Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: hooterollin

Box Office Bomb

Everyone’s friend Corry, the arcane archivist beyond the redoubtable Lost Live Dead and Hooterollin’ Around, sends in this perfect piece of Grateful Dead history: this clipping is from the November 18th, 1968 Eugene Register-Guard and is the first concrete evidence of a lost show that took place two nights before. There is no setlist, nor is there any recording, but there were always rumors of a show that night. Plus, there was a poster.

It looked like this:

“We should go see that band from San Francisco on Saturday night, man.”

“Definitely. Where do we get tickets?”

“The jewelry store.”

“Why?”

“It’s 1968. Nothing makes sense.”

“Oh.”

The past is a foreign country, Younger Enthusiasts.

Anyway, the poster was all there was, and Corry found that by accident. The show’s still not listed on any of the master lists, but that article up top isn’t an article: it’s a magic spell. Arrange the words right and reality changes. This is the nature of magic. Words in this order marry two people; words in that order arrest one. The Riot Act is a magic spell, and so is this article. Where before there did not, now exists 11/16/68.

Ta-daa.

OR

The Grateful Dead had achieved full bushiness of their league even as early as 1968; their bush leagueness had already extended outwards to encompass their fans and, as we see here, their terrorists.

OR

It had to be Bobby. If Billy had picked it up, he wouldn’t have “indicated it was a fake.” He would have chased people around the hall with it, shrieking in mock horror “WE’RE GONNA GO BOOM!”

No, it was Bobby.

“It’s, uh, just some broomsticks.”

“DROP THE BOMB, HIPPY!”

“Oh, uh, hey, Mr. Police Man. I like your gun.”

“PUT THE BOMB DOWN!”

“I told you, man. It’s a dud.”

“Hey, Weir! That an alarm clock?”

“Yeah, Pig.”

“Well, toss it on over! The ol’ Pig forgot to pack his!”

“Oh, sure. Here you go.”

“STOP THROWING THE BOMB AROUND, LONGHAIRS!”

And so on.

When A Blind Faith Takes Your Hand

This is either the 23rd or 24th of March, 1968. Traffic was playing at the Fillmore and Winterland that weekend, and they set up their gear for a free show in front of the local hippie-run FM station; Garcia dropped by to jam. (I DARE you to find a sentence more 1960’s than the one I just wrote. I dare you, motherfucker.) Garcia brought Mickey, and Mickey brought his stupid hat.

Anyway, you can go read the story on Hooterollin’ Around. I know it posted it yesterday, but fuck it: I was just that entertained by this well-researched and deeply strange post. Besides the free gigs in front of radio stations, and the famous flatbed truck show during the Haight Street Fair, and the Disneyland gig (!), there was this:

In a better, purer world, the Dead served as Chuck Berry’s backup band those nights. Well, they did for the first night.

A Partial and Loose Timeline of the Weekend the Grateful Dead was Chuck Berry’s Band:

  • A month before the show, Bill Graham hires the Dead for the gig, giving them a list of Chuck’s songs and a pep talk about rehearsing and show biz and then he and Phil started yelling at one another.
  • The Dead do not learn any of the songs.
  • The night of the show, Chuck Berry arrives alone in a rented Cadillac ten minutes before curtain time.
  • Bill Graham pays him in cash.
  • He exits the Cadillac.
  • With five minutes until lights up, half the Dead is almost ready; the rest are missing, too high to function, or wrist-deep in skank.
  • Bill Graham corrals the Grateful Dead, much like a border collie with sheep, but if the sheep were surly and sarcastic.
  • There is a crisis: Billy cannot get his hand out of the skank.
  • The crisis is averted: a sneeze is induced in the skank and everything opens right up.
  • The Dead take their places.
  • Chuck Berry enters.
  • “Why the fuck are there so many people up here?”
  • “Hi, Mr. Berry. I’m Bob.”
  • “Shut the fuck up.”
  • Chuck Berry says “Maybelline in E flat.”
  • The Dead play Johnny B. Goode in G.
  • Chuck Berry calls out “No Particular Place To Go” in A flat.
  • The Dead play Johnny B. Goode in G.
  • This is the point at which the fistfight broke out.
  • The Flaming Groovies were called into service for the second set, and the following two nights.

This, That, And Some Mountains

Is there good? The bad is obvious; the wicked, more so. The banal, the stupid, the dismal, the obvious, the dreary: these propagate. But the good? In 2016? There is no good in 2016: everyone is dead, or racist, or screaming at the top of their lungs.

The judiciary has been purged.

So we must muddle, and sweat it out. There are small boons, though. There is this plug-in for Firefox: it is an adblocker-blocker, and allows you to go to Wired and Rolling Stone and Forbes and all those other sites with their friendly entreaties to turn off Adblock. (I will never, ever, ever turn off my Adblock. I lock my car in the parking lot, I have a deadbolt on my front door, and I leave my Adblock on.)

What about a new (kinda) post on Hooterollin’ Around about a ridiculously obscure piece of the Dead’s discography: the Good Old Boys’ record, Pistol-Packin’ Mama, produced by Garcia and released by Round Records right before it died the ignoble death everyone should have foreseen for it?

Perhaps you could look at this picture of some mountains:

Portable Network Graphics image-D2DCA5E9249E-1

Although that’s probably more rightly called a gorge, or a valley. Or cliffs. The green part on the bottom is a forest. There are also slopes and rocks, and I might see a gully. There’s a shitload of nature in this photo, honestly. Look at it for a while, and don’t think about the United States; think about America.

Notes From The Wayside

Time for everyone’s semi-favorite semi-regular feature: TotD clears his desktop! I’ve had these tabs open for what seems like eons and none of them are of particular interest to me, but I’ll pass them along just so I can hit the Close buttons with a clean conscience. Here we go:

1.

Garcia made a record with a guy named Harold Whales; the album had an inscrutable name and the two of them held up a copy of Scientific American on the inside cover. It looked like this:

jerry howard wales sci am

First of all: this looks like the first thing you’d see when you came to, chained to the bed, in an abandoned cabin somewhere. Second: a diligent writer dug into the archives of SA and found out that the reason Garcia was most likely promoting the magazine was an article in it about “marihuana.”

There you go.

2.

Phil is moving. Well, not really: he’s selling his house. Kind of: he’s selling a house. It’s in Ross, California, which is a tiny town in between Larkspur and San Anselmo, which are also pretty small. It’s near San Francisco, basically, but nothing at all like San Francisco: no bums, no techies, etc.

Sure, that drunken legacy pledge Irsay owns Tiger, but for a cool ten million, you can own Phil’s old toilet. (They’ll throw in the rest of the house for free.) Houses are usually cleaned pretty well between owners, but there’s gotta be a little DNA lying around. Maybe you could clone Phil?

A NOTE: Please do not clone Phil. Leaving aside the surely-nefarious reasons for why you’re doing so, Clone Phil will almost certainly escape and find Real Phil and try to take his place; this will lead to thrilling setpiece in which Jill is trying to shoot Clone Phil, but she doesn’t know which one is the clone and which one is Phil.

“Shoot him, Jill! I’m me! Phil! Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead!”

“No, I’m Phil! Phil Lesh! Of the Grateful Dead!”

And Jill’s pointing the gun back and forth.

“SHOOT HIM!”

“NO! HE’S THE CLONE!”

The music is blaring:

BAAAAAAAMBAM BAM! BAAAAAAAAAMBAM BAM!

And then Bobby wanders in; he is eating ice cream straight from the carton.

“Why don’t you, um, just have ’em take their shirts off? Clone doesn’t have any scars.”

“That’s an excellent idea, Bob.”

“I try.”

And so on. This is what the house looks like:

phil house ross

It is called the Bridge House, because when a property costs a certain amount, you’re allowed to name it. If you live in a three-bedroom split-level in Roseland, NJ, and you call your house Barnswallow Manor, then people are going to laugh at you. There are more details here, but be warned: this is one of those articles in which the author jams Dead lyrics into sentences they clearly don’t belong in.

ANOTHER NOTE: Obviously, Phil and Phamily aren’t moving into a tiny house they’ll be parking in the back of TXR; they’ve got a new place. I think I saw an article about it, but I also think that people and sites who give out anyone’s current address are complete assholes. You know I enjoy playing Man Of The People as much as the next comrade, but here I have sympathy for the rich: just because a house cost a few million (or way, way more) doesn’t mean it needs to be in the fucking paper.  The only people who need to know where anyone–not just the rich–live are the people who need to know.

So don’t go posting that bullshit in the Comment Section.

3.

I found this on Reddit and it’s the most tragilarious object, story, and backstory I’ve ever read. A guy mononymically (and perhaps pseudonymically) named Andy customized Zippo lighters for the discerning drug addict: there was a little bowl in the top with a telescoping stem, so the whole thing turned into a marihuana pipe, plus more bullshit. It looked like this:

zippo jerry 2

Which is where it gets sad: this is a terrible object. First of all: if you need this, then what you really need is to stop doing drugs and find yourself a nice church girl. The doohickey on the right that looks like an Allen wrench is a coke spoon; it fits in a little slot on the bottom.

Andy has also managed to misspell “Greatful Dead.”

Garcia got it in ’84–whether given to him personally or just sent to him–and sent it back ten years later to fix the typo, but died before the lighter could be returned; he was not thinking of it on his death-bed, I’m sure. He chucked this thing in a drawer, if he saw it at all. I can’t imagine Garcia would have thought this to be at all cool: it looks like something a fat kid who hates his step-father made in shop class, and then burned down the school with.

I am also fairly sure that Garcia would not have carried around a lighter festooned with charms bearing some dude’s name, or this piece of incriminating evidence:

jerry zippo 1

“That’s not my lighter, officer.”

“Then why’s your name on it, Mr. Garcia?”

“Fuckin’ Andy.”

Zippos are quality products, durable and American and classic like Stratocasters or Colt M1911s: they got the design right decades, and trying to make them better almost always makes them worse. You can paint them, or inscribe them, or chrome-plate them, but you’re not going to improve on the standard model. Plus, Zippos make the best noise and fit into the right-hand change pocket of Levi’s 501 jeans so perfectly.

Don’t do this to them.

Anyway, I promised not just comedy, but also tragedy; I would never lie to you. (I totally would, and do all the time.) This is from the page I linked to about Andy, and it is the saddest sentence I have ever read:

Apparently Andy lived in Los Angeles, Laurel Canyon in Hollywood / West Hollywood, Venice Beach, Ventura, and then committed suicide in Bakersfield some time in the 1990s.

Do you see how the vague (“apparently”, “some time in the 1990s”) combines with the specific (and there might be no more specific a phrase in the language that “committed suicide in Bakersfield”) to produce a maddening gestalt? Could there be a better way of reminding us all of the world’s attention span, and how quickly we’ll be forgotten? Is committing suicide in Bakersfield redundant?

So many questions, all of them so dumb.

4.

Rich ladies need something to do with their days. Mostly, they choose to fill the time by being rich at other rich ladies: rich ladies have figured out how to weaponize their rich ladyness. Some of them try to throw the best parties, and others try to win Instagram, and others try to get the biggest stars in the world to sit ringside at their fashion shows.

(In keeping with the evening’s cessation of class warfare: rich ladies are just people with too much money. Give a broke dude some money; he’ll be a rich lady in a week, writing cookbooks. Humans gonna human.)

My point being that a near-critical mass of rich ladies assembled for designer Stacey Bendet’s  Alice + Olivia “see now/buy now” show featuring clothes from their new Grateful Dead-licensed line. It looks like this:

Looks from Grateful Dead x Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet collection.

If you’d like to purchase a piece, you could go to Bergdorf Goodman and pick up this sweater for $400, but it’s sold out. so you can’t:

bear sweater alice

I was unsure as to why a shirt would cost that much until I read the copy on Bergdorf’s website, and then it made sense.

Alice + Olivia

Grateful Dead® Bear Cropped Intarsia Pullover Sweater, White/Multicolor

BGS16_TCJVG

  • Alice + Olivia cotton-blend sweater features Grateful Dead® dancing bear intarsia with sequin embellishing.
  • Round neckline.
  • Long sleeves.
  • Relaxed fit.
  • Hem cropped at waist.
  • Pullover style.
  • Cotton/nylon.
  • Imported of Italian material.

Intarsia is a way to knit colors together, so the bear isn’t an iron-on; also, the nylon is “imported of Italian material,” which is not English. Does the writer mean “material imported from Italy” but wanted to say it all fancy?

(Also: is Italy really where they grow the nylon? Is it still a family business? Old guy in a hat with a mule patrolling his ancestral nylon fields? Plus: is nylon a seasonal crop? Is there a harvest, or does nylon get picked? Should I be worried about GMO nylon?)

Anyway, they had a fashion show and some very important rich ladies showed up. They looked like this:

Holland Roden, ZZ Ward, Jennifer

Kim was unavailable. (L to R: two socialites with ridiculous names, Pretty Lady Doctor from Dr. House, M.D., my bae, Not-Kim, blonde woman, Anna Paquin with a lamp growing out of her face.)

As for the clothes: I’m both biased and unqualified to opine. As you know, I hate those fucking bears; plus, I agree with Garcia’s view of fashion: ten black t-shirts, two pairs of jeans, drawerful of underwear and socks; call it a day.

Designer of the line Stacey Bendet’s husband is Eric Eisner, who is producing the upcoming (and upcoming and upcoming) documentary about the Dead along with Martin Scorsese; he is a big Deadhead and Stacey became infected by the Dead’s music, as opposed to the old days, when women used to be infected by the Dead’s penises. (Penii? Penes?Purim?)

I mention her husband for only one reason, and that is to challenge this canard of him being a Deadhead. How can one be a Deadhead without reading my site? And–if one were a big Hollywood mover and shaker–dropping a production deal into the Donate Button? Are you going to sit there and tell me that someone from Hollywood doesn’t recognize talent?

But there is no production deal in the Donate Button, not even a holding deal. Ipso fact: Eric Eisner is not a Deadhead.

And those are the things that I had nothing to say about.

Unsettled List

TotD will always link to a new post on Hooterollin’, which equals and occasionally surpasses its brother site, Lost Live Dead; each new entry a weird and illustrative dive into the history of rock music–and America–in the post-war years. If you’re coming here and haven’t been there, I say: Wha? Huh? How you? Why that? Go, do, look. LOOOOOOK.

Stop that.

This post is a part of a running series pinpointing the Dead’s location during the years when people weren’t writing things down quite as much as we do today. The author (Corry342 from the Comment Section: you know him) covers July through December of 1966 in this latest installment, and I hate to call out a fellow Dead Scholar–

You are not any sort of scholar: you make things up.

–but there are significant gaps in this timeline. Why is this information being kept from us? My God! Has Corry342 been gotten to? Paid off by Big Dead? Did David Lamieuxnovermiami set him up for blackmail like in Godfather II?

I hate to do this, but–

Please don’t accuse people.

–I J’ACCUSE!

Please don’t do that to French, and don’t do it at all.

It’s the only explanation for this new evidence I’ve acquired. There were many more Dead dates during the period and the only reason Corry342 would leave this out is if he were now under the control of the Billuminati.

Really.

Maybe the Philluminati. Never can tell with secret societies.

I hate you.

Anyway, at great risk to life and limb, TotD presents THE REAL Grateful Dead Performance List July-December ’66:

July 4 – Barbecue, 710 Ashbury Street, CA Very little is known about this gig, or whether it should even be called a gig. There were acoustic guitars and singing, but then Garcia ate too many hot dogs and threw up on a cat and the cat lost its shit and went claws-first for Phil’s face and Bobby started crying and the afternoon was ruined.

August 8 – Foreign Legion Hall, Tuscadero, CA 18 people attended this show, and five of those people were dogs. Nevertheless, Billy managed to start a fight with a guy in a wheelchair, but he was a retired Marine in a wheelchair so he put up a pretty good fight. It was an even match-up, at least until the Marine’s non-wheelchair buddies saw what was happening and whipped Billy’s ass.

Also, Garcia contracted Foreign Legionnaires Disease and that is so much worse than the regular kind.

September 15 – Peckerwood Acres Country Club, Money Point, CA While we know about the gig Bobby played for his sister’s coming-out party (before Wendy Weir started talking to the ghosts of guitarists and dogs, she was very fancy), but little is known about this show played at the party for Bobby’s cousin, Poopsy Weir.

Poopsy was into the debutante thing: she loved horses and dresses and not having to look at poor people, but the thing she loved most of all was Phil’s dong. Now: Poopsy did not know that before laying eyes on the scruffy bassist that September evening, but once she realized, it became the truest thing she knew: she had to have it.

And, you know: she was cute, so Phil boffed her. Everything would have been fine had not Billy come through the banquet hall on a stolen golf cart, knocking down the temporary wall that made up the dressing room for the band. Phil was in a chair and Poopsy was seated atop him: they were pantless and boffing.

“Don’t stop boffing, Phil!” Poopsu said.

And Phil–who was facing the crowd that included the entirety of Poopsy’s family–said, “We should, though. We should stop boffing.”

And Poopsy said, “Dammit, man! Boff!”

The band did not get paid.

October 3 – Faculty Parking Lot, San Luis Obispo Community College (w/ Bay Area Blues Borrowers, Pantheotic Orkestra of Europa, Detroit Jeffy Jefferson, Radioactive Panther) This was an all-day gig featuring a lot of acts now lost to time. A couple of them were good bands, but one was a front for orangutans trained to steal jewels. See if you can spot which one!

The Bay Area Blues Borrowers made a fine sound to drink beer to, and they knew their limits. Their drummer, Johnny Mussolini, was a solid player despite his unfortunate name, and when he was drafted into the army, the band broke up. On the bright side, Johnny killed a shit-ton of Viet Cong.

The Pantheotic Orkestra of Europa was basically one guy who called himself Blueberry Ho-Tep and whoever would play with him this week. Blueberry Ho-Tep was the kind of musical genius that comes along once a decade, but he was an asshole who smelled like clams left out in the sun, plus he didn’t like paying people. Also, if you let him corner you with his cosmic religion nonsense, you could be there a while. Guy could play the fuck out of anything you put in his hands, but he was probably going to throw the instrument at a child afterwards.

Blueberry became addicted to drugs and shitting in mailboxes; the law locked him up for both, and in 1971–homeless–he was devoured by a pack of orangutans.

Detroit Jeffy Jefferson was actually named Franky Franklin, and he was from Houston. Sang real well, though. Also eaten by orangutans.

Radioactive Panther were a suspiciously hairy–even by hippie standards–group with murky origins. Their manager, Dr. Monkeybreaker, was a shadowy man given to quoting from the Necronomicon and challenged sanity to fistfights. Also, they could not play very well and were always mysteriously missing when jewels would disappear. Plus, they ate Blueberry and Detroit Jeffy.

They put out a couple of singles and then ate Dr. Monkeybreaker.

November 21 – Sausalito Heliport This unlikely venue for rock and roll was used by bands as a practice space and for a few shows until this one with the Dead put an end to that: Bear stole a helicopter. He only got it a couple of feet off the ground, but that’s enough to do some good damage.

December 13 – Fisherman’s Hall, Scuba del Vista, CA (Bill Graham’s Hanukkah Hoopla) No one remembers anything.

Choice, But Not So Choice

I’ll get into this great (as always) post about Bear’s Choice and the deeply self-destructive silliness that was the record business in the 70’s from Corry342 on his excellent blog Hooterollin’ (the Robin to Lost Live Dead’s Batman,) but you should avoid work or school for the next fifteen or twenty minutes and read it.

Joint Custody #3

jerry rando joint

The only way this could be more ’70s is if there were a misunderstanding between Garcia and the landlord and then Laos was secretly bombed.

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