Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: brent mydland (page 1 of 11)

Paging Chez Ray, Paging Chez Ray

Where you going?

“Getting that meatloaf sandwich.”

You’re obsessed.

“I’m hungry.”

How did Brent do?

“Who?”

Brent. Your new keyboard player. This is his first show.

“It is? I thought Donna called in sick.”

No.

“How about that? I’m sure he did great. When have we ever hired the wrong keyboardist?”

40% of the time.

“Close enough for rock and roll, right?”

Kinda.

“Now stop bothering me. Sandwich time.”

Okay.

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.

Look:

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.

A Panda All Seasons

Are you still doing this?

“I heard you got my song in your head.”

Not talking to you, John.

“I hate this site.”

I am nicer to you than any other site on the internet that’s not a John Mayer fan page.

“Yeah, okay.”

Now, shh. Hey, Brent.

“Hey, man. How’m I doing?”

Good?

“Yeah?”

You are dancing just like a panda. Hey, did you see that your daughter made her debut performance the other night?

“Of course I saw. I was there.”

Dammit, Brent.

“No one noticed me. I was in a Gruff the Crime Dog costume.”

Yeah, no one noticed you.

“What else could I do?”

Shave your beard. Literally no one on the planet would recognize you without your beard.

“I can’t.”

It’ll grow back.

“No, I can’t. There’s nothing under there. The entire lower half of my face is made of beard. It would be like sweeping a dirt floor.”

How would you know you were done?

“Exactly.”

What about a fake beard over your beard?

“That’s just silly.”

Right. Whereas wearing mascot costumes is serious business.

“In the Furry community it is.”

Don’t talk to me about that nonsense.

“You’re a bigot.”

Fine.

“Y’know, us Osaphiles get enough bullshit, and I won’t take it.”

Osaphile?

“Fur-lover.”

Don’t bring Greek into your perversions.

“Hey, fuck you, man!”

Where you going?

“I’m going to ruin a stranger’s day!”

Don’t do that, Brent.

 

Why did you do that, Brent?

“I don’t get any respect at all around here!”

That’s not true, buddy.

“You treat me like a joke!”

I do not.

“YOU MAKE ME SO MAD!”

Let it out, buddy.

Still Feel Like Your Keyboardist

What are you doing?

“Oh, hey. This is the video for my new single Still Feel Like–”

Not you.

“What?”

I’m not talking to you.

“Who are you talking to, then?’

Brent!

“Hey, buddy.”

I am NOT kidding any more. I’m taking that damn Time Sheath away from all of you.

“No one knows it’s me!”

Not the point. I’m not judging you for being a Furry, man, but do it in the 80’s. Stop wandering around the 21st century in mascot costumes.

“There are no Furries in the 80’s except for the Phillie Phanatic and the San Diego Chicken, and neither of them are talking to me.”

Why not?

“I fuck too hard.”

Oh, God, that was the worst sentence I’ve ever heard.

“Well, I didn’t want to lie. Hey, man. You think John likes me?”

I think he shouldn’t know you.

“It’s just that the other panda has been here a while, and I don’t know if I’m fitting in.”

You need to work on this self-esteem thing, buddy. You’re a great panda.

“Thanks, man. You wanna hear a song?”

No. But that doesn’t mean you’re not a great panda.

“So, John likes what I’m doing?”

Have you talked to him?

“Yeah. I said ‘Hi,’ and then he told me how he flies in his lettuce from Romania. For, like, a half-hour.”

He does that.

 

(With thanks to Cascadia’s champion, Mr. Completely, for recognizing Brent.)

The Promised Land

In keeping with local tradition, Bobby took multiple stone-cold foxes back to his room that evening.

Also: that’s Robert Vaughn on the balcony. Honest.

(This pic is from 9/4/83 at the Park West Ski Resort in Park City, Utah. The Dead played there once again in ’87 and then three shows at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City in ’95. When you think Utah, you think the Grateful Dead.)

Rock, Band

I’d not seen this shot before. The other more famous and widely-circulated frames from this roll of film, yes, but not this one. Any day, any day at all, you could wake up and meet your true love, or step in front of a Honda, or you might see a picture of the Grateful Dead you’d not before.

There’s always a reason to wake up.

OR

Get out of the picture, Rock.

OR

Spot the Heineken(s).

Mick, Thick, Hick

mickey-phil-brent-12179

LOOK AT PHIL’S TUSHEE!

Stop it.

LOOK!

Knock it off.

Fat Phil had a phat ass.

This is unpleasant.

Well, for all but five years out of life, Phil has been rail-skinny and had no butt whatsoever.

True, but still.

If Phil’s body were a set list, then you would write it “legs>back.”

Right.

No butt.

We all got it.

But here he’s got a Heineken heinie.

And bearded Mickey.

Bearded Mickey is terrifying. Scariest of all Mickey’s iterations.

True.

By The Numbers

Today, as you may know, is the birthday of both Brent Mydland and Jeff Chimenti. Enthusiasts being given to flights of a metafantastical nature, and the occasional occultishness, this has been seen as Meaningful. Maaaaaan. There is, of course, no deeper meaning to any Grateful Dead’s birthdays: they were born when they were born. (Except for Mickey. His birthday is Meaningful.)

But neither is this synchronicity strictly serendipity: it is no coincidence that there are two Grateful Deads with the same birthday. It is math.

To calculate the odds of two people in a group having the same birthday, you have to kinda work backwards a little. There’s 365 days in a year (let’s not bring Leap Year babies into this), so the probability of two people not having the same birth date is 364/365, which works out to better than 99%. Introduce another person, and the odds are 363/365, which you multiply by the first fraction. This makes your chances better, and because multiplication is magic, your odds hit even money very quickly: you don’t have to get too many people in a room before two will have the same birthday. It’s math.

There are two Grateful Deads with the same birthday because there have been so many Grateful Deads. Although, the fact that they’re both keyboardists is fuckin’ spooky, man.

A Rare Photo Of Brent Mydland As A Baby

brent-baby

Happy birthday, Brent.

Six By Nine

band-brent-photo-shoot-contact

Number four, the first one in the second row, that one makes me sad: Phil and Billy used to be friends, or at least buddies, or at least friendly enough to drunkenly paw at one another during photo shoots.

Plus, if you read the images as a story, then the story is about Mickey enjoying cocaine.

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