Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: 5/8/77 (page 1 of 2)

A Newly-Surfaced Photograph From 5/8/77

The band posed for this shot in the hallway outside the dressing rooms; I don’t know where Mrs. Donna Jean is.

Corne77

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.

The Return Of The King

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?

Yes.

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?

Yup.

Even Elvis?

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.”

Yeah, okay.

“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?”

No.

“PASS.”

It’s music, Elvis. After years of legal wrangling, the Grateful Dead’s most famous concert is finally being officially released.

“CORNELL?”

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.”

Ithaca.

“YOU DIDN’ LEMME FINISH, BOY! WE WENT T’ UTICA. THEN WE REALIZED WE WAS IN TH’ WRONG CITY.”

Okay.

“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.”

Okay.

“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!”

Sure.

“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.”

Uh-huh.

“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.”

Could be.

“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?

“BACKSTROKE.”

And there’s the big finish.

May Flowers

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.)

Another Never-Before Published Photo From 5/8/77

jerry band 1990 greek

This is from the Scarlet>Fire; the angle makes Keith look heavy.

Thoughts On The Second Set Of 5/8/77

  • Most famous Dead intro?
  • Bill Graham at the Great American Music Hall on One From The Vault is pretty good.
  • This one just kinda happens.
  • General Admission wasn’t as highly structured in 1977 as it is today: the kids could crush up against the stage, and Take A Step Back was a regular in set lists throughout the years.
  • And then, Phil.
  • Garcia starts it, sketching out the chords.
  • Bobby, too; a tiny counterpoint.
  • And Mickey hits his tom three times:
  • BOP BOP BOP.
  • And then, Phil.
  • WOMP!
  • Ba-DOOOM.
  • And begins the second set of 5/8/77, which is the selling point of the show, which is the most famous show and BEST EVAR and Library of Congress and yarble yarble.
  • Around 70 minutes of (almost interrupted) uncut choogle: this is not the stepped-on custy shit.
  • Garcia has taken over the song, because that is what Garcias do, and his tone is purer and cleaner than it would be on Fall Tour, when he would switch from the white Travis Bean to Wolf.
  • Mrs. Donna Jean only helped out in the Scarlet>Fire transition sometimes, but I like when she did: it is very spooky and I become frightened, but in a good way.
  • She sounds like a sexy ghost.
  • Garcia is now soloing again.
  • I’m going to stop mentioning that: you should just assume Garcia is soloing at all times.
  • Anyway, here’s my thesis: the revisionists are wrong, and this set is actually special.
  • This doesn’t discount from the meta-textual bullshit that weighs the show down; a large part of why 5/8/77 is more famous than other (arguably better) shows from that tour is because it was more available than other shows, as a tape, back in the day.
  • IMG_4231
  • (I stole that picture from Jesse Jarnow, which means you have to go buy his book.)
  • That was the tape everybody had, not 5/25 or 5/5; some people may have had those shows, I suppose, but I did not.
  • As with everything else, I was strictly an end-user when it came to Dead tapes: I knew one guy who traded, and he made me copies of his stuff, and not all of it.
  • And I suspect that there were a lot more people like me than there were committed traders with libraries who were able to make any sort of educated comparison between shows.
  • But here’s the thing: if you had a thousand tapes, or a hundred, or a dozen, then one of them was going to be 5/8/77.
  • If you only had one Dead tape, then it was definitely going to be 5/8/77.
  • So, the revisionist theory states, if we had the entire Fall Tour available to us–as we do now–we would not privilege May 8th, and instead see it as just another of a string of superb shows from the East Coast.
  • The rallying cry of the Cornell Revisionist is “Not even the best show of the week.”
  • (I have decided that Cornell Revisionists are now a thing that both exists and needs to be capitalized.)
  • FANNING.
  • GARCIA IS FANNING AND I LOVE THAT FAT BASTARD SO MUCH.
  • Ahem.
  • You all right?
  • I get excited when he does that.
  • One of his better tricks.
  • They are now screwing around in between songs, which is different than tuning between songs, but they are also tuning a little.
  • A thought I’ve had: what if other bands took five minutes between each song, but we just don’t know it because they didn’t record everything?
  • Estimated starts like Scarlet: Mickey’s toms and Phil’s swoopity bass.
  • His bass–and its swoopifying–is one of arguments against Cornell Revisionism: while Phil played variations of the Scarlet intro at other shows, and was swooping up and down the neck of his guitar all year, he did it the best at this show.
  • Phil is on fucking point, motherfucker.
  • Charlie comes, Phil’s getting ’em first.
  • Get some, Phil.
  • Keith is back on the wimpleorgan, and it sounds like a funeral for a TV vampire.
  • I know I was going to stop mentioning when Garcia soloed, but he has turned the Mwah Mwah Machine back on, and it makes me so happy I had to tell someone; it’s late and I didn’t want to knock on the neighbor’s door.
  • Funny thing: remember the whole “uninterrupted choogle” thing?
  • Yeah: no.
  • Literally five minutes of absolutely nothing after Estimated.
  • Great Estimated, by the way: it’s still going as I write this, but I feel like jumping ahead in order to chastise a rock band 39 years ago.
  • Of course: the five minutes of dead air occurred at the show that occurred, but I’m listening to the show that got recorded, so it goes right from Estimated into St. Stephen, one hit after another.
  • (None of these songs were hits, at least not for the Dead.)
  • At least in the version of reality represented by the tape, the second set of 5/8 has a forward thrust, a rushing momentum, that combines with a dramatic leanness–there’s no Drums–to coalesce into a greater work; perhaps that you can’t easily break it into the “pre-Drums/post-Drums” that began to take hold around this time gives it a cohesion that was rare for later second sets.
  • Plus, it fucking rocks.
  • The Dead didn’t rock a lot.
  • We both know what they did, and what type of semi-defunct band they were.
  • But this hour-plus can stand up there with Metallica.
  • (It cannot; that is wanton hyperbole and cheapens us both.)
  • The jamming in this set is more directed than usual: it is the difference between radiation therapy and making love to a Real Doll made of plutonium.
  • And it might be the best defense of Mickey: this sound, this roar, this tumbling thunder is worth the hassle of having a second drummer, and the added hassle of having it be Mickey.
  • Not Fade Away is doing something to my loins.
  • I want to hump food.
  • Or eat sex.
  • Something primal, that you need a shower after.
  • Garcia is now playing primarily harmonics, high and wheeling and FWAAAAAAAANG and it is a good sound.
  • If forests made this sound, I would hike more.
  • But forests just sound like birds.
  • Some forests sound like monkeys.
  • But I digress.
  • If there’s any show from the tour that can rival this one, it’s 5/5; that’s it.
  • I have made my arbitrary decision: FITE ME.
  • First sets are first sets–we all love them, but they’re not allowed to drive the car–and though there are far better first sets (anything with a Sugaree or a Half-Step), no show has a better second set; ipso fact, no show is better.
  • If no show is better–
  • Don’t.
  • –then 5/8 is–
  • Don’t you do it.
  • Thank you.
  • BEST EVAR.
  • Fuck you.
  • No, not “fuck me,” pal: the category of BEST EVAR is a valid and vital one; it is chosen objectively and based on merit and logic and reason.
  • None of what you said is even possible. There’s nothing objective about art; it exists outside of language and operates purely on an emotional level. Furthermore, a piece of art this famous is even more unknowable, as it’s impossible to evaluate on its own merits. 5/8/77 is the Mona Lisa of the Dead’s universe, and you’re unable to separate the work from the bullshit.
  • Well, yeah, if you put it that way.
  • Such a good show, though.
  • Gonna get back to it.
  • You stay safe out there.
  • Sure: Keith starts out Morning Dew on the wimble, but switches over to piano; Keith always played ballads well.
  • Although Dew really isn’t a ballad; it just seems like one.
  • Faster than Ramble On Rose, for example.
  • The whole second set is quick, but it’s not a rushed and frenzied speed: it’s like a freight train full of beardos.
  • The Dew is around 14 minutes and most of it is Garcia soloing: sometimes he plays a lot of little notes, and sometimes he plays a few big notes.
  • Lyrics, lyrics, lyrics.
  • Back to soloing.
  • Listening to them well and surge and drive the song up and down, building to the peak, masterfully like this makes the 80’s–and Garcia’s slide–that much shittier.
  • The dynamics went out of the band soon after this; each song was one mood and one volume, and the music lost and got lost.
  • Everyone is listening to, and playing around, Garcia: it’s like he’s the accompaniment and the band is all soloing.
  • And now the drummers commit Ragnarok.
  • And Bobby does a little fanning of his own, but NOW GARCIA’S DOING IT AND I LOVE THAT SO MUCH AND HE WON’T STOP DOING IT and he stopped doing it BUT NOW HE IS AGAIN AND–
  • Knock it off.
  • Sorry.
  • It sounds like the end of the world, or like battleships having make-up sex.
  • And then the world ends.
  • Not with a whimper, but with a power chord.
  • But, you know: gotta do the encore, and it’s a good one.
  • One More Saturday Night gets no respect: the Dead stuck it in the encore spot, and the Dead half-assed their encores.
  • OMSN was a victim of geography.
  • Big and boppy here, though.
  • Bobby yelps and Phil swoops and Garcia solos and it sounds just like the Grateful Dead are supposed to sound.
  • There are a bunch of acceptable music theory nerd ways to change keys, but the best way is the rock and roll way: the Cymbal Crash Key Change.
  • This can be explained using the old rock maxim: If you do something loud enough, it doesn’t have to make sense.
  • Thank you all, good night.

Thoughts On The First Set Of 5/8/77

  • Inspiration, move me–
  • Oh. shut the fuck up.
  • Don’t start already.
  • Just get on with it sans invocation, please.
  • Fine: The Grateful Dead, who are currently opening with Minglewood in my headphones 39 years ago, performed a show at Cornell University, more specifically in Barton Hall, and this particular show went on to be famous.
  • Minglewood’s done already?
  • Jesus, I type slowly; now we’re at the first Garcia tune, Loser, and Keith is on the wheezy, squicky keyboard instead of piano.
  • The first reason for the show’s ascendancy to BEST EVAR is evident only a song-and-a-half in: the recording sounds great.
  • I’m listening to the Hunter Seamons matrix, which is what I linked to, and I think the blend of audience noise and the original just exactly perfect Betty Board is well-done; if you’d prefer the naked Betty (hey now), it’s also available, but not as a Charlie Miller transfer, so I can’t vouch for it.
  • Also, if you don’t listen to the matrix, then you can’t hear the guy who yells “DARK STAAAAAAR!”
  • During the first set.
  • In ’77.
  • Don’t be that guy.
  • And now I completely disgusted by humanity and need their sounds erased from my skull (except for the sounds made by the Dead) and I have switched to the SBD I had on my other hard drive.
  • People ruin everything.
  • El Paso bolsters my argument: the drummers are clean and separated; you can tell Billy’s snare from Mickey’s, and hear the difference in high-hats.
  • I’ve made this analogy before, but I like it and so I will again: Betty’s soundscapes were like cafeteria trays.
  • Every food has its own well-defined space, but they combine to form a cohesive meal.
  • Keith is hard left and loud, like he is in all the Betty Boards; Garcia and Phil overlaid on top of one another in the middle; Bobby on the left, and the sound is so clean that even while Garcia is soloing as loudly as possible (so, you know: almost always), you can still concentrate on any other player with ease.
  • Bobby’s doing these quiet harmonic accents in They Love Each Other, and even with the six of them wailing away next to him, you can still make out whether he hits two strings or three.
  • What does the Grateful Dead sound like: what the crowd heard that night, or this recording I’m listening to now?
  • The aether has stopped transmitting in Barton Hall; the sound that was heard there no longer exists.
  • Betty’s tape is still here.
  • They’re playing Jack Straw too slow.
  • Wait.
  • They sped up.
  • Good job, guys.
  • Barton Hall was, of course, named after New York fitness impresario David Barton.
  • This photo is labelled as 5/8, but take that with a grain of salt.
  • dead phil donna bobby jerry
  • The Dead looks very Grateful Dead here: it’s as if they were cosplaying as themselves.
  • Also, Bobby is not paying attention and Phil is hitting the singles bar after the show.
  • Does the show pick up at Deal?
  • It’s a great Deal.
  • Best Deal in town.
  • Hey: you can find a better Deal than this, you take it.
  • Garcia’s killing it.
  • He’s like the Spanish Flu of 1919.
  • Killing it.
  • Is this a better deal than the 10/29 from Northern Illinois?
  • Possibly.
  • Is this sort of comparison boring and pointless?
  • Shit, yeah.
  • (It is in no way better than the 10/29; that one’s the BEST EVAR.)
  • We now come to Tuning.
  • In the Dead’s defense, they got a lot better at tuning their instruments over the years, and I don’t mean that they spent less time doing it.
  • Early on in the Dead’s career, they would also spend four or five minutes tuning their guitars, but the guitars would not be in tune at the end of that time, and they would just play the song that way.
  • (Someone on Etree is bundling up all the versions of every show from 1971, and I’m grabbing the ones I don’t have; naturally, I’ve been listening to them and the only conclusion you can come to from this evidence is that at least one person in the band did not know how to tune their guitar and it was Garcia. Seriously: the man was out-of-tune for the entire year.)
  • NOOOOOOOOO!
  • TRAGIC LAZY LIGHTNING SPLICE!
  • NOOOOOOOOOO!
  • I mean, it could be in a lot worse places: the lethal cut in the 3/18/77 Caution Jam, and the Stella Blue heartbreaker from the From Egypt With Love shows.
  • You know I love me some Garcia–who is perfectly in tune here–but Bobby is doing more interesting stuff than him in this LLL>Supplication transition.
  • Garcia’s only playing one note at a time; Bobby is playing many simultaneously.
  • Seems tougher, at the least.
  • Bobby also plays more complicated parts under his vocals, whereas Garcia mostly did a B.B. King-style “play, sing, play, sing.”
  • Y’know what: Bobby is now the Garcia.
  • Stop that.
  • WHAT?
  • He’s right. I don’t wanna be the Garcia.”
  • Bobby?
  • IMG_4202
  • “In fact, I’m amazed you would even suggest it.”
  • You look surprised.
  • “There ya go.”
  • Okay, both of you: get out of here.
  • “Namaste.”
  • Bite me.
  • First set of 5/8/77 is neither overrated nor underrated.
  • Actually, I don’t know if anyone’s really bothered to rate it
  • And even if they did: fuck ’em; listen to it for yourself; it’s free.
  • Mellow first set, almost subdued; still just as tight as an offensive metaphor about the female genitalia.
  • Second cowboy, Mama Tried, which is appropriate for today and ’77, too: Mother’s Day was the next day after the Saturday show.
  • Aw.
  • “Thanks, Mom.”
  • They’re playing Row Jimmy, and I keep referring to Keith’s keyboard as a wimpleorgan in my head; I have no idea where that word came from, but it sounds right.
  • If an organ-grinder was making that sound, the monkey would be dead.
  • It’s just an unhealthy timbre, plus he’s playing it sullenly.
  • (When I make that assertion, please remember that there is an almost 100% chance that I am either projecting or making things up entirely.)
  • Reggae was not the Dead’s groove.
  • All the big bands did some reggae tunes in the late 70’s, just as they all did some disco tunes; the disco songs were uniformly better.
  • The Dead (and every other white-guy rock band) overplayed the reggae tunes, and one of the main points of reggae is to not play too many notes.
  • You just pick, like, five good ones.
  • Plus, Phil’s philosophy of bass was incompatible with reggae, although he had the correct tone for it, especially in the deeper registers
  • (Phil was playing the four-string Alembic in the picture in ’77; he wouldn’t switch to the six-string until ’84 or ’85, and I think an excellent usage of the Time Sheath would be to take that low-B back to ’74 and hear it through the Wall.)
  • Occasionally in between songs, there will be silence.
  • Not silence.
  • There are random cheers.
  • Chairs scrape.
  • But no tuning, and the mics pick up no talking.
  • And then they start the next song with a huge burst of energy.
  • I wonder what they were doing?
  • They blew this intro every single time they played this song.
  • And then Keith and Mrs. Donna Jean left the band and Brent joined; they kept the disco arrangement; they fucked up the intro with Brent, too.
  • One meeting would have solved this, and not even a full-band meeting.
  • Billy was not needed at this meeting.
  • There were only three people involved, two of whom were best friends, and two of whom have had scurrilous things printed about them: they still managed to forget whether the song started with the chorus or the verse four times our of five.
  • I prefer the disco version to the straighter take on it they did in 1970, and dragged back against both the song’s and the crowd’s will for a dozen or so shows in the 80’s.
  • Disco Dancin’ means disco jammin’ and THERE IS SO MUCH DISCO JAMMIN’.
  • They jam so hard.
  • And Garcia has activated the Funktron and powered up the Mwah Mwah Machine.
  • Remember when Bobby was playing guitar better than Garcia?
  • Yeah, that’s not happening anymore.
  • Ooh, maybe he made Garcia mad.
  • You shouldn’t look a Garcia directly in his guitar.
  • It makes him solo.
  • Other things that make Garcia solo:
    • Mornings.
    • Afternoon.
    • The rest of the day.
    • Asking him to.
    • Paying him to.
    • Sometimes Garcia will be soloing and the solo he’s playing gives him an idea for another solo, so in a way: soloing makes Garcia solo
  • This end riff is cousins to Slipknot!, I think.
  • The live fade-out is rare, but the Dead pulled it off a lot; it may be because of the lack of rehearsal needed.
  • The big TA-DA finish requires everyone to be in sync; a fade hides all mistakes.
  • I’m gonna take a short break; I’ll be right back.

We Gonna Pitch A Ball Down To That Barton Hall

IMG_4144(1)

I got nothing.

Oh, come on! It’s the Most Wonderful Show of the Year!™

Why the trademark sign?

Garcia Estate has claimed the intellectual property rights to everything involving 5/8/77.

Sure. Listen: I don’t wanna.

You gotta.

Do I haveta?

Well, you oughtta.

What’s left to say?

Maybe you could talk about how when the crowd departed the gym–

It was snowing.

after that scorching show–

It was snowing.

the snow fell from the sky in a very, very , very symbolic and meaningful way.

Oh, perish the thought I would deny the snow’s symbolicism and meaningfullness: it definitely wasn’t just weather.

Y’know, for someone who insists on jamming magic into everything he writes, you’re kind of a literal-minded putz sometimes.

I like my magic; when other people tell me something’s magical, I immediately want to piss on it.

That’s a personality flaw.

Big time, yeah. Anyway: let’s just pretend it’s October 2nd and listen to the Portland show with the Casey Jones opener.

Why don’t you want to listen to Cornell?

It’s not that: I am going to listen to Cornell; I am excited to listen to Cornell; I deliberately don’t listen to Cornell all year so I can enjoy Cornell. But I have nothing left to say about it.

Haven’t live-blogged it.

Goddammit.

YAAAY!

I despise you.

Thanks, Mom

Obviously, TotD will be busy today being a GBotD (Good Boy on the Dead). Remember: if you can’t be an athlete be an athletic supporter. And, today, if you can’t be a mother–

Don’t.

–be a motherf–

Stop what you’re doing. Stop it now and don’t type another letter.

Be a motherfucker.

I hate you.

Happy Mother’s Day, everybody!

Reasons 5/8/77 Is Not The Best Evar Grateful Dead Show

  • Despite the seamless and legendary transition linking Scarlet Begonias and Fire on the Mountain, racism still plagues us.
  • First set is rather first-settish.
  • No MIDI-off during Space.
  • No Space.
  • Tendentious about its atheism.
  • There is little to no chatter about how awesome it is to be in Ithaca, partly because the Dead didn’t do that, and partly because it is not awesome to be in Ithaca.
  • Which is admittedly better than their 1980 show at Barton Hall when Bobby starts singing “Playing in the barn” to make fun of the place, which they all apparently hated playing.
  • Which is admittedly the Grateful Dead thing to do.
  • Losing the master reels of the show is also the Grateful Dead thing to do, but that’s off-topic.
  • Always funny to bring up, but off-topic.
  • 5/8/77 once threw a Hungry Man Frozen Dinner at an old man who wouldn’t get out of his way in the supermarket.
  • Really winged the fucker.
  • Keith’s farty little Moog that he’s baldly uninterested in playing.
  • There are bits during the first set when you need a break from the Dead. This is a good break from the Dead:
  • If you don’t like AC/DC, then go eat ice cream with your butt: you’re a louse and a subversive; neither kith nor kin to the righteous and rockin’.
  • AC/DC valued rocking so much that if you were merely about to rock, they would salute you. To be on the mere precipice of rocking–not yet actively rocking–that was enough for AC/DC to award you a triumph.
  • After very few minutes of YouTubing and googling, I have realized that there will be a long post on AC/DC soon.
  • This can’t wait, though: did you know they played Coachella?
  • This year? Like, a month ago?
  • It did not go well because, among other things, they brought their giant inflatable stripper and shook it at hipsters, who went to watch the DJ at the next stage.
  • Also, there was a fill-in drummer because the regular one is in jail now for hiring a hitman.
  • There will be a post about AC/DC soon.
  • The second set is so good that it sets unreasonable standards for second sets, and promotes a culture in which some things are seen as “better” than others; when, in reality, we know that all second sets are valuable members of the community, whether they be officially released gems or from the Nineties.
  • These unfair and arbitrary standards lead to second set-shaming
  • Kinda short.
  • That’s what she said.
  • But, also: statistically provable to be among the shorter shows, and especially second sets, of the era.
  • Why is St. Stephen so slow? Hop to it, hippies.
  • 5/8/77 cannot be crowned the Best Evar by the Grateful Deads because they used performance-enhancing drugs for this performance.
  • All of them had been smoking doobies since rising, and their doobies were so very dank.
  • The only thing that could facilitate their rising was two fatty rails of the finest yay. Those fatty rails were the first of so very many fatty rails.
  • Mrs. Donna Jean had begun her day with Irish coffee, hold the coffee. Then, she started drinking.
  • Phil joined her, but stuck to his Heineken until 5 pm, when he switched to red wine because Phil is classy.
  • The previous night, Keith pulled a Drugstore Cowboy and hid up in the tiles at a local place and nabbed a fuckton of pills and currently the only way to tell that Keith is alive is that he intermittently shits himself.
  • Garcia, both the drummers, and the current road manager all have varying levels of heroin dependence.
  • Very few bands have had to deal with the problem of both the drummers being junkies.
  • Dealing with one junkie drummer is an unimaginable hell; I’m impressed everyone survived.
  • Everyone didn’t survive.
  • I reiterate: because of all of these performance-enhancing (in the Dead’s case) drugs in the band’s system, this so-called “Cornell show” is no better than Mark McGwire’s shameful dingers and shriveled testes.
  • The Morning Dew really is quite a thing, though.
  • Only 364 shopping days until Cornell Day.
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