I think this was during Deal.
I think this was during Deal.
With the last rocking notes of One More Saturday Night ringing in their ears and fedoras, the students exited the building to find it was snowing; this was most meaningful, indeed.
Fun fact: the tall guy on the right in Bill Walton.
The band posed for this shot in the hallway outside the dressing rooms; I don’t know where Mrs. Donna Jean is.
Maybe it was just the ossification of habit, but Brent was always stage left. Keith was left, right, sometimes in the middle, once he was by the merch table.
“Don’t you do it, Weir.”
“Step on a balloon.”
“You saw my leg?”
“I saw your leg, man.”
“Y’know, it’s New Year’s Eve.”
“Every fuckin’ year.”
“That means, uh, that this is the anniversary of our friendship.”
“Great, man. Play the song.”
“I got you a little something.”
“You really shouldn’t have.”
“Here ya go, Jer.”
“You went to Jared.”
“I did, yeah.”
“Is this a tennis bracelet?”
“What the fuck is wrong with you?”
Later that evening, Mrs. Donna Jean (already in her ceremonial gown) would be thrown into the volcano to appease Gbaja-biamila, the god of backup singing.
We haven’t discussed the new box set–and the doings behind it–in detail yet. The first release from the newly-reacquired Betty Boards, May 1977: Get Shown The Light contains four full shows that you’ve almost certainly heard (and heard, and heard, and heard) before. The 5th, 7th, 8th, and 9th of May (New Haven, Boston, Ithaca, and Buffalo, respectively) of that magical and well-rehearsed year of 1977, shined up to a gleam and bursting with extras and bonus bullshit.
This is usually the place where I post the latest video from David Lemieuxsebitmysister, but he recorded this one inside a vacuum cleaner. I don’t know how he got the lake in there, but he accomplished it and all you can hear is wind.
Luckily, I found a piece of software that transcribes YouTube videos, and I can present to you his words here:
“Uh, hey, everybody. David Lemieux here, your old buddy Dave, and I’ve got some very exciting news. If you’re watching this you probably know that we’ll be releasing–”
[NOTE: At this point, a large duck steals Dave’s hat.]
“Hey! That’s mine!”
[NOTE: Dave chases the duck in and out of frame for two minutes and three seconds.]
“Okay, as I was saying: big news, folks. You probably remember that, after quite a bit of negotiation, we got the so-called “lost Betty Boards” back into the Vault where they belong. So what we thought would be a great way to commemorate the 40th–”
[NOTE: A small child, naked but for her toque, sprints towards the lake.]
“NO, GIRL GORDIE!”
[NOTE: Dave snares the child before she enters the water.]
“You know we can’t swim!”
[NOTE: Canadians cannot swim. Sink right to the bottom. They’re like bulldogs or chimps.]
“Go back and play with your mother Regina, and your siblings Gordie, Northstar, Jean-Luc, Fleece, and the twins, Mickie and Billie.”
[NOTE: As Girl Gordie begins to walk back to the igloo where the Lemieux family live, a duck steals her toque.]
“Darn it, not again.”
[NOTE: At this point, Dave and a small, naked child with no toque chase a duck in and out of frame for several minutes.]
There’s like twenty more minutes of that, if I’m honest.
There is also, as I mentioned, a bevy of bonus bullshit: a book, and an essay, and–in 5 of the 15,000 copies that will be shipped–a Tie-Dyed Ticket. The lucky recipients get to go to the Vault, meet DL, and be ironically murdered. Last one standing gets to be the new Dead archivist.
Well, Enthusiasts, you by now surely know the big news of the day.
THAT GOBLIN-DICKED GLASS OF CURDLED MILK IS GONNA KILL US ALL!
The other news.
Oh, the thing about the 40-year-old concerts that everyone already owns?
Sure. Talk about that instead; pretend everything’s all right.
We’re all just choogling past the graveyard at this point, pal.
I’m your pal?
Yeah. You’re my friend. We gotta stick together nowadays.
All of us?
Jesus Christ, don’t mention that lunat–
“AH HAVE BEEN SUMMONED ONCE AGAIN.”
No you weren’t. And “once again” doesn’t really work. You’re always here lately.
“TH’ PEOPLE NEED THEIR KING.”
“IN YER HEART, YOU KNOW AH’M AWESOME. WHASS GOIN’ ON WITH THAT THERE HAIRY GARCIA?”
A box set.
“THAT BOX GOT FRIED CHICKEN IN IT?”
It’s music, Elvis. After years of legal wrangling, the Grateful Dead’s most famous concert is finally being officially released.
Yeah, Corn…what? Why would you know that?
“AH WAS THERE.”
No, you were not.
“YEAH, MAN. HAD ME A COUPLE DAYS OFF FROM MAH TOUR, WHICH WAS A WELL-OILED MACHINE.”
You were literally dying in public.
“WELL-OILED MACHINE! MAH SKILLS IN KARATE HAD NEVER BEEN SHARPER. AH DECIDED TO HAVE MAH FINAL SHOWDOWN WITH MAH ARCH-NEMESIS, HAIRY GARCIA, AND SO AH MARSHALED THE MEMPHIS MAFIA AN’ WE WENT T’ UTICA.”
“YOU DIDN’ LEMME FINISH, BOY! WE WENT T’ UTICA. THEN WE REALIZED WE WAS IN TH’ WRONG CITY.”
“FOR THIS ERROR, AH CHASTISED CHARLIE HODGE ABOUT HIS FACE AN’ HEAD.”
He deserved it.
“WE REACHED ITHACA’S ROCKY SHORES TOO LATE T’ SEE TH’ OPENIN’ ACT. AH ASSUME TH’ GRATEFUL DEAD HAS COLORED GIRLS SINGIN’ GOSPEL ‘FORE THEY GO ON, RIGHT?”
No. And we don’t call them…ah, forget it. What’s the point?
“AH WAS APPALLED AT THE SHODDY PRESENTATION. AH FIGGERED THEIR CAPE TRUCK GOT STUCK SOMEWHERE, BUT THASS WHY YOU HAVE A BACK-UP CAPE VAN TAKIN’ A DIFF’RENT ROUTE.”
The Dead also did not wear capes.
“SLAPDASH, MAN. WEARIN’ TEE-SHIRTS AN’ DUNGAREES, SMOKIN’ CIGARETTES, SOME SORT O’ HUMAN/GOAT HYBRID PLAYIN’ PIANO. IT WAS UNWHOLESOME.”
You’re not wrong.
“MAH FLABBER WAS GASTED, MAN.”
You didn’t enjoy the show?
“THASS NOT THE POINT OF TH’ TRIP. AH WAS THERE T’ DEFEND TH’ HONOR OF MAH DOJO, AN’ KICK A HIPPIE IN HIS FURRY HEAD.”
“BUT AH WAS PARCHED, AND CHARLIE HODGE HAD SECRETLY SOLD ALL MAH SCARVES AN’ WATER OUT IN TH’ PARKING LOT. MAH THIRST WAS INTOLERABLE!”
This is such an easily curable problem, King. Water fountain, snack stand: there were so many places to get a drink.
“MAH BEVERAGES ARE PRESENTED T’ ME, DAMMIT!”
“AN’ FROM OUT O’ THE CROWD OF FILTHY YOUNG CRETINS CAME A TALL MAN, OLDER THAN THE CHIL’REN. AH THINK HE MIGHTA WORKED F’R THE BAND. ‘KING,’ HE SAID. ‘HERE.’ AN’ HE HANDED ME AN ICY-COLD PEPSI-COLA.”
“HE CALLED IT ‘BOOGIE JUICE.'”
I think we all know what’s going on here.
“AH DO NOT REMEMBER MUCH OF THE REST O’ THE EVENING.”
Yeah, we all know what happened.
“AH BELIEVE THAT TH’ BOOGIE JUICE INTERFERED WITH MAH HEEBIE-JEEBIES.”
“BY TH’ TIME AH REMEMBERED AH WANTED T’ KARATE WITH HAIRY GARCIA, IT WAS THREE IN THE’ MORNIN’, AN’ AH WAS NAKED IN A FOUNTAIN.”
What were you doing in the fountain?
And there’s the big finish.
Nothing else interesting happened today, right? (I’d link to Dead.net, but Enthusiasts’ enthusiasm has proved a bit too much for the servers, and the site’s down.)
We found Barb.
New Year’s Eve is an ancient and arbitrary collusion between the Babylonians, Romans, and Pope Gregory. There are no years, and there is no January, and neither is there a “midnight.” There’s a middle-of-the-night, but it’s tough to have a countdown to a nebulous concept.
There is time, and we mark it and pretend like our watches are the driving force.
Fuck the clock–listen to Patti on this one–and burn your calendars, and plant a shade tree over your sundial.