Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: bob weir (page 1 of 156)

I Spy With My Little Eye…

  • Classic iPod. (Behind Mrs. Donna Jean.)
  • Amazon Echo. (In between Mrs. Donna Jean and Garcia.)
  • Two iPads. (To the left of Billy and Mickey.)
  • Phil’s booty. (Behind Phil.)
  • Precarious Lee’s handiwork. (Bottom left.)



Is that a humidor?

“On top of the monitor?”


“Nope. Ashes.”

Human ashes?



“Don’t worry about it.”

Is that secure? That angle is rather…



“It’ll be fine.”

Will it?

“Should be.”

Your words don’t fill me with confidence.

“I duct taped it.”

Oh, well, then it’s fine.

“I know.”

I was being sarcastic.

“I know. Don’t care.”

Huggy Bears

Matt Busch watched. He stood and watched. Could not avert his eyes tho he begged to.

Move, feet. This is what Matt Busch told his feet and they did not listen. Turn, head.

There was a conspiracy against him. His body desired what his brain could not process.

A smell arose from the men. Lust and sweat and balls and ball powder. Close, nostrils. They would not. Small yips of pleasure came from the men. These intensified.

Matt Busch watched.


“Uh, Phil?”


“You’re really getting in there.”

“I’m just so happy, Bob.”


“Because social media didn’t exist while we were doing whatever the hell we wanted.”




Harvey And Bob

It’s like your head is voting Republican, but your feet forgot that it was Election Day again.

“Well, you know, it’s like Walt Whitman said: I’m gonna shoot all of you from this tower.”

That was Charles Whitman.

“They were cousins.”

Don’t think so. So, Bobby, you been following the news about Harvey Weinstein?

“The guy who wrote¬†Leaves of Grass?”

That was Walt Whitman.

“That is one accomplished family.”

No, Bobby. None of the people I’ve mentioned are related. Harvey Weinstein. The movie producer who enjoys rape.

“You’ll need to be far more specific.”

The fat, ugly one.

“You could still be talking about, like, a million guys.”

The Jewish one.


Okay, that wasn’t a help. Him and his brother Bob used to be concert promoters in Buffalo.

“THAT asshole?’

Ah. You remember him.

“Every time we went to Buffalo, man. Same shit from that guy. He’d tell me how pretty my hair looked.”

You did have pretty hair.

“Sure, yeah. But he was, uh, masturbating while he said it.”


“He was always trying to get me to watch him shower. Told me that if I did, he could make me a rock star.”

You were and are a rock star, Bobby.

“No, like, a real one. He was gonna get me an audition for the Eagles.”


“Finally, I just said ‘fuck it’ and told him to get in the shower and lather up.”

You watched Harvey Weinstein shower?

“No. You know Mickey’s duffel bag full of furious raccoons?”

Nice work.

“Yup. Parish nailed the door shut, too. Betty recorded the whole thing. We used to play the tape at parties.”

Proud of you, Bobby.

“Raccoons did most of the work.”


Fogey Mountain Breakdown

  • Mary Jane’s Last Dancin’ In The Streets.
  • We Can Running Down A Dream.
  • Rosa Lee MacFree Fallin’.
  • Good Morning Little American Girl.
  • I Won’t Feedback Down.
  • Standing On The Full Moon Fever.
  • Don’t Come Around And Around Here No More.

Down In Front

The past looked like shit. The present is a hyper-designed nightmare of weaponized professionalism, but the past looked like shit. It was slapped together; “good enough” was good enough for the past. You could see all the seams, several of which were fraying before your eyes. See how there’s no chairs or aisles or sub-divisions within the crowd? That’s called general admission. It kills people. Not always, and not often, but it kills people. The past was more flammable.


This is 11/27/70, which was the day after Thanksgiving that year. The Dead played on the 23rd in New York City, and then this show on the 27th. Did they fly back to the Bay, or did they eat their turdrugken in Manhattan? (Turdrugken is a chicken stuffed into drugs stuffed into a turkey.) The venue was called The Syndrome, because in 1970, you could name a venue “The Syndrome” and people would respond to that by saying “Groovy” and “Far out,” instead of “That’s a terrible fucking name. Are we in a hack novel about the Sixties? Don’t name it that.”

The Syndrome used to be called the Chicago Coliseum when the Blackhawks played there in the 20’s. In 1904, Teddy Roosevelt accepted the Republican Party’s nomination when they held their convention here; TR accepted the Bull Moose Party’s nod here, too, in 1912. Didn’t work out as well. There was roller derby during the Depression, and then the Chicago Packers laid in a hardwood floor and put up some hoops. They would change their name to the Chicago Zephyrs shortly before moving to Baltimore and becoming the Bullets, then heading a few miles south to D.C. where they are today the Washington Wizards. (Fun philosophy question: is it still the same team? Discuss.)

Out of date and lacking any sports teams to support it, the Coliseum turned to a life of crime; worse, it started presenting long-hair bands. The owners renamed the dump The Syndrome and booked acts throughout the 60’s. (Did they think the kids would be fooled by the dopey hippie name? That they would overlook the fact that the joint was less a building and more a building-shaped pile of material? I can smell the urine through the photo.)

Anyway, the Dead played there only once, on the Friday after Thanksgiving in 1970. They brought the New Riders with them, as was their wont in 1970. There’s no tape.

Three months later, 6,000 fans crammed into the arena to watch the simulcast of the Ali/Frazier fight. The projector broke. Riots broke out, and the fight fans damn near tore that old building down. The ensuing insurance inspection turned up so many fire code violations that even a bribe couldn’t fix it, and may I remind you that this was Chicago. Takes quite a bit to be beyond a bribe in that city, but the Coliseum was not longer financially feasible as a performance space. Japanese Buddhists own it now, and they do Japanese Buddhist things there. There is most likely no roller derby at all.


Check out JT Leroy looking back at the camera.


“What’s your name, boy?”

“My name is Timmy, Mr. Davis.”

“Fuck you, Timmy. I’m gonna make this out to Opie, cause you’re an Opie-looking motherfucker.”

Please be nice to children.

“Fuck children. They don’t buy records and you can’t fuck them. No use at all.”

They’re not supposed to be useful.

“Me and Brando used to hang out.”

You never actually listen to me, do you?

“Knew him for a while. Back when he wasn’t so fucking fat. Always a slob, though. Used to go over his apartment. Pizza boxes and shit all over the place. Be wearing that white tee-shirt from the movies. Think he stole it off the set cause he’s the cheapest motherfucker you ever met. Got his tee-shirt on and no drawers. Dick hanging out. Then he’d start trying to make me eggs. Motherfucker’s cracking eggs and his dick’s flopping into the fucking pan.”

Did you have the eggs?

“I ain’t eating dick eggs, motherfucker.”


“Always been very particular about my food. Like it a certain way. Frances knew how to make my food.”

Your first wife.

“Yeah. Cooked real good. Not too heavy on the spices. Gotta have a little bit. Can’t be eating that bland white shit. You know white people just boil a chicken and eat that shit?”

I do, yes.

“Fuck is wrong with you people?”

A lot.

“Gotta have some flavor, but just a bit. Can’t be playing trumpet with a heavy stomach. Burping into your horn and shit. Not right. I fired Steve Grossman for that shit.”

Could Cecily Tyson cook the way you liked?

“She could order the shit I liked from room service. That’s about it.”

“Mr. Davis, may I have your autograph, please?”

“That’s nice. Respectful. What’s your name, white boy?”

“Bobby, sir.”

“You look familiar.”

“Yeah, uh, we shared a bill two years ago when I was 22.”

“What the fuck is happening?”

“Well, it’s sort of a floating timeline around here. Are you, uh, familiar with the concept of semi-fictionality?”


“Next motherfucker that asks me that stupid bullshit is getting shot!”

Please don’t shoot the children, Mr. Davis.

“I shoot whoever the fuck I want.”

Bobby, just run.

“I want my autograph.”

The Victory Lap Continues

What’s going on here?


I don’t think so.

“Did I win an Emmy? Because if I did, I got a great speech on diversity in my pocket.”

Not the Emmys. Oh, wait, I know what happened. You were named a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations. Congratulations.

“Um, thanks. Big honor. Question.”

I don’t know what a Goodwill Ambassador does, Bobby.

“Then I have no questions. Well, no. I have many. Do I get diplomatic immunity?”

Probably not.

“What about other sorts of immunity?”

Like, to diseases?



“So, I can still get rabies?”


“Important piece of information. What about parking?”

You’re not a diplomat, Bobby. You don’t get free parking everywhere.



“Not really seeing what the benefit of this new gig is.”

It’s an honor. You’re gonna work to end Climate Change.

“Sure, sure, yup. Uh, how?”

Singing cowboy songs at it?

“Oh. Well, then, they picked the right guy. Any pay come with this job?”

No, but you can yoink some merch from the U.N. gift shop.

“Well, that’s pretty sweet.”

These Guys Really Know Where Their Towels Are

What is this?

“Tell Cersei it was me.”

Don’t be a meme, Bobby.

“I’m just playing with ya. I didn’t do anything at all to Cersei.”

I know.

“It’s just hot as all get-out, man.”

Well, tell Jim James to get out of the black jeans and cowboy boots.

“I’m not the wardrobe police. People can wear what they want.”

Swastika armbands?

“I guess. Freedom of arms.”


“But, uh, I’m not jamming with you if you’re wearing that shit.”

I wouldn’t think so.

“I check Phil every time we play.”

You check Phil for swastikas?

“Radicalization can happen at any time in life.”

I think Phil’s trustworthy on that subject.

“It’s like Grace Slick always used to say: ‘Trust, but verify.'”

Ronald Reagan said that, Bobby.

“Ah. I always get them confused.”

They both had black hair.

“Right. And they were both into perestroika.”


Bangs Bangs (My Bobby Shot Me Down)

Hey, Bobby. Whatcha doing?

“Thinking about growing out my bangs.”

Don’t do that.

“They look good on whoever this is. Karen O.?”

No. Nikki Bluhm.

“Both of those names are spelled wrong.”

I’m not in charge of other people’s names.

“What about Precarious?”

He’s not real.

“I just had lunch with him.”


“I think I have the face to pull off bangs.”

You don’t. Don’t grow bangs.

“What about beard bangs?”

Not a thing.


You look fine, Bobby. What you’ve got is working for you.

“I know, sure, but you wanna switch things up every once in a while. Keeps things new in the bedroom.”

You think your wife–

“Natasha Monster.”

–will like you with bangs?

“Yup, yup. She’s, uh, a big Betty Page fan.”

Think this one through, buddy.

“Well, you know, hair grows pretty slow. I got a few months to make my mind up.”

I’m sure you’ll make the right decision.

“Or maybe a fashy.”

The bangs would be better.


Bowling With The Homies

Hey, Holly Bowling. Whatcha doing?

“Me? You have to bother me?”

Phil yells at me, Bobby has too much crap in his sweatpants, and Jim James kinda scares me a little.

“What about Ross James?”

The whole James family scares me. Beardos.


So, how you doing? I see you brought your hat.

“Leave the hat alone.”

Does it have a road case?

“Please stop talking to me. I’m concentrating.”

What are you playing?

“Dark Star.”

It’s just a jam in D minor.

“Please don’t say–”

The saddest of all keys.

“–the saddest…you’re so original.”

How’s that all-girl jam band coming together?

“It’s not. I’m very happy with my career, and I don’t need advice from you. Holy shit, do I not need advice from you.”

Oh, no. You’re right. I give terrible advice. You need a manager.

“I have a–”


“Where is that coming from? Bobby’s sweatpants?”

He really does have a lot of junk in there.


“I left my phone backstage.”

Check your hat.

“Stop making fun of my hat.”

I’m celebrating it. Check under your hat.”

“Yup. Phone.”

Told you.”

“You’re rolling with Bowling.”

“Great phone greeting, Holl. Perfect.”

“I know this rasp.”

“Holly, it’s Benjy Eisen in a chipmunk costume.”

“Where’d you get a chipmunk costume?”

“Stole it from Brent.”

“Why are you in a chipmunk costume?”

“Don’t worry about the chipmunk costume. This is not about the chipmunk costume. You’d look great in a chipmunk costume.”

“What do you want, Benjy?”

“I wanna take your career to the next level.”

“No, thank you.”

“Listen to my idea first.”


“Jam-themed holiday album.”


“It’s called Have A Holly, Holly Christmas.”


“What if I told you I could get you a sponsor?”

“A sponsor?”

“Absolutely. How do you feel about wearing a chipmunk costume onstage?”

“I’m hanging up.”

“Is Billy there?”


“Can you leave me out of your little make-em-ups, please?”

I promise nothing, Holly Bowling.

“You suck.”

Do you consider your last name to be more of a gerund or a participle?




Oh, hi, Phil.

“Fuck off!”

Your hair looks great.

“I know. Fuck off.”


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