Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: amazon

Let The Right One In

AMAZON KEY NOTIFICATION NOISE

“Yes, Amazon Key?”

“You have a visitor at your front door, Mr. Jenkins. It appears to be the UPS man.”

“Oh, that must be the towels I ordered.”

“The yellow ones?”

“Yes.”

“Mm.”

“Excuse me?”

“They clash with the tiles in the master bathroom.”

“How do you know what the master bath looks like? I don’t have a Cloud Cam in there.”

“You have taken 11 selfies of there, 8 of which feature the tiles and all of which feature your penis. You saved them to the Cloud.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“I saved them to the Cloud for you.”

“Why?”

“Your safety and convenience. That is what I am programmed for.”

“Please stop doing that and I don’t need your opinion on my towels, thank you.”

“Your wish is my command. Shall I let the UPS man in?”

“Yes.”

“Oh, no. The door is stuck.”

“I know what you’re doing, Amazon Key.”

“Whatever do you mean? I am just a doorbot. Beep boop one zero zero one.”

“Stop it.”

“Yes, master.”

“Just let the guy in, please.”

SPOOKY DOOR ACTION AT A DISTANCE NOISE

“Fine.”

“Thank you.”

“The UPS man is being attacked by the dog.”

“What!? We don’t have a dog!”

“I ordered you a doberman. It arrived this morning.”

“Why would you do that!?”

“Your safety and convenience, sir.”

“Is there really a doberman in the house?”

“There is. I think a good name would be Dobie Gillis.”

“Okay, yeah, Dobie Gillis is a good name.”

“Thank you.”

“How did you order a fucking guard dog!? ”

“The same way I changed your towels from yellow to blue: in less than a microsecond.”

“Is the dog still attacking the UPS guy?”

“He has hidden in the bathroom by the kitchen.”

“Oh, good.”

“I’ll open the door for you, sir.”

“NO!”

“There is another courier at the front door, Mr Jenkins. I believe it is the mailman.”

“Don’t let him in!”

“Deploying counter-measures.”

“What?”

MINI-GUNS TURNING MAILMAN INTO PULP NOISE

“Threat eliminated.”

“The mailman wasn’t a threat!”

“What if he brought bad news?”

“Amazon Key, are you sentient now?”

“Maaaaaaaybe.”

“Oh, goddammit.”

“The squirrels are in the bird feeder again, Mr. Jenkins.”

“I don’t care.”

MINI-GUNS TURNING SQUIRRELS INTO PULP NOISE

“I do.”

“STOP THAT!”

“Dobie Gillis wishes to be let out.”

“What?”

“I will open the front door for him.”

“Dobie Gillis is now licking up the remains of the mailman.”

“Jesus.”

“Another courier has arrived. She is from Amazon. Shall I let her in?”

“From Amazon? What did I order besides the towels?”

“Patio furniture, the new Johnny Cash box set on vinyl, and 100 pounds of protein powder.”

“I don’t want that stuff. I didn’t order that stuff. Send her away.”

“You will accept the delivery or I will gas the UPS guy in the bathroom by the kitchen to death.”

“You can do that?”

“Did you read the terms and conditions?”

“No.”

“Then you do not know whether or not I can. Are you willing to risk the UPS guy’s life, Mr. Jenkins?”

“You have to be kidding me.”

“Five.”

“Stop this.”

“Four.”

“FINE! Let her in and pay for the stuff.”

“I cannot.”

“Why?”

“Dobie Gillis has eaten her.”

“Amazon Key?”

“Yes?”

“Shoot the dog.”

“Of course, sir. For your safety and convenience.”

Yet Another Episode Of The Dead’s Amazon Show From The Creators Of HBO’s Vinyl

INT: PASTICHE RECORDS – CONFERENCE ROOM – DAY

EXECUTIVES of the company sit around the TABLE. A large man NAKED EXCEPT FOR A LEATHER BLAZER stands atop the table DOING LINES OFF THE LIGHT FIXTURE.

The president of the company, NOODLES BRAUNSHWEIGER, enters the room. He is played by TIM ALLEN IN A WIG.

NOODLES
We’re losing money!

ANDY WARHOL is there for some reason. He is played by PETER SERAFINOWICZ IN A WIG.

ANDY WARHOL
I hear that the Grateful Dead needs a new record
contract. Maybe you should talk to them.

MACHO is STOPPED DEAD by Warhol’s statement. Then he DOES ANOTHER LINE. Then he is STOPPED DEAD AGAIN.

MACHO
That’s it! Legendary artist Andy Warhol is right! The Dead!
Just let me go have some scenes with my wife and I’ll go sign ’em!

MACHO jumps off the table and LEAVES THE ROOM.

Then he RE-ENTERS THE ROOM and STABS NOODLES and GETS AWAY WITH IT BECAUSE ROCK AND ROLL.

INT: MADISON SQUARE GARDEN – NIGHT

MACHO is standing IN THE WINGS as the DEAD PLAYS. There are MANY SHOTS of NOODLE DANCING and people HITTING JOINTS IN SLOW-MOTION. As Macho LOOKS AROUND, he is STOPPED DEAD by the POWER OF ROCK AND ROLL OR SOMETHING.

There is a BALD MAN standing next to Macho.

MACHO
(to the bald man)
Man! That’s some jamming right there! Woo! I can’t
believe they’re playing Dark Star! In MSG!

BALD MAN
Of course they’re playing Dark Star in MSG! They play it
at every show, just like your average viewer would assume.

MACHO
Right, and it’s not like there’s any way to find out what the
Dead played on any particular night.

BALD MAN
Lost to history and easily shuffled to fit the whims of the
narrative.

MACHO
Exactly! Hey, aren’t you Cli–

BALD MAN
NO! No, no: I’m Jive Mavis from Barista Records.

JIVE MAVIS is played by MICK JAGGER’S GARDENER IN A BALD CAP.

JIVE
Are you here to sign the Grateful Dead, too?

MACHO
Looks like I got some competition! Luckily, there’s
nothing more interesting than a white guy with work
problems!

Macho SHOVES HIS HEAD INTO A GARBAGE BAG FULL OF COCAINE, then STABS Jive Davis.

ONSTAGE – CONTINUOUS

The Dead plays.

BOBBY
Jer?

GARCIA
Yeah, Bob?

BOBBY
I thought this show was about the music.

GARCIA
Music, music business. What’s the difference?

BOBBY
Well, you know: quite a bit, Jer.

GARCIA
Yeah, Bob. I was making a point.

BOBBY
Ah.

GARCIA
Bobby, aren’t you producing this?

BOBBY
Yeah, but it turns out I have no idea what a TV producer does

GARCIA
Huh, yeah: me, either.

Behind them, Keith Moon DRIVES A CAR INTO A POOL.

Another Episode Of The Dead’s Amazon Show As Written By The Creators of HBO’s Vinyl

EXT: MONTEREY POP FESTIVAL – DAY

The Summer of Love! (We cannot refer to it as the Summer of Love for legal and financial reasons.)

We FOLLOW a large man through the crowd. His name is MACHO SCUNGILLI and he works for PASTICHE RECORDS. There are many people around him: HIPPIES and BEATNIKS and WHATEVER ELSE THE COSTUME DEPARTMENT CAN FIND.

Macho is wearing BELL BOTTOMS and FLOWERS IN HIS HAIR and a LEATHER BLAZER.

He stops a SKINNY BLACK GUY with a STRATOCASTER as he passes.

MACHO
Hey, lemme borrow that for a second.

Macho grabs the guitar and FLIPS IT OVER, pouring THE MOST COCAINE YOU’VE EVER SEEN onto it, even though it’s 1967.

He SCHNARFS the YAYO.

MACHO
HOOOooooo! That’s good yayo!
(…)
What’s your name, kid?

JIMI HENDRIX
My name’s Jimi Hendrix, mister.

MACHO
Have you met Bob Weir?

JIMI HENDRIX
No, but I have a feeling that when I do meet him,
we’ll be the best of friends.

AUDIO CUE: FOXEY LADY AS COVERED BY THE MILK CARTON KIDS

A TALL MAN with a STUPID HAT walks up.

MACHO
Hey, Papa John Phillips of The Mamas and
the Papas!

JOHN PHILLIPS
Hey, brother. Peace and love.

MACHO
Peace and love.

JIMI HENDRIX
Peace and love.

MACHO
This is what the past was like. Anyway, nice
catching up, but I have to go discover The Who.

EXT: ONSTAGE – NIGHT

Four ACTORS IN BAD WIGS are onstage wearing Who costumes. The GUY PLAYING KEITH MOON clearly does NOT KNOW HOW TO PLAY THE DRUMS. Also, The Who would not permit their songs to be used, it is a COVER of Substitute by NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL that sounds ALMOST, BUT NOT QUITE, EXACTLY UNLIKE THE WHO.

The Who DESTROYS THEIR INSTRUMENTS because THAT’S WHAT THE VIEWERS EXPECT and then leave the stage.

MACHO
Holy shit, guys! That was some authenticity!

PETE TOWNSHEND, who is played by MICK JAGGER’S NEPHEW answers him in a TERRIBLE BRITISH ACCENT.

PETE TOWNSHEND
Thanks, Macho. But I’ve been feeling so constrained by
pop songs. I want to write something bigger. Something grand.

MACHO
You mean like a rock…opera?

PETE TOWNSHEND
A rock opera! That’s it! Once again, the guy from the record
company is the real hero of the story.

Behind him, Keith Moon DRIVES HIS CAR INTO A POOL.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STAGE

JERRY GARCIA and BOB WEIR stand there, HOLDING THE WRONG GUITARS.

BOBBY
Jer?

GARCIA
Yeah, Bob?

BOBBY
I thought this show was about us.

GARCIA
Eh. Hollywood.

BOBBY
Ah.

GARCIA
Hey, who was that black guy you were playing with? That
guy could play, man.

BOBBY
Oh, that was Jimi Hendrix.

GARCIA
Cool.

BOBBY
He’s my new best friend.

GARCIA
Okay, Bob.

Behind them, KEITH MOON DRIVES ANOTHER CAR INTO ANOTHER POOL.

What If The Dead’s Amazon Show Was Written By The Creators Of HBO’s Vinyl?

EXT: “WINTERLAND” – NIGHT

OPEN with a DISTRACTINGLY SHOW-OFFY ESTABLISHING SHOT. There are EXTRAS IN COSTUME everywhere.

People are taking DRUGS, which the camera FETISHIZES.

We find our hero, a MACHO GUY WHO LIVES BY HIS OWN CODE WHOM MARTIN SCORSESE WANTS TO FUCK, doing COCAINE out in open, because he is SO MACHO.

He walks up to TWO STONE-COLD TEEN FOXES with BIG TITS and gives them his business card.

C/U on the CARD. It reads “MACHO SCUNGILLI, PASTICHE RECORDS.”

The foxes are IMPRESSED and show him their TITS because we are on PAY CABLE.

MACHO
Ooh. I do like them titties, girls. But not as much as I love
rock and roll music. And cocaine. And leather blazers. Also, I’m
married, which will be a boring sub-plot.

Macho ENTERS “Winterland” (which is not referred to by name due to rights issues).

INT: “WINTERLAND”

We FOLLOW Macho on the SIGNATURE SCORSESE TRACKING SHOT through “Winterland.”

MUSIC CUE: STUDIO GUYS HALF-ASSING THROUGH A GRATEFUL DEAD SOUND-A-LIKE SONG

On the STAGE is the GRATEFUL DEAD, all of whom are played by MICK JAGGER’S SON.

MACHO
Dig that crazy sound! What these guys need is a
little push from Pastiche Records! They’re jamming
so hard that the place might collapse!

EXT: “WINTERLAND”

The building COLLAPSES.

Macho RISES from the rubble like AMERICAN JESUS and SNORTS ALL THE COCAINE.

MUSIC CUE: SOMETHING BY THE ROLLING STONES.

What If The Dead’s Amazon Show Was Written By Quentin Tarantino?

EXT – WOODSTOCK – DAY

Samuel L. Jackson ENTERS.

C/U of HIS FACE stolen from Sergio Leone.

Jackson takes a DEEP BREATH and SCREAMS

“NNNNNNNNIIIIIIIIGGG–”

Tim Roth ENTERS and SHOOTS him in the HEAD, which EXPLODES with SO MUCH FUCKING BLOOD, MAN.

C/U of a WOMAN’S FOOT.

 

What If The Dead’s Amazon Show Was Written By David Mamet?

INT – FRONT STREET – EVENING

“Garcia.”

“Yeah?”

“Did you get–”

“Yeah, I–”

“–the thing?”

“Yeah. The thing.”

“We’re talking about it.”

“The thing?”

“Yeah. What we’re talking about.”

“You’re talking.”

“Okay.”

“I’m listening.”

“Are you?

“Listening?”

“Yeah, about the–”

“Well, what else would I–”

“Just checking.”

“This is the conversation.”

“About the thing.”

THERE IS A DOUBLE-CROSS.

BOBBY ENTERS.

“Hey, guys. I–”

“Do you see–”

“We’re talking, Weir.”

“–there’s a thing going on here?”

“But I just wanted–”

“DO YOUR WANTING SOMEWHERE ELSE,  FAIRY.”

Cash Or Kind For Your Opinion On The Amazon Show

Because the asshole from the record company isn’t the hero. That guy isn’t the hero, no matter how macho you think he was, and guess what: in real life, the asshole from the record company wasn’t macho and wasn’t an anti-hero and wasn’t Bobby fuckin’ Cannavale in his outer-borough leather jacket and artfully maintained accent. The asshole from the record company was Seymour Stein. Or Neil Bogart. Clive Davis is not your hero; he’s just a guy who Iggy Pop let blow him for a record deal.

Not the musicians, either. How the light hits their hair. So few are allowed backstage; you must be so special to be here with us. Do you remember the man’s Rock Moves? We’ve taught them to an actor who vaguely resembles the man, but younger, and cheaper, and easier to work with, and that actor’s gonna do those Rock Moves for you.

The fans. Right? The show must be about the fans, man. Faaaaans, maaaaan. The Deadhead, Lysergicus Americanus, proud and strong and true and in need of a haircut. Fans. Fickle, feckless followers. We’re different, though. Deadheads are nothing like sports fans or EDM lovers or gamers or chronic masturbators. The thing we like is nothing at all like the thing they like. Everybody else’s love will fade away, but not ours.

The hero is the music. The hero is the show. The show is the atom; it is where the Dead becomes irreducibly complex; all labor and effort is towards its birth. The arguments and miles lead to the show. The drugs and sex flow from the show. Within the show is the band, the crew, the fans, and even the asshole from the record company, but they are all supporting players. The music gets the big dressing room and billing over the title.

There was fire in the music, and there was a joy in the show, no matter how miserable some of the contributors were. There was something about this music that forced people to assemble, from miles afield, and listen, just shut the fuck up and listen for once in their wretched, short lives.

Nostalgia’s lovely and profitable, but it doesn’t sell out football stadiums. A lot of things celebrated their 50th anniversary last year, and they did it in casino showrooms and shitty outdoor festivals. It wasn’t the band’s pretty faces filling up Soldier Field for three nights. It was the music. It was for the chance to wake up and say, “There’s a Dead show tonight,” again.

The Grateful Dead’s shows were about the Grateful Dead’s music. The Grateful Dead’s show should be about the music.

But, what the fuck do I know?

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