Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: cornell (page 1 of 2)

Next Step: Federal Holiday

Sisyphus was a pussy: he didn’t have Cornell. Roll the fucker up the hill every year; you think you’re good and May comes around again, whistling innocently. Here I am, sailor. Let’s dance.

I have no more dances in me.

And then Cornell says DANCE, FUCKER and sticks all of its hydrodicks into you.

At least this year there’s the new box set to talk about, Get Shown The Light. (There’s one  set, with the books and pictures and essays, left at Amazon.) The full set is four shows–May 5th, 7th, 8th, and 9th, 1977–from the fabled and long-lost Betty Boards. Technically, they weren’t lost: they were in the shed of a chemistry teacher who wanted too much money. By the way, now that they’re safely back in the Vault where they belong and this can’t actually happen and I can’t be implicated: I am deeply saddened by Deadheads’ refusal to heist the tapes.

But if they were stolen, then they couldn’t be remastered and sold by the Dead.

HEIST!

Good argument.

Thank you. I’ve listened to the whole set and Jeffrey Norman, et al., have done their usual brilliant job: one of the draws of the Betty Board for Cornell has always been the huge, but specific, bass; Phil always sounded like he was 200 feet tall and mad at a mid-sized city. Once again, though,  the production team has improved what seemed unimprovable: the sound is massive and immersive, with air all around the instruments

(You can still buy the three-CD release that just has Cornell on it.)

Cornell’s the Best EVAR show that the Grateful Dead played because some show has to be, and why not it? It was more available than other shows back when the Dead existed on cassette tapes and traveled via the mail; it sounded better than most other contemporaneous recordings, causing people (perhaps unconsciously) to listen to it more; it was a more accessible chunk of music than, say, Veneta’s half-hour Dark Star freakout.

So call it number one.

And so a cottage industry has built up around the myth of Cornell: books, documentaries, walking tours. There’s even a section in the Cornell bookstore dedicated to merch commemorating the show. You can buy all sorts of things.

  • Baby onesie with “The DEW, brah” written on it.
  • Take A Step Back: the turn-based role-playing game.
  • Decorative collector’s spoons. (Sold in sets of two only. The first set is okay, but the second is really good.)
  • Betty Board ® surfboards.
  • Scarlet begonias. (Seasonal)
  • Fire on the Mountain hot sauce.
  • For thirty bucks, someone who was at the show will tell you stories.
  • Leroy Neiman prints of Billy in his underwear.
  • Snow globe with Barton Hall and tiny little students coming out of the show.
  • Because it was snowing when they came out of the show.
  • Did you ever hear that before?

Anyway, it’s Cornell Day. Go listen, or don’t. You do you.

In Which I Whine About Cornell

Tomorrow. I’ll do it tomorrow. Tomorrow is tomorrow, so I’m not dealing with tomorrow today; I’ll live through tomorrow tomorrow, but today is today–a day like any other and not special at all–and so I will care about and write about whatever I want to. Tomorrow has an agenda, but today is for us. Today is free. Like birds and shit.

You all right, buddy?

Fuck Cornell.

The school?

Yes, but mostly the holiday. It’s exhausting. I can’t write about that fucking show any more than I already have, and I refuse to do it.

But the nice people will be expecting it.

The nice people were expecting to have gotten used to saying “Madam President” by now. Let ’em keep expecting things and see how happy it makes ’em.

Oh, good. A moody Sunday night raging against the dying of the choogle.

No one appreciates me. Where’s my box set?

What now?

I want a box set. I want an expansive collection of my greatest hits and dick jokes in a fancy package, and I want Nicholas von Meriweather to write the liner notes, and then I want to not buy it and download it illegally.

Okee-dokee.

And I want Mexico to pay for it.

Oh, tonight’s gonna be fun.

People want to read about the Cornell box set, then they can read what the great Jesse Jarnow wrote in Pitchfork. I agree with everything he says; he has my May ’77 proxy.

Only a 9.0?

The editors come up with those numbers. We all know Jesse would have given it a 10.

What was the last thing Pitchfork gave a 10 to?

Kendrick Lamar’s outgoing answering machine message.

Sure.

A Religious Holiday

Well, isn’t this nifty? Who says government doesn’t work for the people?

This is, however, the final draft of the document. The first version was quite different; one of the Haight Street Irregulars broke into City Hall and stole a copy so I could share it with you:

PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS the Grateful Dead’s concert at Barton Hall at Cornell University on May 8, 1977, was perhaps the best show they played that week, depending on whom you ask, and

WHEREAS the show has become a local cottage industry, and

WHEREAS on the other hand, you pop Cornell in the tape deck of your Datsun and turn that shit up, and you have a good old time, and

WHEREAS there is no Sugaree or Half-Step, precluding the show from ever truly being the greatest show of all time, and

WHEREAS it was snowing when the students exited the building, and

WHEREAS it has been said many times by many people, the best people, that Cornell was just a tremendous show, a real top show, and probably the best of all time, which is what many, many people are saying

NOW THEREFORE, I, Dan Klein, Vice Chair of the Tompkins Legislature hereby proclaim May 8, 2017, as

GRATEFUL DEAD DAY

WHICH means that all members of the Grateful Dead are eligible for up to 10% off at participating local businesses.

I Am Starting The Backlash

Let me be the first to declare Peak Cornell. (Who else is getting annoyed? Raise your hands in the Comment Section.)

I Have No Thoughts On A Book

I was going to, Enthusiasts, I was going to. I tried, and hopefully I will, but not now. I’ll have to write about Cornell in a month–it’s the 40th and the spiffy new Box Set is coming out–and if I write about Cornell ’77: The Music, The Myth, and The Magnificence of the Grateful Dead’s Concert at Barton Hall now, then I might just blow my Cornell wad and then I’ll be dry next month, and dust will shoot out of my word-cock.

What now?

My word-cock. That’s what writing is. Emptying your brain-balls  all over the page via your meaty word-cock, staining it with your essence. This is the first step towards literary immortality.

Would the second step be actually publishing something?

DON’T YOU PUBLISH-SHAME ME, MOTHERFUCKER.

All your friends have published books. Even some of the dumb ones.

I hate you.

It’s mutual. Go back to talking about the thing you’re not talking about.

Right: I have nothing to say about this book. Not that it’s a work-for-hire rush job to capitalize on the 40th that the author admits in the acknowledgements was not his idea. Not that it spends 30 or so pages delving into the backstories of the student committee that brought the Dead to the school that night. Not that one of the two glossy-paged picture sections is just photos of the Cornell campus. Not that a full ten percent of the 200 pages (I did the math) are a “Further Listening” chapter that lists several studio albums you should hear, because someone who just read 180 pages about Cornell probably needs to be told about Blues for Allah.

I’m certainly not going to mention the padding.: the ten pages on the history of audience taping in a book about a show that got famous from the SBD; the chapter on Bear and the Wall of Sound; the extended anecdote about the author’s recent trip to Bobby’s TRI Studios.

Wonder if I could just flip open at random and find padding? Let’s see.

Yup: two pages on the guy who runs Rhino Records

Thank God I’m not writing about this book; there’s nothing to write about. Go to your local library, Enthusiasts, or shoplift this book.

Corne77

We haven’t discussed the new box set–and the doings behind it–in detail yet. The first release from the newly-reacquired Betty Boards, May 1977: Get Shown The Light contains four full shows that you’ve almost certainly heard (and heard, and heard, and heard) before. The 5th, 7th, 8th, and 9th of May (New Haven, Boston, Ithaca, and Buffalo, respectively) of that magical and well-rehearsed year of 1977, shined up to a gleam and bursting with extras and bonus bullshit.

This is usually the place where I post the latest video from David Lemieuxsebitmysister, but he recorded this one inside a vacuum cleaner. I don’t know how he got the lake in there, but he accomplished it and all you can hear is wind.

Luckily, I found a piece of software that transcribes YouTube videos, and I can present to you his words here:

“Uh, hey, everybody. David Lemieux here, your old buddy Dave, and I’ve got some very exciting news. If you’re watching this you probably know that we’ll be releasing–”

[NOTE: At this point, a large duck steals Dave’s hat.]

“Hey! That’s mine!”

[NOTE: Dave chases the duck in and out of frame for two minutes and three seconds.]

“Okay, as I was saying: big news, folks. You probably remember that, after quite a bit of negotiation, we got the so-called “lost Betty Boards” back into the Vault where they belong. So what we thought would be a great way to commemorate the 40th–”

[NOTE: A small child, naked but for her toque, sprints towards the lake.]

“NO, GIRL GORDIE!”

[NOTE: Dave snares the child before she enters the water.]

“You know we can’t swim!”

[NOTE: Canadians cannot swim. Sink right to the bottom. They’re like bulldogs or chimps.]

“Go back and play with your mother Regina, and your siblings Gordie, Northstar, Jean-Luc, Fleece, and the twins, Mickie and Billie.”

[NOTE: As Girl Gordie begins to walk back to the igloo where the Lemieux family live, a duck steals her toque.]

“Darn it, not again.”

[NOTE: At this point, Dave and a small, naked child with no toque chase a duck in and out of frame for several minutes.]

There’s like twenty more minutes of that, if I’m honest.

There is also, as I mentioned, a bevy of bonus bullshit: a book, and an essay, and–in 5 of the 15,000 copies that will be shipped–a Tie-Dyed Ticket. The lucky recipients get to go to the Vault, meet DL, and be ironically murdered. Last one standing gets to be the new Dead archivist.

Cornel

cornel west suit

“You were discussing me?”

No. Cornell.

“Right, Cornel.”

Stop listening to what I say and read what I write: Cornell.

“Ah! The school.”

Yeah.

“Well, would you like to interview me?”

No.

“I have terrible things to say about Obama.”

Shocker.

Were They Ever Here At All?

IMG_4230

Does music leave scars on buildings like it does on hearts? Maybe a venue is like a coffee cup, and the inside gets stained after years of use, darkening and thickening and flavoring every cup thereafter. Or like resin on a bowl, and you could take a paper clip to, say, the Fabulous Fox and scrape off the gooey leavings?

Maybe venues have favorite bands; maybe they trade tapes; maybe some nights, they suffer through the acts just like the audience.

An old roadie I know told me that if you were in a theater on a night it was dark, and you listened carefully, you could hear it singing to itself. I don’t know how trustworthy old roadies are, though.

Thoughts On The Second Set Of 5/8/77

  • Most famous Dead intro?
  • Bill Graham at the Great American Music Hall on One From The Vault is pretty good.
  • This one just kinda happens.
  • General Admission wasn’t as highly structured in 1977 as it is today: the kids could crush up against the stage, and Take A Step Back was a regular in set lists throughout the years.
  • And then, Phil.
  • Garcia starts it, sketching out the chords.
  • Bobby, too; a tiny counterpoint.
  • And Mickey hits his tom three times:
  • BOP BOP BOP.
  • And then, Phil.
  • WOMP!
  • Ba-DOOOM.
  • And begins the second set of 5/8/77, which is the selling point of the show, which is the most famous show and BEST EVAR and Library of Congress and yarble yarble.
  • Around 70 minutes of (almost interrupted) uncut choogle: this is not the stepped-on custy shit.
  • Garcia has taken over the song, because that is what Garcias do, and his tone is purer and cleaner than it would be on Fall Tour, when he would switch from the white Travis Bean to Wolf.
  • Mrs. Donna Jean only helped out in the Scarlet>Fire transition sometimes, but I like when she did: it is very spooky and I become frightened, but in a good way.
  • She sounds like a sexy ghost.
  • Garcia is now soloing again.
  • I’m going to stop mentioning that: you should just assume Garcia is soloing at all times.
  • Anyway, here’s my thesis: the revisionists are wrong, and this set is actually special.
  • This doesn’t discount from the meta-textual bullshit that weighs the show down; a large part of why 5/8/77 is more famous than other (arguably better) shows from that tour is because it was more available than other shows, as a tape, back in the day.
  • IMG_4231
  • (I stole that picture from Jesse Jarnow, which means you have to go buy his book.)
  • That was the tape everybody had, not 5/25 or 5/5; some people may have had those shows, I suppose, but I did not.
  • As with everything else, I was strictly an end-user when it came to Dead tapes: I knew one guy who traded, and he made me copies of his stuff, and not all of it.
  • And I suspect that there were a lot more people like me than there were committed traders with libraries who were able to make any sort of educated comparison between shows.
  • But here’s the thing: if you had a thousand tapes, or a hundred, or a dozen, then one of them was going to be 5/8/77.
  • If you only had one Dead tape, then it was definitely going to be 5/8/77.
  • So, the revisionist theory states, if we had the entire Fall Tour available to us–as we do now–we would not privilege May 8th, and instead see it as just another of a string of superb shows from the East Coast.
  • The rallying cry of the Cornell Revisionist is “Not even the best show of the week.”
  • (I have decided that Cornell Revisionists are now a thing that both exists and needs to be capitalized.)
  • FANNING.
  • GARCIA IS FANNING AND I LOVE THAT FAT BASTARD SO MUCH.
  • Ahem.
  • You all right?
  • I get excited when he does that.
  • One of his better tricks.
  • They are now screwing around in between songs, which is different than tuning between songs, but they are also tuning a little.
  • A thought I’ve had: what if other bands took five minutes between each song, but we just don’t know it because they didn’t record everything?
  • Estimated starts like Scarlet: Mickey’s toms and Phil’s swoopity bass.
  • His bass–and its swoopifying–is one of arguments against Cornell Revisionism: while Phil played variations of the Scarlet intro at other shows, and was swooping up and down the neck of his guitar all year, he did it the best at this show.
  • Phil is on fucking point, motherfucker.
  • Charlie comes, Phil’s getting ’em first.
  • Get some, Phil.
  • Keith is back on the wimpleorgan, and it sounds like a funeral for a TV vampire.
  • I know I was going to stop mentioning when Garcia soloed, but he has turned the Mwah Mwah Machine back on, and it makes me so happy I had to tell someone; it’s late and I didn’t want to knock on the neighbor’s door.
  • Funny thing: remember the whole “uninterrupted choogle” thing?
  • Yeah: no.
  • Literally five minutes of absolutely nothing after Estimated.
  • Great Estimated, by the way: it’s still going as I write this, but I feel like jumping ahead in order to chastise a rock band 39 years ago.
  • Of course: the five minutes of dead air occurred at the show that occurred, but I’m listening to the show that got recorded, so it goes right from Estimated into St. Stephen, one hit after another.
  • (None of these songs were hits, at least not for the Dead.)
  • At least in the version of reality represented by the tape, the second set of 5/8 has a forward thrust, a rushing momentum, that combines with a dramatic leanness–there’s no Drums–to coalesce into a greater work; perhaps that you can’t easily break it into the “pre-Drums/post-Drums” that began to take hold around this time gives it a cohesion that was rare for later second sets.
  • Plus, it fucking rocks.
  • The Dead didn’t rock a lot.
  • We both know what they did, and what type of semi-defunct band they were.
  • But this hour-plus can stand up there with Metallica.
  • (It cannot; that is wanton hyperbole and cheapens us both.)
  • The jamming in this set is more directed than usual: it is the difference between radiation therapy and making love to a Real Doll made of plutonium.
  • And it might be the best defense of Mickey: this sound, this roar, this tumbling thunder is worth the hassle of having a second drummer, and the added hassle of having it be Mickey.
  • Not Fade Away is doing something to my loins.
  • I want to hump food.
  • Or eat sex.
  • Something primal, that you need a shower after.
  • Garcia is now playing primarily harmonics, high and wheeling and FWAAAAAAAANG and it is a good sound.
  • If forests made this sound, I would hike more.
  • But forests just sound like birds.
  • Some forests sound like monkeys.
  • But I digress.
  • If there’s any show from the tour that can rival this one, it’s 5/5; that’s it.
  • I have made my arbitrary decision: FITE ME.
  • First sets are first sets–we all love them, but they’re not allowed to drive the car–and though there are far better first sets (anything with a Sugaree or a Half-Step), no show has a better second set; ipso fact, no show is better.
  • If no show is better–
  • Don’t.
  • –then 5/8 is–
  • Don’t you do it.
  • Thank you.
  • BEST EVAR.
  • Fuck you.
  • No, not “fuck me,” pal: the category of BEST EVAR is a valid and vital one; it is chosen objectively and based on merit and logic and reason.
  • None of what you said is even possible. There’s nothing objective about art; it exists outside of language and operates purely on an emotional level. Furthermore, a piece of art this famous is even more unknowable, as it’s impossible to evaluate on its own merits. 5/8/77 is the Mona Lisa of the Dead’s universe, and you’re unable to separate the work from the bullshit.
  • Well, yeah, if you put it that way.
  • Such a good show, though.
  • Gonna get back to it.
  • You stay safe out there.
  • Sure: Keith starts out Morning Dew on the wimble, but switches over to piano; Keith always played ballads well.
  • Although Dew really isn’t a ballad; it just seems like one.
  • Faster than Ramble On Rose, for example.
  • The whole second set is quick, but it’s not a rushed and frenzied speed: it’s like a freight train full of beardos.
  • The Dew is around 14 minutes and most of it is Garcia soloing: sometimes he plays a lot of little notes, and sometimes he plays a few big notes.
  • Lyrics, lyrics, lyrics.
  • Back to soloing.
  • Listening to them well and surge and drive the song up and down, building to the peak, masterfully like this makes the 80’s–and Garcia’s slide–that much shittier.
  • The dynamics went out of the band soon after this; each song was one mood and one volume, and the music lost and got lost.
  • Everyone is listening to, and playing around, Garcia: it’s like he’s the accompaniment and the band is all soloing.
  • And now the drummers commit Ragnarok.
  • And Bobby does a little fanning of his own, but NOW GARCIA’S DOING IT AND I LOVE THAT SO MUCH AND HE WON’T STOP DOING IT and he stopped doing it BUT NOW HE IS AGAIN AND–
  • Knock it off.
  • Sorry.
  • It sounds like the end of the world, or like battleships having make-up sex.
  • And then the world ends.
  • Not with a whimper, but with a power chord.
  • But, you know: gotta do the encore, and it’s a good one.
  • One More Saturday Night gets no respect: the Dead stuck it in the encore spot, and the Dead half-assed their encores.
  • OMSN was a victim of geography.
  • Big and boppy here, though.
  • Bobby yelps and Phil swoops and Garcia solos and it sounds just like the Grateful Dead are supposed to sound.
  • There are a bunch of acceptable music theory nerd ways to change keys, but the best way is the rock and roll way: the Cymbal Crash Key Change.
  • This can be explained using the old rock maxim: If you do something loud enough, it doesn’t have to make sense.
  • Thank you all, good night.

Thoughts On The First Set Of 5/8/77

  • Inspiration, move me–
  • Oh. shut the fuck up.
  • Don’t start already.
  • Just get on with it sans invocation, please.
  • Fine: The Grateful Dead, who are currently opening with Minglewood in my headphones 39 years ago, performed a show at Cornell University, more specifically in Barton Hall, and this particular show went on to be famous.
  • Minglewood’s done already?
  • Jesus, I type slowly; now we’re at the first Garcia tune, Loser, and Keith is on the wheezy, squicky keyboard instead of piano.
  • The first reason for the show’s ascendancy to BEST EVAR is evident only a song-and-a-half in: the recording sounds great.
  • I’m listening to the Hunter Seamons matrix, which is what I linked to, and I think the blend of audience noise and the original just exactly perfect Betty Board is well-done; if you’d prefer the naked Betty (hey now), it’s also available, but not as a Charlie Miller transfer, so I can’t vouch for it.
  • Also, if you don’t listen to the matrix, then you can’t hear the guy who yells “DARK STAAAAAAR!”
  • During the first set.
  • In ’77.
  • Don’t be that guy.
  • And now I completely disgusted by humanity and need their sounds erased from my skull (except for the sounds made by the Dead) and I have switched to the SBD I had on my other hard drive.
  • People ruin everything.
  • El Paso bolsters my argument: the drummers are clean and separated; you can tell Billy’s snare from Mickey’s, and hear the difference in high-hats.
  • I’ve made this analogy before, but I like it and so I will again: Betty’s soundscapes were like cafeteria trays.
  • Every food has its own well-defined space, but they combine to form a cohesive meal.
  • Keith is hard left and loud, like he is in all the Betty Boards; Garcia and Phil overlaid on top of one another in the middle; Bobby on the left, and the sound is so clean that even while Garcia is soloing as loudly as possible (so, you know: almost always), you can still concentrate on any other player with ease.
  • Bobby’s doing these quiet harmonic accents in They Love Each Other, and even with the six of them wailing away next to him, you can still make out whether he hits two strings or three.
  • What does the Grateful Dead sound like: what the crowd heard that night, or this recording I’m listening to now?
  • The aether has stopped transmitting in Barton Hall; the sound that was heard there no longer exists.
  • Betty’s tape is still here.
  • They’re playing Jack Straw too slow.
  • Wait.
  • They sped up.
  • Good job, guys.
  • Barton Hall was, of course, named after New York fitness impresario David Barton.
  • This photo is labelled as 5/8, but take that with a grain of salt.
  • dead phil donna bobby jerry
  • The Dead looks very Grateful Dead here: it’s as if they were cosplaying as themselves.
  • Also, Bobby is not paying attention and Phil is hitting the singles bar after the show.
  • Does the show pick up at Deal?
  • It’s a great Deal.
  • Best Deal in town.
  • Hey: you can find a better Deal than this, you take it.
  • Garcia’s killing it.
  • He’s like the Spanish Flu of 1919.
  • Killing it.
  • Is this a better deal than the 10/29 from Northern Illinois?
  • Possibly.
  • Is this sort of comparison boring and pointless?
  • Shit, yeah.
  • (It is in no way better than the 10/29; that one’s the BEST EVAR.)
  • We now come to Tuning.
  • In the Dead’s defense, they got a lot better at tuning their instruments over the years, and I don’t mean that they spent less time doing it.
  • Early on in the Dead’s career, they would also spend four or five minutes tuning their guitars, but the guitars would not be in tune at the end of that time, and they would just play the song that way.
  • (Someone on Etree is bundling up all the versions of every show from 1971, and I’m grabbing the ones I don’t have; naturally, I’ve been listening to them and the only conclusion you can come to from this evidence is that at least one person in the band did not know how to tune their guitar and it was Garcia. Seriously: the man was out-of-tune for the entire year.)
  • NOOOOOOOOO!
  • TRAGIC LAZY LIGHTNING SPLICE!
  • NOOOOOOOOOO!
  • I mean, it could be in a lot worse places: the lethal cut in the 3/18/77 Caution Jam, and the Stella Blue heartbreaker from the From Egypt With Love shows.
  • You know I love me some Garcia–who is perfectly in tune here–but Bobby is doing more interesting stuff than him in this LLL>Supplication transition.
  • Garcia’s only playing one note at a time; Bobby is playing many simultaneously.
  • Seems tougher, at the least.
  • Bobby also plays more complicated parts under his vocals, whereas Garcia mostly did a B.B. King-style “play, sing, play, sing.”
  • Y’know what: Bobby is now the Garcia.
  • Stop that.
  • WHAT?
  • He’s right. I don’t wanna be the Garcia.”
  • Bobby?
  • IMG_4202
  • “In fact, I’m amazed you would even suggest it.”
  • You look surprised.
  • “There ya go.”
  • Okay, both of you: get out of here.
  • “Namaste.”
  • Bite me.
  • First set of 5/8/77 is neither overrated nor underrated.
  • Actually, I don’t know if anyone’s really bothered to rate it
  • And even if they did: fuck ’em; listen to it for yourself; it’s free.
  • Mellow first set, almost subdued; still just as tight as an offensive metaphor about the female genitalia.
  • Second cowboy, Mama Tried, which is appropriate for today and ’77, too: Mother’s Day was the next day after the Saturday show.
  • Aw.
  • “Thanks, Mom.”
  • They’re playing Row Jimmy, and I keep referring to Keith’s keyboard as a wimpleorgan in my head; I have no idea where that word came from, but it sounds right.
  • If an organ-grinder was making that sound, the monkey would be dead.
  • It’s just an unhealthy timbre, plus he’s playing it sullenly.
  • (When I make that assertion, please remember that there is an almost 100% chance that I am either projecting or making things up entirely.)
  • Reggae was not the Dead’s groove.
  • All the big bands did some reggae tunes in the late 70’s, just as they all did some disco tunes; the disco songs were uniformly better.
  • The Dead (and every other white-guy rock band) overplayed the reggae tunes, and one of the main points of reggae is to not play too many notes.
  • You just pick, like, five good ones.
  • Plus, Phil’s philosophy of bass was incompatible with reggae, although he had the correct tone for it, especially in the deeper registers
  • (Phil was playing the four-string Alembic in the picture in ’77; he wouldn’t switch to the six-string until ’84 or ’85, and I think an excellent usage of the Time Sheath would be to take that low-B back to ’74 and hear it through the Wall.)
  • Occasionally in between songs, there will be silence.
  • Not silence.
  • There are random cheers.
  • Chairs scrape.
  • But no tuning, and the mics pick up no talking.
  • And then they start the next song with a huge burst of energy.
  • I wonder what they were doing?
  • They blew this intro every single time they played this song.
  • And then Keith and Mrs. Donna Jean left the band and Brent joined; they kept the disco arrangement; they fucked up the intro with Brent, too.
  • One meeting would have solved this, and not even a full-band meeting.
  • Billy was not needed at this meeting.
  • There were only three people involved, two of whom were best friends, and two of whom have had scurrilous things printed about them: they still managed to forget whether the song started with the chorus or the verse four times our of five.
  • I prefer the disco version to the straighter take on it they did in 1970, and dragged back against both the song’s and the crowd’s will for a dozen or so shows in the 80’s.
  • Disco Dancin’ means disco jammin’ and THERE IS SO MUCH DISCO JAMMIN’.
  • They jam so hard.
  • And Garcia has activated the Funktron and powered up the Mwah Mwah Machine.
  • Remember when Bobby was playing guitar better than Garcia?
  • Yeah, that’s not happening anymore.
  • Ooh, maybe he made Garcia mad.
  • You shouldn’t look a Garcia directly in his guitar.
  • It makes him solo.
  • Other things that make Garcia solo:
    • Mornings.
    • Afternoon.
    • The rest of the day.
    • Asking him to.
    • Paying him to.
    • Sometimes Garcia will be soloing and the solo he’s playing gives him an idea for another solo, so in a way: soloing makes Garcia solo
  • This end riff is cousins to Slipknot!, I think.
  • The live fade-out is rare, but the Dead pulled it off a lot; it may be because of the lack of rehearsal needed.
  • The big TA-DA finish requires everyone to be in sync; a fade hides all mistakes.
  • I’m gonna take a short break; I’ll be right back.
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