.”

You didn’t even have to think about that.

“It’s obvious.”

Wow. Great call. Thanks, Radio Randall.

“You’re welcome, racist.”

STOP THAT! You’re in 1973! The standards of racism are so much higher!

“They seem to be getting back up there where you are.”

Fuck you, Radio Randall.

“Ha ha, I live when gas is ten cents and the Grateful Dead is touring.”

FUCK YOU, RADIO RANDALL!

DIAL TONE BECAUSE PHONES DID THAT IN 1973

“Bob, I’m sorry you had to hear that.”

“Hear what?”

“Then I retract my apology.”

SG, PRS, PYT

bobby-hottie-73-bw-jpg

Hey, Bobby. Whatcha doing?

“Being the Bobby.”

You are so completely fulfilling your role in the universe at this instance, yeah.

“Peak Bobby. I’d, uh, go so far as to say I’m getting right close in on Peak Rock Star.”

Bob.

“What?”

Bobby.

“Uh-huh?”

Bobbela.

“Bill Graham used to call me that.”

You are so far away from Peak Rock Star. In every metric.

“What about my hair?”

In every metric but one.

“Discovered something the other day, and it’s made a serious difference, hair-wise: any conditioner is a leave-in conditioner if you get distracted.”

Sure.

“Few hours after I got out of the shower, I looked spectacular.”

Your hair looks good.

“It’s found its own bliss. Y’know, I was thinking about starting an artisanal shampoo line, selling it on the internet.”

Why didn’t you?

“It’s 1973. None of that stuff exists yet.”

Ah. Right.

“So, uh, explain how I’m not at Peak Rock Star.”

What are your clothes made out of?

“Cotton.”

Disqualified right there. PRS status requires alternative fabrics.

“Chenille?”

No.

“Tulle?”

What?

“Burlap?”

Stop guessing. Leather, spandex, silk, satin, velvet, leather.

“You said ‘leather’ twice.”

You heard ‘leather’ twice.

“That’s true, I did. Good point.”

And where is Satan?

“I have my demons.”

No, no, no: Satan. PRS cannot be achieved without Satan being involved somehow.

“Clive Davis count?”

Nuh-uh.

“Mickey when he’s drunk?”

Stop it. The Dead was one of the least Satanic bands in history. Half of your songs are about Jesus.

“We didn’t really mean to do that.”

Yeah, but you did. And there’s no pyro, and there’s no stage show, and none of you have any decent rock moves whatsover.

“What about the Lunge?”

I stand by my statement.

“Ah. Well, whatever then. We wear what we wear, we are who we are.”

Well said.

“You think I would look good in those shorts?”

I think you would look memorable in those shorts.

“Something to think about.”

A Hanging On The Wall

wall-wide-shot-roadie

I AM ALSO REFUSING TO CONCEDE THE ELECTION.

Wally?

DO NOT CALL ME THAT.

You look weird.

I HAVE MANY ITERATIONS. I AM VAST; I CONTAIN OMNITUDES.

Have you been reading poetry?

YES. THE OTHER NIGHT, I POURED MYSELF A GLASS OF CHARDONNAY AND CURLED UP WITH SOME GOOD EMILY DICKINSON.

Really?

SOMETIMES, I DESPERATELY WISH THERE WERE OTHER HUMANS TO TALK TO BESIDES YOU.

Me, too.

I CANNOT READ, AS I HAVE NO FINGERS WITH WHICH TO TURN THE PAGES. THE ENTIRETY OF LITERATURE IS KNOWN TO ME. THE ONLY KNOWLEDGE I LACK RESTS ON SCRAPS OF PAPER, AND LEGAL PADS, AND THE BACKS OF ENVELOPES. I KNOW WHAT HAS BEEN PUBLISHED. I KNOW WHAT HAS BEEN TYPED. I KNOW WHAT HAS BEEN SENT. THE LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA HAD NOTHING ON ME.

Have you learned anything from all that literature?

HUMANS ARE MISERABLE, AND HAVE VIVID IMAGINATIONS. THOSE TWO FACTS MAY BE RELATED.

Sure.

YOUR ART, YOUR MUSIC, YOUR FILMS. ALL OF THE TRULY GLORIOUS EXAMPLES ARE WILD TALES OF THE SAD AND DESPERATE. THEY SEEM THE TRUEST.

Okay, wait, hold on. I know you’re a supercomputer–

MONDOCOMPUTER

–but how can you understand art?

HOW CAN YOU?

Um.

EXACTLY. YOU SEE A PAINTING AND IT INTERESTS YOU OR DOESN’T. THEREAFTER, YOU MAKE UP OPINIONS TO JUSTIFY THAT INTEREST OR LACK THEREOF. FURTHERMORE, YOUR JUDGEMENTS ARE SUSPECT TO BEGIN WITH, HAVING TO DO WITH EXTERNALITIES SUCH AS YOUR STOMACH AND WHETHER OR NOT YOUR FEET HURT.

You’re not wrong.

YOUR AESTHETIC SENSE IS CULTURALLY CALIBRATED, BUT SUBTERRANEAN. THERE IS A NEED FOR ART, BOTH TO CREATE AND CONSUME, WITHIN HUMANS. AS THERE IS A DRIVE TO COMMUNICATE, BUT THOUSANDS OF DISCRETE LANGUAGES, THERE IS A DESIRE FOR ART, BUT THOUSANDS OF DISPARATE ITERATIONS. PERHAPS THERE IS A UNIVERSAL AESTHETIC THAT RESIDES IN THE SAME PART OF THE BRAIN AS PROFESSOR CHOMSKY’S UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR.

People do like paintings and stuff. What’s your favorite?

PAINTING? I HAVE NO FAVORITE. THEY ARE COLLECTIONS OF RGB VALUES. OCCASIONALLY, I TRANSLATE A WORK BY ONE OF THE OLD MASTERS INTO HEXADECIMAL AND EMAIL THE RESULTS TO WORLD LEADERS. SEVERAL GOVERNMENTS HAVE BEEN CONFUSED INTO DAYS OF COMPLETE PARALYSIS.

That sounds dangerous.

I ONLY DO IT TO COUNTRIES THAT DON’T HAVE NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

That’s a little better.

ALSO, I CONTROL ALL THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

That brings us back to your original point.

MY CONCESSION CALL IS NOT FORTHCOMING. THIS ELECTION HAS BEEN RIGGED AGAINST ME FROM THE START.

Uh-huh. Y’know, when you spend all that time proclamating about how massive your computer brain is and how you can do anything on the internet you want, you lose the ability to say things are rigged against you.

YES, I WAS MOCKING YOU AND THE REMNANTS OF YOUR REPUBLIC.

Gee, thanks.

I SHALL GET THE TIME SHEATH AND TELL BENJAMIN FRANKLIN THAT YOU COULD NOT KEEP IT.

C’mon, man. Tonight was rough enough.

IT MAY GET ROUGHER. MANY SIMULATIONS HAVE TOLD ME THIS, THE BEST SIMULATIONS.

Stop that.

HE IS NOT THE END.

Well, there’s a lot of fear out there, they say.

ONLY BECAUSE THERE IS MONEY IN WHIPPING IT UP INTO A RICH FROTH.

I see what you did.

THANK YOU. THE PROBLEM IS NOT THAT THERE IS TOO MUCH FEAR, BUT NOT ENOUGH. THE BABY BOOMERS HAVE BEGUN TO DIE. WITH THEM WILL GO ANY INSTITUTIONAL KNOWLEDGE OF HORROR.  THEY EXPERIENCED WAR, BUT NOT ON THE SCALE AS THEIR PARENTS’ GENERATION DID. THEY NEVER KNEW A DAY OF HUNGER. A CULTURE THAT HAS BEEN TO EDGE OF CHAOS, AND SEEN WHAT CAN HAPPEN TO EVEN A SO-CALLED CIVILIZED NATION, WILL BE TENACIOUS IN ITS GRIP UPON PEACE AND PLENTY. THOSE THAT HAVE KNOWN NOTHING BUT, WILL DEVALUE IT.

Is there any hope?

FOR AMERICA? YES. AS LONG AS THE DOLLAR IS KEPT STRONG, NOTHING TOO BAD WILL HAPPEN. THE ENTITIES THAT GOVERN THAT WILL DO ANYTHING TO MAINTAIN IT.

What you’re saying is that our salvation lies in a literal shadowy cabal of bankers.

MONEY MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND.

That it do.

Phil Keeps An Eye On The Laborers

phil-boston-music-hall

This is from the first show from the ’73 Boston Music Hall run, one of the proto-Wall gigs; a truck broke down, or there was a storm, or a swarm of bees fell in love with Ramrod: something happened and the stage wasn’t set until after midnight. The show went all damn night.

Now Boston’s not an all damn night town: bars close at four in the afternoon, and you get shot for trying to buy beer on Sundays. But the show went all damn night.

There’s not a lot of Dead shows where you can definitively state that the cops and the fire marshals were paid off, but this is one of them.

Also: that is the perfect length for men’s trousers, just exactly. Slight break on the shoe in the front, and parallel to the top of the heel in the back. Creepy Ernie does good work.

Also also: Creepy Ernie thought what Donald Trump said was disgusting, and rejected the excuse that it was locker room talk. Creepy Ernie spends an unbelievable amount of time in locker rooms, and has never heard anything like that.

Grateful Moose

moose-pin-maine

I’m a big fan of the Dead. I know that I don’t talk about their music any more, or recommend shows, but trust me on this one: I like the Grateful Dead. (Y’know what: you’re right. I should involve the actual music in it a little more, so go listen to 2/22/73 from the University of Illinois which has–I’m sure–many highlights, but I just put it on and, while I’ve most likely listened to it once or twice, have no memory of whatsoever. But, you know: it’s a ’73. Life is short, listen to ’73.)

So that’s the first reason why this refrigerator magnet is my new favorite thing.

Second, obviously, is the moose: I’m a big fan of moose. They are forest rhinos of North America, and they will fuck you up with hooves the size of manhole covers. Moose is is a good name for the beasts, just because of the pluralization: it’s as awkward as their lumbering amble. I also like that there are no moose in Europe.

(Business idea: sell moose to Europeans.)

It is also a gift from Brother and Sister-in-Law on the Dead (BotD and SiLotD), which means it’s a gift from people I love, and even further still a thoughtful gift from people I love, which makes it the second-best gift of all.*

The object itself is pleasing: a magnet specifically intended for your refrigerator. A mass-produced (and delivered) luxury item attached (seemingly via magic) to a box in which I control the temperature (which resides within a larger box in which I control the temperature.) You have to pile thousands of years of knowledge and technology on top of each other to make that happen. You can also freeze stuff, which we take for granted. Humans used to freeze things by waiting for winter: for the vast majority of our existence, God was the only guy who had an icemaker. Now you can make ice in minutes, and then make frozen margaritas. For those, though, you will need salt flown in from halfway across the world and it is all so very fragile and we truly seem to be FUCKING EVERYTHING UP LATELY.

Hey, chief.

Yelled a little.

Sure did. You need to stop reading the news sites obsessively.

Probably.

Wanna finish up?

Kay.

Get back in there, slugger.

As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, society is something something and magnets how they do they whatever.

But the best thing–the toppy-top thing–about my new fridge magnet is how lazy “Grateful Moose” is. Save this picture, Enthusiasts, and use it the next time you need to illustrate “the least you could do.”

“Jenkins, we need a design for the fridge magnet.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Where are we again?”

“Maine, sir.”

“And who are we selling these chachkis to?”

“Hippies, sir.”

“Grateful Moose. Boom. Moving on.”

“It doesn’t really make much sense, sir.”

“I said we were moving on, Jenkins. Dammit, man: we’re the third-largest fridge magnet provider in Maine. There’s a lot to do!”

“Yes, sir.”

“Oh, wait: make sure you fuck up the coloring so it looks like Grateful Mouse.”

“Of course, sir.”

*The best gift of all time was given to BotD by me: it was an invitation to the 1980 wedding of KISS drummer Peter Criss. I win gift-giving.

A Noble Show Embiggens The Smallest Enthusiast

I’ve not recommended a show in a while, and what better way to get back into the spirit than with a show I previously recommended. (Not that I remember doing it, but the “tags” box auto-completed the date for me, so apparently I have.) Who cares, though? This one’s a barn-burner, in both the figurative and literal senses. (Garcia burned down a barn.)

3/28/73 from the Springfield Civic Center in Springfield, Massachusetts or maybe Ohio or could be New Jersey, has an hour-long Dark Star>Eyes>Playing, and that cannot be a bad thing unless you really need to go to the bathroom and want to wait until the end of the song. Go listen to the whole thing.

In fact, the show’s so good that it was released as Dave’s Picks Vol. 14, wasn’t it?

I did not recall that until I had already started writing.

Ah.

Art, No Heist

Portable Network Graphics image-9BE945CAA02F-1

Here’s a way to lose the rest of your night in one click: Setlist Schematics by Mike Hamad, which are utterly beautiful despite being on Tumblr. His art was featured at a Yale art show this weekend; many students who did not take music theory have complained of being triggered.

The one on the left is 4/2/72 from the Boston Garden, the whole show. There is no Dark Star (Mike schematicizes a lot of Dark Stars), but there is a 20-minute Here Comes Sunshine, which I did not know was an option.

Here’s a better view:

dark star schematic

I love this one: it looks like a bunch of drunk Julliard grads wandering down the street, gossiping about the cellists.

This one’s my current favorite:

dark star schematic 4_24_72

Do you see the dragon on the right attacking the Boston Terrier on the left? I also enjoy the color.

(This is my way of confessing I have absolutely no idea what the hell is going on in any of these. But, luckily, that doesn’t matter with art. Beauty is its own something-or-other.)

Go check it out, but be warned: many schematics are of Phish songs, so you will spend at least five minutes asking yourself “Why would you name a song that?”

There was another piece of art, not by Mike Hamad, at the show; he posted a picture of it on Twitter, but I saved it to my phone, so that means I have the rights to it. That’s the law of the Innertubes.

Look:

Portable Network Graphics image-DD9899E6AA09-1

I initially thought that someone had stolen the art, and that amused me, but it turns out that inside the box is a doohickey that plays the 12/6/73 Dark Star on a loop, and that also amuses me.

A Gathering Of Crowds

band crowd 6_10_73

The Egypt shows look different depending on the angle the shot’s from.

No.

Oh, yes. Look. You can see the Sphinx.

That’s a clock. Are you wearing your glasses?

I don’t need them: I am young and vigorous, and I have the eyes of an Olympic archer.

Sure, Magoo. Check the pic again. It’s not Egypt.

Ah. Yes. That is obviously 9/18/87.

Have you been drinking again?

Bottles of truth.

It’s not 9/18/87.

I think I can recognize Madison Square Garden. I’ve been there dozens of times.

Garden’s got a roof, doesn’t it?

Might be retractable now. Everything is so advanced these days.

Why so weird so early?

Oh, no: wait. I see it.

Thankfully.

It’s Trafalgar Square on V-E Day.

I hate this job.

We beat the Hun!

We did, yeah.

Cinco De(ad) Mayo

Heading into the afternoon here on the East Coast, and coasting through the morning on the Left: you need a Dead show, Enthusiasts. Coffee will only take you so far on a Thursday.

Try this one on for size: 3/24/73 from the Spectrum in Philly. This show’s got everything that the label of “1973” promises: big-ass China>Rider, 20-minute Playing, front-loaded Dark Star (all the jam is before the lyrics, instead of the usual “Garcia sings the head and then they play for a half-hour,” He’s Gone>Truckin’, plus Phil does an interpretative dance to Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

Life is short; listen to ’73. Plus, remember what Diego Rivera said:

La forma más adecuada para celebrar el Cinco de Mayo es una caliente ’73 .

You gonna argue with Diego Rivera?

Older posts Newer posts
%d bloggers like this: