Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: 1978 (page 2 of 10)

Those Daring Young Men In Their Flying Machines

Presented without comment.

Gong, Show


In the distance, where the hills ran parallel to the stream of frissile blue water his best goat drowned in summer last, there were Comanche; The Guitarist had seen them, once, outside of a town whose name was unknown to him. The fierce horribles, gnashing ghastlies in mufti and chaps; some naked, and painted, not with paint; one had a stovepipe hat and a slavewoman’s ass for a saddle; blood-eyed mustang unsaddled madness in the red-specked snow of a winter that doesn’t belong to the white man around here.

And Mrs. Donna Jean thought, “Oh, not this shit again.”


We’ve got ourselves an old-fashioned chin-off, Enthusiasts.


Aw, they gave Bobby the clav├ęs.


This is another pic from FoTotD Ste4ve (pronounced Stuh-FOUR-vuh) and maybe if you say nice things to him in the Comments Section, then there will be more. or maybe not: people with numbers in their names are often squirrelly, as exemplified by New York Times reporter Jennifer 8. Lee. That woman’s squirreliness is off the charts.



Game time, Enthusiasts! There are seven small differences between these two photos: can you spot them?

Also: the day Bobby bought those trousers was the happiest day of Creepy Ernie’s professional and sexual life.

Broad, Caster


This is a lovely photo of Mrs. Donna Jean that I hadn’t seen before, but this photo is also a good test of whether or not you’ve been reading TotD too much: if you saw the casters and the coil of haphazardly abandoned wire, and thought, “I know who set that up,” then you have been coming here too much.

Campus Rumpus


Parish had been a drummer for the Grateful Dead for five minutes when he threw a tantrum, punched the rest of the band, and flew home.


“It feels nice on your back, Jer.”

“Don’t rub my back, Weir.”

“Your front?”

“Parish! Oh, you’re right there.”


Either Mrs. Donna Jean is shaking her maracas, or Phil has the daintiest hands I’ve seen on a man since politics politics politics.


In a karate fight with improvised weapons that took place in a drum store, cabasa vs. maracasa is an even match up: cabasa is good for a hammer-type blow, while you can wield the maracas like sai. Obviously, a guiro is of no use whatsoever in karate fighting. Optimally, you would stand at a distance and frisbee ride cymbals at your opponent’s neck as hard as you could.


This shot’s from 6/4/78 at the University of California at Santa Barbara. (Go Banana Slugs!)

A Terrible Poem About Wonderful Hair


Mrs. Donna Jean Godchaux,
How, oh how, does your hair grow?

“A hundred strokes of brush and then,
Another hundred strokes again.
Flaxseed oil, shampoos of beer,
(I only cut it once a year.)
I simonize and wash and dry,
And when the moon’s full in the sky,
I sacrifice a virgin fair,
For Sassoon! (He’s the God of Hair.)
The salty blood of my selection
Stains the mouth of my reflection.
Demon? Monster? All beware?
Kiss my ass: I’ve got great hair.”

That got weird.

“You asked, sugar.”

Uptown, Saturday Night

Speak of the Devil, and he’ll appear in your trousers, Enthusiasts: since mentioning that it’s been forever since a good show recommendation, I’ve made two. (I’m counting this one.) For your listening treasure: 11/18/78 from the Uptown Theatre in Chicago. Keith is in good form for a late-’78 show, and the Scarlet>Fire, while under 20 minutes, is well worth your time. I will say that these sets of music are firmly within the period of time known as Bobby’s Slide Guitar Lessons; be warned.

And a Stagger Lee, and a From The Heart Of Me (which is a pretty song that Mrs. Donna Jean sings well), and then Phil blames Germans for things. Great show all around.

I don’t know about “great.”

Solid and energetic representation of the period?


Well, He’s Coming Down The Stairs

jerry ramses steps

The fourth day of the Days Between is, as ancient tradition dictates, dedicated to Garcia the Stair-Climber. Many loved him as a singer, or a guitarist, but his close friends knew that Jerome H. Garcia could climb the fuck out of stairs. Up, down, spiral, whatever.

We Live In The History Of The Future

bobby jerry donna summit 78

There will always be a Mrs. Donna Jean.

Fillmore South will be a reef, corrupt and smoky and teeming with surly fish. The water is rising, and the lakes becoming brackish, and we will move to the mountains; buy real estate in Colorado right now.

Your ancestors, if there are any, will forget your name and all records will be lost after the Grand Mutilations of the Shallow King. When they dig up Las Vegas, they will surely think it religious.

There will still be a Mrs. Donna Jean.

Spirit, Animal

Did you know that Bobby was selected to be the first recipient of the Les Paul Spirit Award? Did you know there was a Les Paul Spirit Award? There is now, apparently, and Bobby will get it at Bonnaroo. My spies tell me that Bobby has insisted on being presented with a medal in front of everyone just like at the end of Star Wars. Bobby is also forcing Jeff Chimenti to play Chewbacca in the scenario.

(Also: please no one mention that Bobby has never, ever, ever, ever played a Les Paul. He played Gibsons–a red SG and a sunburst 335–but not a Les Paul.)

Plus, you should listen to this: 1/7/78 from Golden Hall in San Diego. It’s one of the Laryngitis Shows from early ’78 and, freed from his vocal duties, Garcia solos. Bobby counts the first song in, and then Garcia solos until Bobby tells the crowd that they’d be right back; he takes a break from soloing; Bobby once again counts the band in, and Garcia resumes soloing until it is time to call it an evening.

And there’s a first set El Paso>Let It Grow>Promised Land which is not a thing, but somehow exists; the El Paso might be the best EVAR: Garcia slashes and growls and whoops throughout the entire song, and then during LIG, he does his Jimmy Page impression and the whole show is a beauty.

You now have something to read, and something to listen to. Would you care to look? Fine. You may look at this:

Portable Network Graphics image-9E45C2E0146D-1

That is a baby camel, more precisely a baby Bactrian camel, and his name is Alexander Camelton.

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