Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: bill murray

There’s Always One More

Here you go, Enthusiasts: this is my contribution. Previously, there were three pictures of Bobby in various stages of bunnification; now there are four. (I always figure if I haven’t seen a photo, then most haven’t. If that comes across as arrogant, well: consider the topic. It’s like bragging about Magic the Gathering. And plus I didn’t even claim to be the best at it, so it’s like bragging about coming in sixth at a Magic the Gathering tournament.)

The Grateful Dead, Younger Enthusiasts, didn’t do a lot of teevee. Possibly because the first time they were booked on a show,¬†Playboy After Dark¬†in 1969, they ended up dosing the entire building. But it also makes sense: there weren’t too many televised venues for any rock music back then. There was Ed Sullivan in the 1960’s, and the Smothers Brothers for a year or two, but after that the opportunities dried up. Pop stars were all over the dial, obviously, but not rock. Johnny Carson didn’t book bands at all until much later in his run. There was Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, and that was about it.

And then, in 1975, came Saturday Night Live. They had rock bands on, good ones and wild ones and sometimes things would go terribly wrong, which was horribly entertaining, and they had very hip taste. Tom Waits was on in 1977, and Sun Ra in ’78. The first four musical guests in ’78 were the Stones, Devo, Frank Zappa, and Van Morrison. (Zappa was actually the host, and that went precisely as well as you’d assume. It turns out that “doing sketch comedy with stoners” wasn’t in Frank’s toolbox; he and the cast hated each other by the end of the week.)

Week five was the Dead. The comedy writers Al Franken (who is now a Senator) and Tom Davis (who is now dead) were massive Deadheads and lobbied Lorne Michaels to book the band. He didn’t want to–the Dead were not very cool at the time, and certainly not Lorne Michaels’ New York-centric version of cool–but one has to believe that Al Franken can wear you down. Lorne must have liked them because he had them back the following year, and even let Billy be in a sketch.


Told you.

Contrary to Frank’s Zappa’s surliness, the Dead are affable fellows (and Mrs. Donna Jean) and made friends with the cast; Belushi and Ackroyd would do their Blues Brothers routine at Winterland with the band the night they closed the place down.

Phil may or may not have gone to town on Lorraine Newman.

Phil And Billy

Phil loved the Farewell Shoes. There was the overwhelmingly positive spirit coming from the crowd, and the band got along semi-decently, and the money was wonderful.

But what Phil really liked was that jean jacket Levi’s Stadium gave him.


Right after this picture was taken, Billy punched Bill Murray in the dick and whispered in his ear, “Everyone will believe you.”


“How should we decorate the green room?”

“Who’s using it?’

“Grateful Dead.”

“Hang up as much bullshit as possible.”


“And a rose.”



Phil’s had hepatitis, several different cancers, and a liver transplant, and he’s ten years older than Bill Murray, and he still looks better.

Are You Ready For A Bummer?

Please fuck off with the Bill Murray: it’s enough, we get it, what a brave and innovative position to take. Does he like the Cubs? Does he have an 800-number instead of an agent? Does he arble garble yarble shut the fuck up.


No, he fucking didn’t, not for one single fucking second.

When I hear people talk about their love for Bill Murray, I silently substitute the word “bacon” for his name, and all the sentences still make sense because the same bunch of trendsucking windowlickers that loved bacon now worship Dr. Venkman.

It’s the same bullshit, the bacon nonsense and the Murray foolishness: these are two things that no one doesn’t like. (Except for cardiologists and ex-wives, respectively.) How about blowjobs, do you like them? Naps? What about money? Do you like money? Because liking money is precisely as original as liking Bill Murray.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m a fan of the man’s, but I’ve also sat through that fucking elephant movie.

The Crying-On-The-Inside Kind, I Guess

bobby natascha bill murray
Bobby had run it by the drummers and they were fine with it, so if it weren’t for Phil’s vehement objections, Bill Murray would have sang lead on Truckin’.

According to the Innertubes, Bill Murray means things of late. He’s not the guy who half-assed it through Meatballs; he’s an icon now. Bill Murray represents stuff. Deep stuff, stuff about America, stuff about ourselves. if Esquire magazine could do a longread about Bill Murray every month, it would. He looks good on t-shirts, almost as good as Che.

And all the books ever written don’t equal his face in this picture.

One More Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live

Billy never punched John Belushi’s dick. Once at a party, he pulled a knife on Jim Belushi while screaming “World don’t want what you’re selling, you King of Also motherfucker.” And he was right, but it was a birthday party, and it was for a sick kid.

But he liked John.

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