Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: david gans (page 1 of 4)

Old Friends And A Truly Unexpected Cameo


What’s this now?

Handsome bastard alert.

Please don’t be weird.

Look at ’em! Specimens, these two. Looks like the intro to a high-quality pornograph.

Stop it.

Is a lady getting thrown in there? Are they doing stuff on each other? The opening shot of a dirty movie is so important. Remember The Cockfather? The guy’s sitting there in the dramatic lighting and he goes “I blow loads on America” and–

I need you to shut up.

–BADABOOM Michael gets it all over his nice ivy league suit.

Are you done?

I need a cigarette.

Is there a reason you’ve posted this picture?

Of course. To remind the Enthusiasts that Christmas is approaching and there may be no better present than a book. Books don’t need batteries, or spy on you for the NSA, and they weren’t put together by Chinese slave labor. Books don’t lock women in their office and masturbate at them. Books don’t retweet racist jokes on Twitter. (Their authors sometimes do, but don’t blame the book for its writer being a shithead.) A book will never steal twenty dollars from your purse and use it to buy scratch tickets and Dust-Off. Books will not laugh at your genitals, unless you are talking about Dickens’ lost classic You Call That A Dick?

So buy books for Christmas. The Deadhead in your life will love This Is All A Dream We Dreamed: An Oral History Of The Grateful Dead by David Gans and Blair Jackson and the history buff will appreciate Chris Jennings’ Paradise Now: The Story of American Utopianism. Hell, don’t believe me: go ask Sci-Fi Loni Anderson.

“I think David and Chris’ books are out of this world!”

See? Go buy their books.

Riding ‘Cross The Land, Playing In A Tributing Band

In Grateful Dead-related news–

This is about the Dead?

–we have two items…shut up, you…for the discerning Enthusiasts appraisal this evening. First up is this history of the Dead (among others) at the Capitol Theater; the Dead often played the Cap, which is in Port Chester, NY, right outside the city, because Bobby was still scared of Manhattan after being mugged his first time there.

Second comes to us courtesy FoTotD David Gans from the land Down Under, where the Tribute Band ideovirus has apparently gotten past the quarentine; Enthusiasts, there now exists antipodal choogle, and that is a good thing. Wave the flag far and wide, as the song goes. Not only is Dead Set (the band’s name is Dead Set, instead of Hippiedoos or Grangalanga Dingers or something) in Australia, they’re in the middle of nowhere in Australia, Byron Bay. Neighboring towns include Mullumbimby, Boonoo Boonoo, and an abandoned Blockbuster Video stocked exclusively with copies of the 1971 cult classic Walkabout.

Dead Set may be the farthest flung Tribute Band, though they could be topped by an outfit in Perth. (Fun fact: a Dead band that formed within the confines of McMurdo Station on Antarctica would be closer than either Australia city. Spheres!) They’re almost 2,000 miles closer than the Warlocks of Tokyo, who are far better than a Japanese TB has any right being, especially when Joe Russo is sitting in with them.

Of course, there are bands closer to home. One of the longest-running Tribute Bands in the world is The Rosalie MacFall in Manchester, England. The Fake Jerry is prone to firing drummers in the middle of sets; there have been close to 150 members of the band since its inception in summer of 1972. A local rock nerd once tried to put together a comprehensive list of participants and accidentally wound up exposing the Panama Papers.

Parisians have been noodle-dancing to Nous Essayons de Jouer les Chansons du Grand Barbu, Mais Nous Sommes Voués à L’échec since 1972, as well, but the drummers’ constant strikes have hampered the band’s popularity.

Albania thought they had a Dead Tribute Band for a while, but it turned out to be a bunch of goats.

Dropping In

You look familiar.

“Hi, I’m David Gans, host of the Grateful Dead Hour on SiriusXM’s GD Radio, and I’m here to tell you about my new album.”

Did…did you travel through time to plug your record?



“Gotta hustle in an expanding music market.”

True. Usually, people around here break the laws of temporality for much dumber reasons. Billy keeps using the Time Sheath to score–and I’m quoting–Etruscan puss.

“Well, I can see doing that once. You know, for the experience.”

He’s there all the time. They know him in Etrusca.

“I don’t think the Etruscans lived in Etrusca.”


“Can you pay attention? I literally traveled through time to tell the Enthusiasts about my album.”

In a Beetle, nonetheless.

“I bought it off an astronomer. Anyway, the record’s called Drop The Bone and it’s solo and full band stuff, originals and covers. Little bit of everything.”

Sounds good, but can we hear some of it?

“Funny you should ask that.”

You gonna hang around 2017?

“Fuck, no. It’s horrible here.”

Everything’s broken and covered in sadness, yeah.

“Hey, Young David Gans!”

Who was that?

“It’s me, Young Steve Silberman!”

Oh, for fuck’s sake.

“Hey, Young Steve! What are you up to?”

“Being young, going to Dead shows. You?”

“Same! I love being young and going to Dead shows!”

“We should do that right now!”

“Is there a Dead show right now?”

“I have the Time Sheath, so: yes.”


Can you two take this somewhere–

“Hey, guys! I heard you were being young and going to Dead shows, eh?”

I know that accent.

“Hey, Dave!”

“David. Hey, Dave!”

“Hey, Dave!”

“David. Hey, Steve!”


“Was there a young person’s party?”


“You’re very rude.”

I like your Bar Mitzvah suit.

“Thank you.”

Beck And Will Call

This might be the only time I can say this: Bill Graham is adorable.


That woman’s hair is crooked.


Those are Ovation guitars, Young Enthusiasts. They were made of polymers and petroleum squeezings, and their backs were big salad bowls made of tacky, thick plastic. They were popular because they were (one of) the first acoustic-electric guitars, which meant they had built-in pickups and you could plug them right into the amp. Before this, you would hold your acoustic guitar in the vicinity of a microphone; this would produce a sound made of 90% feedback, 5% extraneous noise, and 5% music.

Any song you played on an Ovation sounded like Bon Jovi.


That couch is mostly semen and marijuana seeds.


Seven drinks for five people. Sounds like Grateful Dead math.


“Um, excuse me.”

Oh, hey, Bobby. What’s up?

“You seen my beard?”

Look to your left.


And twenty years in the future.

“Ah, there it is.”


Hey, David Gans, author of This is all a Dream we Dreamed. Is that you next to Bobby?

Ventura Speedway Boogie

Holy shit, is this too much Grateful Dead. I’ve listened to, like, four Dead shows today and this is too much Grateful Dead. It’s like sugar: a little sugar in your coffee is good, but too much sugar and three days of Dead tribute bands is ridiculous.

Excuse me.


Get your facts straight: there are also Jerry Band tribute acts.

This is my Guantanamo right here.

The question is: how many of these are tribute bands, and how many are cosplay outfits?

You mean, like, they got a Bobby in Bobby clothes that tells Bobby’s jokes, and Fake Billy has a mustache and fake-punches real dicks?”


80/20% ratio.


People love being outside. I don’t get it.

It’s a mystery.

Of course, FoTotD David Gans will be wonderful.

Of course, and his book can be purchased here in softcover. Hey, you wanna see something scary?




This is why Trump won.

It is, yeah.

Bring The Kiddies, Bring The (Keyboardist’s) Wife

stealie mets

Attention New York Enthusiasts: do you wanna hear some news, or should I just go fuck myself?

God, that’s an old joke.

The good bits and the new material go in the big posts.

Sure. So what’s the news?

Dead & Co will not be at CitiField.

What? So who will be?


Mrs. Donna Jean?

You didn’t hear it from me.

Who’d I hear it from, then?

No idea. But do you know that This Is All A Dream We Dreamed, the spectacular oral history of the Dead co-written by the great David Gans, is only $22.99 from Amazon?

I didn’t.

It’s a good deal.

Throw It Down, Big Gans

david gans bill walton

FoTotD David Gans, whose book This Is All A Dream We Dreamed is available at Amazon, and Bill Walton, whose book is also available at Amazon, had themselves a good old-fashioned Dead shirt-off this morning. Out of respect for Bill Walton’s achievements, I will declare this a draw (even though I am a complete sucker for the flying eyeball).

David Gans also interviewed Bill Walton for KPFA; it’ll air on Wednesday next Wednesday, June 29th, at 8pm Pacific and I have inside information: Bill Walton is gregarious, digressive, and enthusiastic. Hope I didn’t spoil it for you.

What if you can’t wait for a Coach Wooden story? Well, you’re in luck:

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 4.38.39 PM

The big man’s at Bobby’s place tonight, the Sweetwater, talking about stuff and marveling at things. Also, as you can see by the title “An Evening With Bill Walton,” the New Riders will be opening and there will be an acoustic set. If you’re in the area, go over and ask him dopey questions.

Leshy And The Gans Man In The Morning!


Here’s a cool shot I hadn’t seen before: FoTotD, and co-author of the acclaimed This Is All A Dream We Dreamed, David Gans with Phil doing some radio sometime in the late 80’s. David has that expression on his face because Billy has been calling in for the past hour on multiple phone lines, and every time he gets on the air he screams “BABA BOOEY!” and it’s tough to keep a call-in show going under those circumstances.

We Want The Airwaves

Two pieces of news on this Sunday, Enthusiasts:

  1. Tales from the Golden Road, the long-running Grateful Dead radio show on SiriusXM’s channel 23 hosted by David Gans (co-author of This is All a Dream we Dreamed)and Gary Lambert, will be a FoTotD party today: Jesse Jarnow, author of Heads, and David Browne, author of So Many Roads, will be appearing on the show at 4 o’clock today (Eastern). They’ll be taking calls, and if you’d like to phone in and bring up, say, poop on the bocce courts or magical highways or a sentient PA system, then that would be cool. Even cooler, you could buy all of their books in the sidebar.
  2. TotD will not be covering the Beyoncé album.

Radio Daze

F(s)oTotD David Gans and Gary Lambert had Young John Mayer as a guest on their Tales from the Golden Road show on Sirius/XM; he stayed for the whole two hours and Bobby even called in from vacation. You can listen here, but if you don’t have the time, then here’s some of what we learned from YJM, with a guest appearance from OBW.

  • Went through three different bandana wranglers during the tour.
  • Engaged to Jon Lovitz.
  • Still has not met Jeff Chimenti, but has heard great things.
  • Through regression therapy, John Mayer has realized that in a past life, he was the ladder used in the Lindbergh baby kidnapping.
  • The Earthroamer still smells; also, Billy stole the engine.
  • Convinced that this is the Orioles’ year.
  • Speaking of baseball, John Mayer brought a bat into the studio and smacked it into his palm whenever David or Gary asked a question he didn’t appreciate.
  • The Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Astromystérieux was hands-down the sensation of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, but the Panerai Lo Scienziato was a close second; never underestimate an angled tourbillon regulator.
  • Was at a big fancy Hollywood party the other day and got to sloppy second with Shailene Woodley.
  • Interrupted the interview five times to ask his Instagram followers to click that thing in the upper right corner; Gary Lambert reminded him they were on the radio; John swung the baseball bat at him.
  • Not only revealed that his penis was nicknamed “The Sloppy Jalopy,” but also explained the origin of the name. (Leaks oil.)
  • A fan of the tried-and-true radio bit, Young John Mayer made a few phony phone calls, but they were all to Katy Perry and they all ended in tears.
  • “Hello? Hi? This is, um, Bobby from Marin. Am I on the air? Wow, cool. Anyway: long-time caller, first-time listener. Could you play some Jimmy Buffett for my wife, Natasha Monster?”
  • “No, Bobby, this is Tales from the–“
  • “Dammit, I forgot to say the Phrase That Pays.”
  • And so on.
  • John Mayer is seriously contemplating getting off that fence and going Full Kimono.
  • Billy had a miniaturized tactical nuke implanted into his brain before the tour started; it detonates if the tempo goes above a certain bpm, and that’s why everything’s so slow.
  • Running out of excuses to give Mickey regarding the late night hotel drum sessions.
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