The close-up photos lie; we were never that close. This is how we saw the Grateful Dead: those tiny, loud fuckers over there.
9/28/75 at Lindley Meadows, of course. (There might be no other show so discrete: it’s the most readily-identifiable show they ever played. Plus, there were a fuckton of shots taken. There’s, like, one picture of the One From The Vault show. There’s none from the time(s) they wedged the Wall of Sound into a jai-alai fronton. Just a handful from Woodstock. But the free gig under an assumed name in the park on a chilly Northern California day? Millions of pics.
“What it’s called–”
Oh hey, Precarious.
“–is omniaxial asymmetry.”
“Yeah. There’s no direction you can fold ’em in half cleanly.”
“Easier that way.”
9/28/75 is one of those shows I can always listen to always. Most Dead shows, I can always listen to, but sometimes I don’t want to hear this show or that right now. I can always listen to Lindley Meadows always. It’s good morning music, driving music, humping music; 9/28/75 is an excellent choice for corpse disposal or babysitting. (Corpse disposal and babysitting are more related activities than the media will tell you.) 9/28/75 slices, dices, chops, hops, skips, jumps, and knows where you left your keys. 9/28/75 has a corkscrew, scissors, bottle-opener, and even the little toothpick in the slot. Many Dead shows have lost the little toothpick in the slot, but not Lindley Meadows.
Is it the baby that’s born during the first half of the set?
Is it the first Help>Slip>Frank that’s not really a Help>Slip>Frank?
Is it Bobby calling his pooch on Truckin’?
Is it The Eleven jam that’s only kinda a The Eleven jam?
Is it the fact that it’s September, yet all of the Grateful Deads are dressed like it’s July in Antarctica?
(Remember: Southern Hemisphere; shit’s reversed down there.)
It’s something. 9/28/75 isn’t my favorite show; it’s the one I can always listen to. It’s the Fig Newtons of Dead shows: I might not ask for it by name, but if you put one in front of me, I will eat it every single time.
My God. It’s beautiful. Precarious?
Did you do that?
“The inverted pyramid of gear?”
It’s your masterpiece.
“Sometime, ya gotta challenge yourself.”
Everyone who thought Fats Domino died years ago raise your hand in the Comment Section.
Are you okay, Mrs. Donna Jean?
“I’m better’n okay, sugar. Momma got her load on.”
Wonderful. Glad you got away from Harvey.
“Harvey. Yeah. Okay. Sugar, I got a l’il secret for you.”
“Harvey wasn’t so special. They was all like that. Every. Single. One.”
“‘Oh?’ That’s all you got?”
Your hair looks nice.
“Bless your heart.”
The trunk. Jesus, the trunk. There is neither floor nor ceiling to the Bush League that the Grateful Dead occupied.
Who’s that lady?
“Some lady, man.”
The professionalism of your security staff is nonpareil.
“Oh, I’m sure they patted her down thoroughly.”
True. This Lindley Meadows?
“I told you I didn’t know her name, man.”
Lindley Meadows. The park.
“Yeah, huh, good question.”
Lemme ask you something.
Is the entire band tripping balls?
“Well, Donna isn’t.”
Is the entire band on acid?
“Seems that way.”
Is someone having a baby as you’re soloing?
It’s Lindley Meadows.
“Learn something new every day.”
’75 Garcia could give Bobby a run for his sexy. There, I said it. Look at him, all skinny and clean and happy. I bet Bobby was leaving candy bars in Garcia’s dressing room.
The only Grateful Dead who wasn’t in Jerry Band at one point was Bobby.
Ronnie Tutt is sitting there thinking, “He’s not gonna do any karate?”
Is that a long-sleeved guayabera?
We now know what Billy did during the Hiatus: eat away the sadness.
The word “masterpiece” is more literal than you might have realized. The guilds of the past–which became the unions of the present–worked on a tiered system: you entered the trade as an apprentice, and then became a craftsman, and a journeyman. To earn the rank of master required that you produce a piece that respected members of the guild would judge.
And this, Enthusiasts, is Precarious Lee’s masterpiece. Notice the lack of symmetry along any plane whatsoever; the waggish nonchalance towards gravity; the duck is upside down. It might be the upside-down duck that pushes this tableaux into the realm of Art.
Those are geese.
Ducks are geese. Multiple names for the same animal. Like puma and cougar and panther and mountain lion all means the same cat, or buffalo and bison, or octopus and squid.