Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: amir bar lev (page 2 of 5)

An Ending No One Including Me Saw Coming

Where were you last night?

Excuse me?

There were no posts.

So? I take time away.

You don’t. You have no life.

I do. If you have to know, I had a date.

No. You have a better chance of getting that dog-sized elephant you want than getting a date.

Nope. Date.

You are aware that I’m you, right? I’m not a separate character like Elvis or Red Metal Stool.

Or Sleepy Batman.


He’s a fan favorite.

I’m ignoring you. You didn’t have a date.


Why do you lie?

It’s fun.

Tell the nice people what you did.

Nothing. Literally nothing. I stole the Phish show, read The Sun & The Moon & The Rolling Stones by Rich Cohen, and went to bed at 11:30.

11:30 PM?


That’s, like, seven hours before your normal bedtime. How do you even do that?

Don’t worry about it. But now I’m good. Back on a normal schedule.

And by “normal schedule,” you mean “fucking around until three in the morning and then–just as you hit a good stride with the sentences and whatnot–the sun coming up and you recoiling like a dracula?”


Gotcha. So why are you procrastinating by talking to me?

I thought you were me.

We’re a biune god. Answer me, damn you.

Well, I was nervous that I couldn’t write anymore. Hadn’t done it in, like, 38 hours. Maybe I pissed or shit out my genius.

Not a thing.

It totally is. Francis Ford Coppola did it in ’81. Huge meal of rotelli and bocceballica and scaramucci–

Not actual foods.

–and the next morning: boom. Shit out every last good decision in him.

Do you have a point, or are you just wasting the nice people’s time peering around inside your own ass?

Third option! Picture of Oteil and Amir!



You think people won’t know that you’ve been staring at that picture for a week trying to figure out one of your little skitches for it and couldn’t come up with anything, so you’re just dumping it here in the middle of a bunch of time-wasting bullshit?

Why are you a fucking snitch?

You’re see-through. You’re a living wet tee-shirt, and your soul is the nipples. Everyone can tell what you are.

I’m gonna kill you and make it look like a suicide.



“Guys! HeyYAAAAAWWWNguys. Could you keep it down?

That better not be who I think it is.


Hey, Sleepy Batman.

“Sup, bro. Can you keep it to a dull roar?”

Sorry, man.

I hate everything about this.

Sam Cutler Took Me By The Hand, And We Made Love In His Chevy Van

“Do you all wear th’ same shirts now? Is this what your generation is doing? I’m ‘orrified.”

“Just a coincidence, Sam.”

“Now, Amir me son, I must confess to noticing that you ‘ave no crew members of color.”


“Nor Latinos.”

“Um, yeah, I guess.”

“Thought you were an ally.”

“I am an ally, Sam.”

“To what are you allied?”

“I have no idea.”

“There you go. That’s the kipper in the wicket.”

“I don’t think that’s a real saying.”

“Rubbish. Now, what shall we do about this inequity?”

“Sam, I work with people of color. But my camera guy just happens to be white.”

“Odd coincidence, innit? Sorry state I find you in, me son. When I managed the Grateful Dead, I strove for diversity.”

“You did?”

“I didn’t achieve it in the slightest, but I strove. The striving was present. Wasn’t all white boys. We had some ladies. Mickey shared the same affliction as yourself.”

“Being Jewish is not an affliction, Sam.”

“Rarely helps, though, dunnit?”

“Can we get back to the interview?”

“I’d like to talk some more about Phish. I ‘ave several mean comments I didn’t use.”

“Later, Sam. We’re losing the light.”

“Keep your pants on. All right, stories. I received four-and-a-‘alf blowjobs at Woodstock.”



“Keep it going.”

“The entire European tour in ’72 was a front for a ‘eroin distribution scheme.”


“Every word th’ truth, Amir me son. Jerry Garcia was completely bald at th’ age of 18. Wigs and facial prosthetics from then on.”

“That’s just not true.”

“Charlie Watts doesn’t know how to read.”

“None of this is true.”

“I never saw a cupcake until last week. A young filly I been seeing presented me with the confection, and I became frightened and struck her with the portable toilet from me van.”

“That might have happened.”

“Phil was th’ Zodiac Killer.”


Dropping In

You look familiar.

“Hi, I’m David Gans, host of the Grateful Dead Hour on SiriusXM’s GD Radio, and I’m here to tell you about my new album.”

Did…did you travel through time to plug your record?



“Gotta hustle in an expanding music market.”

True. Usually, people around here break the laws of temporality for much dumber reasons. Billy keeps using the Time Sheath to score–and I’m quoting–Etruscan puss.

“Well, I can see doing that once. You know, for the experience.”

He’s there all the time. They know him in Etrusca.

“I don’t think the Etruscans lived in Etrusca.”


“Can you pay attention? I literally traveled through time to tell the Enthusiasts about my album.”

In a Beetle, nonetheless.

“I bought it off an astronomer. Anyway, the record’s called Drop The Bone and it’s solo and full band stuff, originals and covers. Little bit of everything.”

Sounds good, but can we hear some of it?

“Funny you should ask that.”

You gonna hang around 2017?

“Fuck, no. It’s horrible here.”

Everything’s broken and covered in sadness, yeah.

“Hey, Young David Gans!”

Who was that?

“It’s me, Young Steve Silberman!”

Oh, for fuck’s sake.

“Hey, Young Steve! What are you up to?”

“Being young, going to Dead shows. You?”

“Same! I love being young and going to Dead shows!”

“We should do that right now!”

“Is there a Dead show right now?”

“I have the Time Sheath, so: yes.”


Can you two take this somewhere–

“Hey, guys! I heard you were being young and going to Dead shows, eh?”

I know that accent.

“Hey, Dave!”

“David. Hey, Dave!”

“Hey, Dave!”

“David. Hey, Steve!”


“Was there a young person’s party?”


“You’re very rude.”

I like your Bar Mitzvah suit.

“Thank you.”

Amir And The North Visitor

“Why are we so happy?”

“We? I don’t know about ‘we.’ You look amused; I look happy as shit.”

“True. You look like a kid on Christmas morning.”

“More like Hanukah evening. But only the first one.”

“I thought you got gifts all eight nights.”

“First night is for the big toy. Second night is underwear and chocolate. Third night is a showing of Fiddler on the Roof. After that, everybody just kinda peters out.”

“We have something similar, y’know.”


“Canukah. Commemorates the time when our proud ancestors were snowed in and thought they only had enough poutine for one day.”

“But it lasted eight?”



“The exchange rate.”

“Sure. Dave?”


“How did you start archiving?”

“My room was neat as hell growing up.”

“Makes sense.”

“Right? I always knew where everything was, and that’s pretty much the core competency of the job.”

“Can’t be an archivist if you just leave everything in a big pile.”


“I can only imagine your sock drawer.”

“It’s been featured in several publications.”


“What about you, Amir? How did you get into directing?”

“Got my start with Roger Corman.”

“You’re kidding.”

“No. Did a movie for him called Satan’s Attic. It was Roddy McDowell’s last picture and Andie McDowell’s first. Shot in in Baja for $1.2 million, and that’s including the motorcycle race and setting that broccoli farm on fire.”

“There was a scene with a flaming broccoli farm?”

“No, Roddy McDowell set the fire while he was drunk. We had to pay the farmer.”


“When he wasn’t drinking, Roddy was a prince.”

“What about when he was?”

“I just told you: he lit other strangers’ farms ablaze. You couldn’t extrapolate from that?”

“I thought maybe it was an accident.”

“Broccoli isn’t flammable. He had to prep the area for hours. Every step was a conscious, drunken, dickish choice.”


“Threw the loveliest dinner parties, though.”

“I’ll bet.”

A Friendship, Deepened

“I like that sweater.”

“It breathes.”

“Looks it. Nordstrom’s?

“No. My wife Regina makes all of our clothes.”


“All Canadian women make their family’s clothing. It’s really tough on the wives of Mounties.”

“The tunics.”

“Yeah. Those things require master tailors. Plus, you have to kill the beavers for the hats.”

“Sure. How do you kill a beaver?”

“Disappoint it until alcoholism sets in.”

“I’m learning a lot, Dave.”


“What’s the weirdest thing in The Vault?”



“He sleeps there sometimes.”


“Y’know, Amir, I don’t know much about you. What is your background?”

“Right now, a mirror.”

“Ancestors and all.”

“My parents, Zev and Bev Bar-Lev met in the Israeli Navy.”

“Israel has a navy?”

“It’s mostly arguing about where to eat in a rowboat.”


“Heavily-armed waterskiing.”

“In speedos.”

“Camouflage speedos, yeah. My parents were heroes. They were at Entebbe.”

“Your parents participated in the Raid on Entebbe?”

“They were in a canoe just a mile away.”


“If every single other mode of transportation failed, then it was up to them.”

“I’m impressed.”

“My dad saved his paddle. Family heirloom. Circumcised my boys on it.”

“It’s those links to the past that make us human.”

“You said it, Dave.”

“David. Hey, that little weirdo still bothering you?”

“Thinking about the Grateful Dead?”

“Yeah, whatever the fuck he calls himself.”

“Dude. He’s the worst.”

“I told you not to engage.”

“He won’t stop pitching terrible ideas. Last one was that we should do a movie starring porn stars that features full penetration.”

“That’s just called porn.”

“I told him that. He started in with Brancusi and the difference between intent and ‘intent.'”

“What does that even mean?”

“No idea. The next one was ‘Hotel Rwanda, but a musical.'”

“That’s distasteful.”

“He wrote some songs.”


“Toot-Toot-Tutsi, Goodbye.”


“It’s a nightmare.”

“You can always flee to Canada. You can sleep on our davenport.”

“I’ll keep it in mind.”

“Regina can always make more clothes.”

This One Gets Weird, I Can’t Lie

“Amir, don’t look behind you.”



“Camel vampires.”

“Oh. No. We’re iterating.”

“Shit. Y’know, this little prick’s got some nerve.”

“Don’t talk too loud. He’ll hear, and Elvis will show up or something.”

“He’s not paying attention. He just types.”

“I enjoy some of it.”

“Are you just being polite?”




“–it’s not right. I just wanted to make a 19-hour movie about a semi-defunct choogly-type band. I didn’t ask to be semi-fictionalized, and iterate into mirror universes. Which mirror universe is that, by the way? Are those the evil versions of us?”

“No. Cannibal versions.”

“Who’s eating who?”

“We’re eating each other.”

“That’s kinda sweet.”




“–the guy’s on my tits.”

“All of ’em?”

“Every one! Keeps sending me ideas, and each one’s worse than the last.”


“Musical about the Minotaur called Daddy was a Bull; Mommy was Amazed.

“That’s a non-starter.”

“Action movie where the bag guys steal a fuel pump and the gas station kills everybody trying to get it back. Like John Wick, but if Keanu Reeves were a gas station.”

“How would that even work?”

“I have no idea, but he sent me 2,000 words on it.”

“How are our cannibal universe doppelgangers doing?”

“They’ve cannibalized each other.”

“Sure. Now, how would a cannibal universe even work? Wouldn’t we both have been eaten long before reaching our present ages?”

“It was really just a throwaway joke, man.”



“Why are you defending him?”

“You’re being mean. TotD is awesome and shit, and they should’ve let him write the Amazon show, and he’s very handsome and suck my balls, yo.”

“What the fuck is going on?”


Don’t scream.


What did I tell you? Don’t make me get Elvis.

“What the fuck, man!?”

I was inhabiting David Lemieux. You familiar with skinwalkers?

“I did not consent to any of this.”

You think David did? He struggled!

“Is he okay?”

He will be. But until then, do you want to play with his flesh-suit?


You could wear him!


Let’s go scare Bobby.

“I want to go home.”

There’s no exit.

“You’re such a hack.”

That, too.

The Team-Up No One Was Expecting, But Can’t Be Completely Surprised By

“How are the kids?”

“Gordie, Girl Gordie, Jean-Luc, Fleece, Northstar, and the twins, Billie and Mickie?”

“Yeah. Your kids.”

“Good. They’re good. Growing, man. You wouldn’t believe how many bags of milk we go through a week. How are yours?”

“Rivka, Shmuley, and Hummus?”

“Yeah. Your kids.”

“Also good.”

“Amir, lemme ask you one question.”

“Oh, not you, too.”

“Why’d you leave out the Radio City shows?”

“You were a producer of the film, David.”

“I know, yeah, but I never quite understood what a film producer does.”

“No one knows. Well, wait, not exactly. The Executive Producer procures the money. The Line Producer writes the checks. But the kind of producer you were? No one knows.”

“It was swell to be one, though.”

“You’re chipper.”

“I’m Canadian.”

“What’s the next Dave’s Pick?”


“You just released Cornell.”

“I know. Every release from now on is going to be Cornell. We’re going the same way that Disney is going with Star Wars.”

“Taking something enjoyable and jamming it everyone’s ass until they burst?”


“It’s working for them.”

“That was my argument. Plus, this is a lot less work.”

“I would imagine.”

“What’s next for Amir Bar-Lev?”

“Thinking about becoming a YouTuber.”


“Yeah. Vlogging about my life. Maybe reacting to stuff.”


“What about you, David?”

“I’ve always wanted to be an exterior decorator.”

“Fascinating. Tell me about your posture.”

“Canadians all learn posture in the prairie schools we’re assigned to at whelping. From age five until fifteen, we were forced to play hockey while balancing Margaret Atwood books on her heads.”

“How much hockey did you play?”

“Normal amount. Nine or ten hours a day.”

“I’m learning a lot here.

Friendly Fire In Rando War


Which one of you is speaking?


That doesn’t help.

“It’s, uh, me. You know: me.”

Oh. Hey, Bobby. Not a rando.

“No? Wait. Ah. He’s my manager?”

Are you basing that on his Semitic looks?

“Little bit.”

Not your manager. That’s Al Franken.

“From Trading Places?”


“Huh. Guy’s a heck of an actor. I really believed he was a baggage handler.”

“Handle this, Bob. Rando War is won, bitch.”


“Look at these randos.”

Okay, first of all: not randos. Second: stop calling Bobby a bitch, Amir Bar-Lev.

“Man in this sweater can call anyone he wants a bitch.”

That’s not how it works.


Stop calling me a bitch. Those are not randos. The one on the left is Whatsherface, and the one on the right is Amy Adams’ mom or something.

“Sounds pretty rando to me.”

Dude, in this photo? You are the rando.


Sorry to be so blunt.


Well, I’ve never seen you on Law & Order, and both of these ladies have been on multiple iterations of the show.

“Don’t talk to me.”

Don’t be this way.

“You’re an asshole.”



Okay, sure.


I thought you didn’t want to talk to me.

“You’re FUCKED, man!I’m a goddamned midget!”

Little person.

“No, I can say midget. It’s our word.”

You’ve been this way for 20 seconds.

“I’m adaptable.”


“Change me back!”



Director’s Cut!


You’re just impossible.

“Y’know, when I made that movie about Penn State, I got death threats.”


“That was better than this.”

I’ve heard that from people.

The Faster Weir Goes, The Rander Weir Gets

“Look what I got.”


“The randiest. Although, this guy to my left keeps telling me go home and get my shinebox.”

Yeah, don’t murder him. It comes back to bite you in the ass.

“I’ll try. But, you know, if he keeps disrespecting me my hand will be forced.”

Don’t do it.


Hey, Bobby.


Don’t make it obvious, but check out the piece on the guy to your far right.



“Garcia’s was better.”


“Jer wear a toupee. From about 1972 onward. Went to the same guy as Gene Simmons.”

This is not a fact.

“Oh, yeah. Real human hair, too. Parish used to get it for him. Sometimes, there’d be chunks of scalp still attached.”

“We doing group randos now? You got nothing, Weir.”

Not randos, Phil. That’s your band.

“This can’t be my band. Where are my children? I made my band with my own balls.”

Ew. And it is definitely your band. That’s Melvin Seals.

“Which one?”

The one that looks like his name should be Melvin Seals.

“I still think I’m winning Rando War.”

These aren’t randos!

“Agree to disagree.”

“They aren’t, Phil. Now this is a rando.”

No, Amir Bar-Lev. That is Michael Moore.

“He smells.”

I would imagine.

“And he won’t stop talking about Bernie.”

I would also imagine. You should get away from him before he rubs off on you.

“His bad luck?”

No, he physically rubs off on people. On the other hand, you might want to stand next to this fucker forever.

“It’s a good contrast, right?’

Totally. Your face has, like, bones in it.

“He just asked if I had any candy.”

Okay. Abort, abort. Get away from Michael Moore. The man makes awful movies and his voice makes me envy the Deafheads.

“But I look so good.”

Find an ugly fucker who makes good movies.

“Hmmm. Wait, I got it.”


Dude, you killed it.

“I rocked this shit.”

Why wasn’t the ’81 European tour covered in Long Strange Trip?

“Al Franken made me cut it.”


Deadheads Gonna Deadhead

Dear Amir so-called Bar-Lev:

I take time out from yelling at David Lemieux about the lack of 80’s releases to bring to your attention the MANY errors, mistakes, foul-ups in judgement, OMISSIONS, and lapses in your recent “film” Long Strange Trip.

Before I begin, let me state my credentials: I am a TRUE Deadhead. I saw Pigpen perform. Bobby snaked THREE of my girlfriends: once in Cincinnati, and two in San Diego on non-consecutive tours. Dick Latvala once called me a “pissheaded little bastard.” I fraudulently enrolled in West High in Anchorage to get better seats for the Alaska shows. I orgied with Healy. I am a REAL Deadhead, unlike some so-called Bar-Levs I could mention.

How could your movie be so long and yet leave so many things out!? Things that I wanted to see, and therefore should have been included!?

I have watched this film eight times, and gotten more furious with each viewing. Allow me to enumerate your many, many failings.

Vince A lot of people LOVED Vince, Mr. Director Person, and if it weren’t for the DNC rigging the game against him in favor of Bruce Hornsby, then he would have been the nominee. Where was he? Is he included in the Director’s Cut which, despite loathing your film, I would very much like to see?

Mickey’s Dad What the fuck is it with you, man? How could you leave this out? This was a PRIMAL MOMENT in the history of the Dead. What were you doing, making artistic choices to suit the chosen narrative structure and forced to cut things? Yeah, like that’s an excuse.

4/6/94 Miami. Great fucking show. Why was this entire concert not included in your movie? Is it because you don’t know what you’re doing? I can think of LITERALLY no other reason to not feature the full show in your movie.

Woodstock If for no other reason: it’s an obscure topic.

Phil’s Fatness With only your “documentary” as a guide, no one would have the first clue about how chubby-wubby Phil got in 80’s, and THAT’S IMPORTANT.

Jerry Garcia Could’ve used more Jerry.

I Was Not Interviewed I was not even CONSULTED, Amir So-called So-called! Al Franken gets a half-hour and what do I get? Nothing, that’s what. Althea told me to tell Al Franken to suck my balls.

In conclusion, I am dreadfully disappointed with this complete failure of a film which I am about to watch again.

Until my next letter in which I will complain about the lack of bonus features for me to complain about,
Some Internet Fucko

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