Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: fillmore east (page 1 of 2)

Ready, Set-Up, Go




“Which part?”

All of it.

“Drummers wanted to be up front.”

Why did you let them?

“Why would I care? They wanna set up in the bathroom, I’ll set ’em up in the bathroom.”

What about Phil?

“What about him?”

Why is he all the way in the back?

“He was feeling anti-social today.”

Sure. Precarious?


Is there any security at all?

“Now there is. Shitloads of it.”

What about in 1970 when the picture was taken?

“Yeah, no. No security at all. Concept didn’t exist. You hoped that the kids were too fucked up to riot, and the road crew punched stagehoppers. That was it.”

The good old days.

“The old days.”

Gonna Break My Rusty Cage


I’m sure there’s an explanation for the cage behind Garcia beyond “the past was weird as shit,” but I can’t figure it out.

Also: this pic’s from 2/11/70 at the Fillmore East; you can listen to it here, because everything happens simultaneously nowadays.

Musical, Chair

jerry pedal new riders fillmore 71This is the New Riders in 1970 at the Fillmore, and my favorite part of the shot is Garcia’s rickety wooden folding chair. You know Bill Graham charged him rent on it, too.

The Miles Flew By

Miles Davis 69518-17aYou didn’t go for subtlety in your automobiles, did you?

“A black man can’t drive a Ferrari?”

A black man can drive whatever the hell he wants! I was referring specifically to you.

“You saying I ain’t a black man?”

You have the worst interpersonal skills I’ve ever seen.

“Suck my dick, honky.”

Simmer down, Mr. Davis. Which Ferrari is this?

“1967 275 GTB/4. 3.3 liter V-12 with six carburetors.  How many carburetors your car have?”


“So, I win.”

I don’t think that’s how technology works.

“Shut the fuck up. This car was designed by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti. Who designed your car?”

A guy named Richard, according to the internet.

“White motherfucker.”

Why would you assume that?

“What’s his last name?”


“Hyphenated white motherfucker.”

Sure, probably. Didn’t you end up crashing all of your cars?

“I bought ’em: I can do whatever I want with ’em.”


If On A Tuesday

There might be no show biz trick more primal, more bankable, or more affordable than coming out in matching outfits.

There may, however, be no act more Grateful Dead than Phil fucking the whole thing up with a vest he stole from a lesbian bookstore owner. (That phrase was ambiguous, so allow me to explain: both the human and the bookstore are lesbian in nature. Lesbian in a vest sitting behind the counter of a bookstore that caters to lesbians. There are absolutely no dicks in this equation.)

The Fix Is In

band bw 1:3:70

Another pic from 1970–in fact, from the show I recommended from January–at the old Fillmore East. Of note, Mickey’s goofy grin and Bobby in the back fixing his guitar.

One Two

January in New York City is a dark time. Days are 20 minutes long at most and there is not even Christmas to look forward to: just another ten weeks of gloom, snow, and bitter windy cold.

But the Dead have work to do and, fresh from their New Year’s run at Boston’s The Ark, they played the Fillmore East on 1/2/70. For unknown reasons, the tracks are repeated on all the streamable versions of this show so you’ll have to figure something out or just give up and turn the car at a tree and hit the gas: choice is up to you.

But I would advise sticking around for a little longer; give this one a try. Mason’s Children opener, nice Easy Wind, and a great Live/Dead sequence (with a tragic cut removing the very end of Dark Star and beginning of St. Stephen.)

The Tamb Lies Down On Broadway

pigpen tamborine

His stomach had been hurting for weeks now, no one was participating in T-Shirt Tuesday, and the tambourine’s the instrument they give to the kid who’s not allowed to use metal cutlery in the cafeteria: Pig was having a shitty night.

For A Buck And A Quarter…

pig fillmore east bw

…what more you want?

But The Man There Said The Music Never Stopped

Listening to ’71 tonight, that rough-hewn and frenetic whipsaw of a year. Everything was changing and, for the only time in its history, there weren’t enough people in the band.

They closed down the Fillmore, starting on 4/25/71 with the legendary Dollar-and-a-quarter routine from Pig in the middle of a Good Lovin that defies you to believe that the song started its existence as a bubble-gum song.

This is what Phil looked like:

phil 71 sg


And then they closed down the Sacred Store.

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