The lighting makes it look like Garcia is naked from the waist down, or as my grandpa used to call it, Porky Pigging it.
A little something for a Sunday night. You could always watch TV, or whatever substitutes for it nowadays, but it’s the Dog Days; we must pay Sirius his due for our frivolity and there is Nothing On. The NFL has begun its yearly forced march through the pre-season, where the only fun is watching other teams’ stars get irrevocably broken for no reason whatsoever. Knees and hamstrings are like non-toilet trained children: when they wanna, go, they go. I always did have an odd respect for people, place, and things that didn’t even play at being reasonable. Infants, lunatics, transmissions: your plans mean nothing to them.
Maybe that’s part of the appeal with the Dead? Not only did they not take requests, they didn’t take requests lightly. Like, even Garcia, reputedly the most gracious out of the lot, had pointed barbs out whenever the peanut gallery started acting up. The Grateful Dead heckled the audience back. This is rare in the show business industry.
Tonight’s a classic: The Fillmore East, from 2/11/70. So much Phil: there are 35 or 40 people on the stage–3 keyboardists and 5-and-a-half drummers and Allman brothers and Fleetwoods and Macs and Jay-Z comes out during the Spanish Jam to drop a verse about how well things are going for him and it’s STILL ALL ABOUT MOTHERFUCKING PHILBERT J. LESH, MY BAKED BRO-TATO.
It’s pointless and distracting and masturbatory rock nerd bullshit to go through the entire roster of who was there, of the woof and weft of what happened that night, so leave at it this:
That night lasted until well into the next morning.
For some there, that night lasted for the rest of their lives.
If you don’t like the Other One>Cosmic Charlie>Uncle John’s>High Time, then you don’t like the Grateful Dead. It’s that simple.
It’s a Bear recording, which means all the vocals are slammed hard to one side, but what vocals they are! The boys had recently been taking vocal lessons from The Crosby, Stills, and Nashes and recording Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty out at Wally Heider’s and they were having a glorious time with their new instruments, shouting and squealing and swoozling and swozzling Hunter’s California prayers at the TOP of their lungs.
And it didn’t always work, no. But when they got their harmonies juiced and oiled down, it was magic.
P.S. If I had a Time Sheath, then the first thing I would do would be to go back to this show and have sex with the Dark Star. That’s how good it is: it would supersede killing Hitler or betting on things in the past to be a billionaire. First: sex with a song played during the second Nixon administration, second and third (reaaaaaaally close) would be the money thing and then Hitler. And let’s be completely honest, I probably wouldn’t kill Hitler: it seems like a lot of work doing things that are well outside my skill set. Plus, I don’t want to kill anybody, even Hitler. Who kills people? Hitler kills people, that’s who! I’m no Hitler!
STOP SAYING HITLER!
How do you have sex with a song, anyway? Especially en epic, half-hour Dark Star such as this?
I don’t know, but I know this–and I’m gonna say this looking dead in your eyes, Mister, right in front of God and Jesus and my mother: I’m going to make the technology work. The Sheath will work: it’s all in my father’s journals! It’s gonna work and I’m going to access the Space Between and time–time herself–will be mine. And then?
And then, I’m gonna fuck that song until it loves me.
Are you crying?