Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: betty cantor

Recording Angel

betty red rocks headphones

The 7/7/78 from the new Complete July ’78 Complete Recordings is up on Spotify (and, I’m sure, other places) and you should go listen to it. I’m only at Good Lovin’, and I am ready to pronounce this the Best Sounding Release EVAR. I’d write more, but I wanted to tell you right away.

Thank you, Betty, for your Boards. No other band had a Betty, but no other band needed one.

G’Day To You, Old Southern Skies

The Dead never went to Australia. There were many reasons: the 85-hour plane flight, the visa requirements (Billy had bitten the last three doctors who tried to give him a booster shot, so Rakow had had to forge the paperwork for the insurance company and immigration tends to look at things more closely,) and the fact that Bobby was convinced he was “gonna fall off, man. Opposite Day’s one thing, but Upside-down Day? Not on my watch.”

The Dead down under? Silliness.

But it happened.

Once again, David Lemeuixxx (DL’s alter-ego who runs a Dead-themed webcam show in which he talks about the upcoming releases while removing up to three layers of fleece and/or goretex) has roused a TUMESCENT TERROR from the nether reaches where lies spawn and honor receives a bad haircut. A DEMON OF LIES, is he, out to ROGER US PROPERLY with his FIB-BONER!

I can’t even look at you right now.

The Dead did indeed visit Australia, and New Zealand too, in the Summer of ’77. Mickey’s car crash was a ruse, a shuck, a jive: twaddle, I calls it! Think about it: Mickey getting fucked up and doing something stupid that cost the organization a small fortune? Does that sound like Mickey?

The plane ride went poorly. Everything got covered in acid and then there was turbulence so everything got covered in vomit and there were still, like, 32 hours to go.

Their arrival went poorly, too. In Australia, they’re fond of a certain word, starts with a “C,” they use it constantly about everyone and everything. We don’t. So, when the custom official, in what he thought was friendly banter, called Betty Cantor that, she hauled off and socked the dumb cunt.

Nicely done. Subtle.

Luckily, the entire country–including everyone in authority–is made up of sunstroked lunatics of criminal stock, so they respect a good border-guard whalloping. They think it’s a way of asserting your home countries’ pride. Australians are like Klingons in flip-flops.

The shows went poorly, as could be guessed: there were too many distractions. Jon McIntire got eaten by a kangaroo, then fired by Billy for it. Keith, having accidentally taken too may uppers instead of his usual barbiturates, declared himself Cockodile Dundee and wandered around Perth stark naked and demanding strangers look at his Uluru. It was nice of him to use the traditional name for it, but still.

The disasters continued: Garcia was mistaken for a koala and forced to pose with tourists in a nature preserve: he didn’t much mind because they kept him tranquilized and he copped a lot of feels when good-looking ladies took a picture.

The last dates were in New Zealand, so the boys rented a boat to make the hop, except it’s about 900 miles between Australia and NZ, so they nearly died 9 or 10 times and when they got there, everyone realized that it was just hobbits and sheep and cliffs–New Zealand is basically warm Iceland–so they went home and when they rehired Jon McIntire, who had been brought back to life via Time Sheath technology, his first task was to hunt down all the tapes of the shows and destroy them. When he had burned the last tape, Billy fired him again for no discernible reason.

Go Banana Slugs!

Sure, maybe the past week or so has been Thoughts on the (1978) Dead, but last I checked, I wasn’t being paid, so I can do whatever. 6/4/78 at UC Santa Barbara

The show of the day is NOT one of the latest batch: nothing almost-great about this one; just top to bottom greatness, from the stampede out the gate of Bertha to insanely happy bounce of Tennessee Jed to the highlight of the first set (and there is serious mad magic in this first set), Jack Straw featuring Bobby trying to top Garcia’s enthusiastic line-readings only to crack himself up and lead the whole band to red-line Betty Cantor’s recording equipment.

Is there a second set? They do!

That makes no sense on any level.

I’ve talked about the problems Samson had before: it could get boring, repetitious, and most of all, wobbly. But once in a while, they played that motherfucker like Wolverine berserking out, slicing the rhythms in pieces and making it feel un-manly for being hairless. Garcia can’t even wait ’til the song starts to start knocking phrase and lines and IDEAS out the ballpark and Bobby is in your right ear playing what can only be described as Sci-Fi guitar and the drummers have Voltron’d themselves into one great, hairy, dickpunching beast and everything is perfect, everything is just exactly perfect.

Why are you still here? Go there; listen to that.

The Kids, They Dance

The Grateful Dead at Fox Warfield Recording Studio

The guy in the middle ate some of Garcia’s ice cream in front of Parrish.

Hello Dolly

Where is Garcia’s grave?

No idea. You want to take a road trip, pay your respects?

They’ve come so far with genetics.


Both of you in my office. Meanwhile, you nice folks enjoy a picture of Mickey sexually harassing Betty Cantor.

mickey betty studio

Fly Betty

I don’t need to tell you the story of the Betty Boards, you know the story of the Betty Boards. This is the story of the Betty Boards.

Once upon a time, there was a fair maiden who wandered into a cave occupied by bears. (And Bear, but that’s not important right now.)

betty pretty

Realizing within minutes that she was indeed a woman, the hairy bears attempted to mount her, but she did a karate-style move and punched one of the bears (the one that looked like Brian-Doyle Murray) in his bear-dick. The bears were impressed by this show of toughness and asked the princess to join their family

Did she have any skills, the bears wondered. Honestly, some of the bears wondered that. The pretty bear was just kind of staring into space mumbling a song about using laser eyes on people, but since the other bears were acting as if that happened a lot, I don’t think we should worry about it.

Well, I’m pretty good at recording the live doodlings of country influenced improvisational groups with delusions of grandeur, the princess replied.

betty cantor

The bears were excited, as it turns out that they were, in fact, that very type of band

And what else, the bears inquired.

I used to work at a home for the criminally insane and sexually cantankerous, the princess said.

That will come in very handy, the bears answered.

road crew betty

And I look spectacular with the light streaming in from behind me, the princess told the bears.*

betty phil

Your nose looks very Jewish in that photo, said one of the bears whom I won’t identify because he had been drinking and it was Billy.

The princess didn’t dignify that with a response.

Welcome to the family, the bears cheered after the ones who had taken too much cocaine roused the ones who had taken too much heroin.

Do you know where I can rent a storage locker, asked the princess.

And they all lived happily ever after, except for the keyboardist bears who all died.


* As noted in the comment below, this photo is NOT of Betty, but instead of the polymath Rosie McGee, whose wonderful book Dancing with the Dead  can be ordered at her website, and who, through her pictures, told the story of the Dead as well as any doorstop-sized book. Sorry, Rosie.

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