Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: david gans (page 3 of 4)

Candy From Strangest

mandmsA couple photos this evening from Friend of the Thoughts on the Dead (FotTotD) David Gans. You know you’ve made it when you’ve got personalized M&M’s. That’s White House-level bullshit.

Keen-eyed Enthusiasts with even an entry-level degree of Rock Star Nonsense will not there are no brown M&M’s.

Cubs Of The Damned

bearschicagoDidn’t Walton kill the two of you?

Not mortal.

Not flesh.

You guys are freaking me out.

Dance with us.

Do you hear the music playing?

We will dance forever.


I don’t want to be here anymore.

Then come with us.

Come dancing.

Did you scare yourself?

I did.

Wanna watch cat videos for a while?

Are the cats going to knock stuff off tables?


And not be demonic furries from an evil pocket dimension here to eat my soul?


I would also like to enjoy some pornography.

Knock yourself out.

Things TotD Will Not Bring Up On The Radio

  • How to solve the Israel/Palestine thing.
  • Rumors about how large Huey Lewis’ dong is.
  • Trepanation.
  • Jade Helm.
  • Weaponized stampedes.
  • Intra-band politics.
  • Inter-band politics. (I will refrain from talking about the trade deal the Dead just signed with the Foo Fighters.)
  • I will not do my Bill Walton impression and tell made-up stories about Coach Wooden.
  • Big-Dicked Sheila. (Sorry, gorgeous. You know I love you, but they just wouldn’t understand.)
  • Precarious Lee.
  • Also: T-shirt Tuesday, the Briefcase of Infinite Felonies, Little Aleppo, the Dead’s involvement in the white slave trade, the Wall of Sound becoming sentient, Brent’s numerous sexual perversions.
  • I have 45 minutes to think of a better compliment for a musician than “motherfucker.”
  • And, yeah: it’s satellite and you can say it, I suppose, but: no. TotD is for the children.
  • State’s rights.
  • “Innocently” wonder how Mrs. Donna Jean is.
  • Tell you what I will do, though: remember how Carol Burnett used to do the earlobe thing at the end of her monologue to let her husband or children know she was thinking about them?
  • Potato salad might be mentioned, and when it is: that’s for you, Enthusiasts.

A Quick One (While He’s Away)

Little reminder that TotD  (your Internet Pal) will be a guest on the Tales from the Golden Road show today at 4 pm EST, chatting with the great David Gans and the immortal Gary Lambert. (Gary Lambert is a Highlander.)

Channel 23 on your Sirius dial, and I do believe they offer a free trial if you just wanna dip in and out of the refreshing pool that is my mind.

Also, I’ll only be on for ten or fifteen minutes, so if you want to have a go at yourself to the sound of my voice, you should start immediately.


Congenital orneriness.

Make it up to the people.

That’s not a bad idea, actually. How about, in honor of the monster peak Trey and his backup band hit last night on Dew, we play possibly the greatest rock and roll peak/climax/skullmelter EVAR?

Which is?

The Who Live at Leeds sparing a smile for an old engine driver.

Yeah, okay: that’s the good shit.


Oranges And Lemons, Say The Balls Of Clarence Clemons

band clarneceA-HA, fucker! You tried to trick ol’ TotD, didn’t you? You were tricksy and false, weren’t you, David Browne?

Oh, are we accusing someone new of insane conspiracies?

I J’ACCUSE YOU, DAVID BROWNE, newest shadowy figure in the international cabal of Big Dead. Covering up murders, starting up wars, looking up skirts: these are bad folks.

We’ve always known that Keeper of the Vault David Lemaeiouandsometimesyx has been behind most of the lies and death. He is assisted by The Most Right and Honorable Reverend Dr. Captain Nicodemus von Merriweather the VII, DDS, EMT, AKC (Ch.) who maintains the visual archive at UC Santa Cruz (Go Banana Slugs!)

McNally: he’s in on it. David Gans? That sumbitch knows where bodies are buried. Blair Jackson once invaded Cuba. It was in 2006, and he and his wife went with a local university and had the best time. But still: invaded Cuba.

The band may or may not know or care about any of this. Several internecine secret societies were started during the band’s run, most notably the Billuminati and the Philluminati, but they were much less Masonic societies with secret aims than they were two guys squabbling who read too many Robert Anton Wilson books and whose names rhymed with “ill.”

Bobby, it should be noted, is and has long been a member of an actual honest-to-shit Secret Society.

Anyway, in Browne’s new book, which I am not linking to again, but is called So Many Roads, he tells the little-known story of Clarence Clemons from the E Street Band befriending the band (specifically Garcia and Bobby) and getting asked to officially join, only to have someone who isn’t named in the book (ilPhay eshLay) shoot the idea down.

That’s a good story, but the short aside that follows is better: Garcia, Bobby, and Clarence fucking Clemons were going to get a bachelor pad together in the city. It would be Full House, except without the children, and the teenaged girls would be getting rogered. Also, Uncle Jesse is black and enormous.

If TotD had access to Time Sheath technology, this moment might be my new number one: the conversation where Garcia, Bobby, and Clarence Clemons decide to get a place together. Apparently, Clarence brought it up, but the idea gained enough traction to make it into a book thirty years later.

It’s a late night/early morning at Front Street:

“Man, do I love hanging out with you Grateful Deads! Shee-it, is it a change from Bruce.”

“We run a loose ship here, y’know?”

“Slack sail.”

“Gotta follow the rules in the E Street Band. Number one rule: watch Bruce. You look away for a second, he changes it up, and you miss your cue. One time, Max Weinberg got distracted by a girl in the crowd and missed a tempo change. After the show, Bruce put a hornet in Max’s ear.”

“Kind of a question of the punishment fitting the crime here.”

“Where’d he get the hornet?”

“Now, you see: there’s you two in two lines. Philosophic and practical. Bruce had the hornet in a glass jar backstage, and he also had the tweezers, and no one wanted to ask about it.”


“Mostly, it was fines. Phoning it in onstage? He’d give you this wink and a smile, but it wasn’t really a smile if you knew him: he was pissed and you just lost a hundred bucks.”

“Whaddya think Billy would do if someone fined him a hundred bucks?”

“Like someone in the band fined him for an infraction?”




“Yeah. He would murder.”

“Who, y’think?”

“Let’s not find out.”

“See: there’s Bobby being down-to-earth. You guys are great.”

“You’re great, Clarence.”

“C Dog, I am enjoying the fuck out of our visits.”

“Yeah, me too, guys. We should get a place.”

“Ha! Yeah, we should.”

“Sure, right, yeah.”


“I’m between wives at the moment.”

“–you’re between wives at the moment.”

“So is the Big Man.”

“Can we get one of those globes that opens up to reveal a bar?”

“I have one in storage.”

“Awesome. I’m in.”

According to Mr. Browne and Big Dead’s lies, the plan was abandoned for many reasons, chief–though probably unspoken amongst them being that three aging rock stars moving in together is kinda creepy and sad even for the eighties. Also, you know: someone would die. Shortly after moving in, right?

In reality, Garcia, Bobby, and the Big Man moved into a charming triplex in North Beach where they remain today, even after two of them have died. That’s how strong their bro was.

The Real Way It Is

Recently, esteemed Enthusiast, published author, and 32nd degree Freemason David Gans sat down with Bruce Hornsby for a long discussion that ranged (get it?) from Bruce’s solo career to his time with the Dead to the upcoming Farewell Shows. You can read the highlights or listen to the whole thing here.

Well, you can’t listen to the whole thing there. There is an 18-minute gap in the tapes, no doubt at the behest of Big Dead. Luckily, TotD has managed to recreate the missing minutes through a newly invented forensic audio technique called “making things up.”

TotD now presents Missing Bruce Hornsby Revelations:

  • “Bruce Hornsby” is actually a Soviet sleeper agent named Anatoly Volkoff. When the USSR collapsed, Anatoly got forgotten and left to tour the country, gathering information and playing piano at white people. Do not say the phrase “Remove the vultures from your ass, Sheila,” because that will trigger his hypnotic suggestion and he will attempt to kill President Ford.
  • Has become quite an entrepreneur, selling various health-related items at his shows and online. The most popular is Bruce Juice, which, according to the FDA, is not intended to do anything.
  • Gets boners when he hula-hoops.
  • While Bruce was always an avid basketball player, age has now reduced his game to a combination of hook shots, fade-away jumpers, and what Bruce refers to as “elbows, knees, and nut-shots.”
  • Been married for forever, and still watches his wife get undressed, which is kind of sweet.
  • Does it with secret cameras he has installed all over their bedroom, which is kind of scary.
  • Once drunkenly traded hands with Billy; it wasn’t gay because Billy didn’t have a mustache at the time.
  • Has already started teasing Dark Star.
  • Bought a plane ticket, snoozed on the flight, rented a car, drove to Jeff Chimenti’s house, walked to the door, rang the bell, punched Jeff Chimenti in the dick. Got back in the car, got back on the plane, got back to his house, masturbated to his own power.
  • Speaking of masturbation: Bruce was the last remaining subscriber to both Oui and Swank. His collections have been bound professionally.
  • Calls playing the accordion while getting a beejer a “squeeze job.”
  • Has mooned three members of the Kennedy family.
  • Did not know that babies and pee-pee came out of different lady-holes until rather recently.
  • Goes to Civil War reenactments and cosplays as a Conscientious Observer; hates himself for it.
  • Doesn’t know what the middle foot pedal on a piano is for.
  • Already had a long talk with Trey about his little elf stomp dance and how it would almost certainly bring a piano bench winging towards his head in front of 60,000 people.

You Can Shave My Head

mickey bald 83

Another pic by David Gans, author of the long-time fave Playing in the Bandfollows up on the previous pic of Mickey in a schmucky hat to reveal that the hat’s purpose was to cover his freshly shorn skull, which Mickey has shaved for a reason known only to himself and the Lord, and quite frankly, even’s God’s a bit mystified.

Theories abound, however:

  • Aerodynamics.
  • Sexual purposes.
  • A drunken, manic Billy had snuck up behind him five or six times that afternoon with a battery-powered clipper and sheared jagged h0les out of his hair; this was the only thing Mickey could do.
  • He wanted his head to look more like a drum.
  • Took too many sleeping pills, shaved it off in a fugue state, woke up like that.
  • Lice.
  • Mickey had a side gig impersonating Henry Rollins at children’s parties, bar mitzvahs, and quinceneras.
  • Garcia accidentally set his hair on fire.
  • Sold his locks to get Billy a chain and fob for his pocket watch. Billy, though, had sold his pocket watch to get Mickey hair care products. And among gift-givers, they are the wisest. They are the drummers.
  • Just participated in the largest heist in Frisco history, he can’t leave town for 24 hours, and his picture is in every window. Mickey co-stars with Demi Moore in this summer’s funniest chase movie, San Francisco Blues!
  • Just broke up with Kevin Federline and the paparazzi won’t leave him alone.
  • Bobby was showing everyone how big a bubble he could blow and you can guess the rest.
  • Someone accused him of talking the talk; Mickey needed to prove that he walks the walk.

The Eyes Have It

bobby cray cray

“Well, they offered me a spot in the Young Artists’ show at the MOMA, but is the art ready, y’know? Where is my subject; where is my object: the grammar of the piece–and all the pieces I’m currently working on–is in flux, and yes that’s part and parcel, but the public can’t be expected to know that.

“He’s making that face again, isn’t he?”


Immediately after this photo was taken, Bobby mouthed “I’m gonna pork her.”


That is the best 2/3 of a face I’ve ever seen. She ain’t bad, either.


Bobby once dropped a taquito into his chest hair and couldn’t find it for three days.


For a Dead show, this woman is a B+, but for a Bobby & the Midnites show, she is an A+ with all the extra credit questions right.


Between the lower lip and the freckles on her upper chest, this woman is killing it. The grad school manicure is worth a couple points, too.


Words that can be used to describe Bobby’s chest hair: luxuriant, thatch, thicket, bramble, muzz, glorious, nipple-concealing, persuasive, manly, ‘Squatch-y.

Greased Lazy Lightning

Once again and as usual, the award-winning TotD brings you the THE DIVINATIONS OF THE TUSHEE OF TRUTH–

You’re starting the crazy early, I see.

–that the foul and putrescent hordes of pencil-pushers and Billy-excusers at BIG DEAD would rather die than allow to see the light of day! The latest information comes from Operation: Loose Lucy, in which your intrepid bloggist engaged a classic “honey pot” scenario, dressing in woman’s clothing, or “drag” as it is known on the street. Stalking, engaging, and quickly seducing long-time Big Dead crony David Gans, your bloggist found himself suddenly and terribly in love. DAMN YOUR CHEEKBONES, GANS!

Are you done?

With the truth? NEVER? With David Gans and the way he turned my ruse back on me and tore my beating heart from my heaving chest–only to hand it back, one bite taken out? Yes!

That doesn’t even make poetic sense and it didn’t actually occur. Stop lying about decent people with indecent attorneys.

Anyway: the Carrie Underwood Sound of Music thing they did? Dead did it first.

In 1978, NBC’s president Fred Silverman, having been dosed by the comedy team of Franken & Davis, agreed to stage a live performance of Grease starring and produced by the Dead. Rehearsals immediately degenerated.

First off, both Bobby and Phil insisted on playing Kenickie and they would say the lines together and it would turn ugly ten minutes into each rehearsal.


“But, Phil…I’m so totally Kenickie. Just be reasonable on this one.”

And then they would drop to the floor and start kicking at each other like seven-year old boys because both of them had spent a good deal of time on their hair.

By the second week, two choreographers were dead and they were half million over budget. Their financial woes were exacerbated by Mickey, who, excited by being in the studio once used by Georg Solti and the NBC orchestra, hired the New York Philharmonic to accompany him while he whacked on a piano with a hammer for, oh, an hour or so. The musicians didn’t care: their checks had cleared, and when that splinter of ivory came flying off and killed the flautist, everyone kept their mouth shut. You hire an orchestra for its silence as much as for its music.

Pigpen played Eddie and sang Hot Patootie (Bless My Soul) and he sang it so good that no one minded that he had been dead for five years and was doing a number from a completely different show.

The show was finally coming together and the big night was approaching, despite the fact that quite literally no one could stop Billy from spray-painting “Greased Lightning” on a golf cart and driving it through the set, like, seven or eight times a day. He would aim for you, too, the vicious little fuck.

Garcia had disappeared as usual, so Parish understudied him and was quite good, which he should have been, given another fact that David Gans (you bastard!) is desperate to conceal: leader of the roadies Steve Parish originated the role of Danny Zucco at the Circle in the Square Theater under the uber-impresario Joseph Papp. He got mixed reviews, but he was more than adequate here, seeing how he had: A, shown up; and B, not left.

$100,000 was spent transporting the entire production–family included–and equipment to the epicenter of the Tunguska event, which Phil had been explaining was groovy for nine years now and then an additional hundred turning right the fuck around because it was, like, 40 billion below and still in the Soviet Union.

On show night, it all came together–mostly and raggedy, almost and jaggedy the way they did everything. Garcia showed up and, like all of his visits to professional studios, he was trailed by three electrician’s apprentices who would get their asses beaten by their Uncle Johnny if Captain Hippy-Dippy over there burns down the goddamn studio like he did the hotel their other Uncle Ray works at.

And he knew the words: Garcia nailed it: the high notes in Sandy and the one about cars that’s about rape (kind of), and the other stuff that’s in the musical that isn’t in the movie and it’s just the worst kind of wrist-shredding pap and you want to hear the good songs and instead it’s all “the fifties” and race relations and a high-seas romance and well-mannered gangsters playing craps.

How long has it been since you’ve seen this show?

Thirty years would be an honest rounding.


Mrs. Donna jean was a revelation, though: she played Sandra Dee with a strong and clear voice, and didn’t flinch when Keith, whacked out of his gourd, shambled violently onto the set, attacked a Chinese cameraman using a slur intended for the Italians, then dropped to the ground and began to–and this is somthing that happened so often tha it had been named–sleephowl. He would do that for ten minutes and you really had to let him. You really had to let him.

She sang through it, and acted passably, and dragged Garcia to his marks, and broke up four fights, both inter-and-intra-band. Billy sang the Teen Angel part and after Mickey was allowed to represent the drag race symbolically using the bones of that flautist he killed as a xylophone for a 35-minute drum interlude, things were almost professional

In the end, none of it mattered because Bear had miswired everything and all that was broadcast for two hours was this photo:


Somebody Call Wardrobe


Oh, no.

YES! And a thousand more of that word, that ‘yes’ word; I say it again: YES!


BIG DEAD has always lied to you, my fellow Enthusiasts, from the fact that Phil and Bear produced the sound for the moon landing that NASA faked to the coincidentally-also astronaut-related fact that Brent ate an astronaut.

Stop saying things like that.

What things? Truth things? My things of truth that are true? Things that David LIE-mieux and David Gans (who already has a funny sounding name) are FORBIDDEN BY THEIR MASTERS TO TELL YOU?

Truth would be fine. Stop telling people that Brent ate people. It’s the internet; people believe fucking anything.

I know, right? This vaccine thing–

–Oh, yeah, sure–

–is just out of control and it’s all the internet thaHOW DARE YOU DISTRACT ME FROM TRUTH!

And so easily.

The TRUTH: Mickey did not leave the band because of his father stealing all the money, plus Pigpen’s bottle cap collection, NO. I present Exhibit A

billy phil t shirts mickeyThey told him they weren’t doing T-shirt Tuesday anymore. THEY LIED TO MICKEY!

Go get the car.


Time for a road trip.  We’re going to kidnap David Lemieux and force him to tell us what he knows.*


You’re not a bright man, are you?

*This is not actually going to happen.

Older posts Newer posts
%d bloggers like this: