“You, uh, wanna do a thing?”
“Is the thing drumming?”
“Fine, I guess.”
Jeff Chimenti wearing a hat is like Scarlett Johansson wearing a space suit. Do not keep your beauty to yourself, Jeff Chimenti. Does the eagle refuse to fly in fear of embarrassing the pigeon? Let the world see your silvery goodness.
Double potato salad.
I feel like Josh is showing me his invisible engagement ring.
“Thoughts on my Ass! Look at my gum!”
No, thank you, Billy.
Fine. Yes, you have gum in your mouth.
What does that even mean?
“Viagra-flavored. Gum gets soft, and Billy gets hard.”
“I’m gonna stick it in stuff.”
Your dick or the gum?
“Both! I used to know some skank in Indianapolis. This chick could chew gum with her swimmin’ hole. Blow bubbles, the whole nine yards. I tried to get her on Star Search, but Ed McMahon called the cops on us.”
“I got a million of ’em.”
This is all the rehearsing that Furthur did.
“Bobby, stop calling me that.”
Even backstage, Mickey doesn’t get a real drum set.
Jeff Chimenti is a Shorts Die-Hard, isn’t he? Everybody knew one in college: the guy–it’s only guys that do this–who ALWAYS wears shorts, no matter what the weather or occasion. Usually, though, they’re fat guys or at least stocky. Jeff Chimenti is the skinniest SDH I’ve ever seen.
“Yeah, I’m gonna need the white people to stop encircling me, please.”
The fellow with the camera is Justin Kreutzmann–you know Justin–and he’s putting together a documentary about rock and roll drummers called Let There Be Drums. You can read about it, and see something called a sizzle reel, right here.
FUN FACT: For the past few years, Justin has been an editor on The Bachelorette.
This is the worst Make-A-Wish visit I’ve ever seen.
“They won’t send us kids any more. There were incidents.”
Sure. What is this?
“I’m being polite.”
You shouldn’t be.
“They gave me free tee-shirts.”
What is it with the Grateful Dead and free tee-shirts?
“Dude, that’s not a Dead thing. That’s a human thing. Ever see the crowd go nuts when the tee-shirt cannon comes out?”
You should get one. You could set it off during your big solo in Friend of the Devil. Tinkley-dinkley-FLOOMP-tinkle-dinkle.
“Pretty sure Billy would steal it and start shooting dicks from point-blank range.”
True. You should get a neck tattoo.
“If I had to have a neck tattoo, I would just as soon not have a neck.”
Just your head sitting on top of your shoulders, and you could only look left or right by swiveling your entire body like when Michael Keaton was Batman?
“Just like that, yeah.”
Sure. Give that guy some soup.
“He does look a bit anemic.”
Give him some soup and play him some Liszt.
“Once they see the hair in person, they’re defenseless.”
Like the Super Bowl.
I don’t see a wedding ring. Get in there, bro. Use some of those moves Bobby taught you.
“Wandering around looking for my reading glasses?”
The other move.
“Glaring into cameras?”
Okay, forget Bobby. Did Billy teach you any moves?
“Billy doesn’t have moves. He just takes it out and sprints at chicks.”
Does that work?
“If the girl doesn’t know how to juke, yeah.”
Trick is to watch the hips.
“Sure. Listen: I don’t need any help with ladies. I’ve been a Grateful Dead for 20 years.”
“Closest you can get. De facto.”
I’ll give you de facto. You are a de facto Grateful Dead.
“I mean, it’s not like the old days, but it ain’t that tough. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Oh, wait: that’s a move Billy taught me. See, he puts women in a barrel–”
Yeah, sure, the speech is almost over, but let’s pretend I was actually a helpful person and posted this a few hours ago.
How about one of the first great mock-rock-docs, The Last Polka, starring Eugene Levy and the deeply-missed John Candy?
Or how about a deep dive into the history of everyone’s favorite 70’s sound, the Fender Rhodes? If you’re unfamiliar with the name, you’ll certainly recognize the timbre: it’s the keyboard that sounds like shag carpeting. Jeff Chimenti’s playing one here in this picture:
And a fellow named Barry Beckett is playing one on this Paul Simon number you surely know:
Nice mustache, asshole.
Nice to see you back where you belong, Jeff Chimenti.
“Off-Broadway is not for me.”
“I like the Dead. Dude, do you know how much weed you’re allowed to smoke at rehearsals for a musical?”
“None! I offered everyone dabs, and they looked at me like I was crazy.”
You brought your dab rig to rehearsal?
“Not the big one.”
“I had to go out behind the theater during a coffee break. And by myself, too! I was like a leper with great hair.”
“Problem is that now there are offers coming in. They want me to do Annie.”
To be the musical director for a restaging of Annie?
“No, they want me to play Annie.”
“I look incredible in the dress.”
Hey, Jeff Chimenti. How’s Broadway?
“I hate it so much and want to go back to the Grateful Dead.”
But the Dead doesn’t feed you and won’t put your name on the poster.
“Don’t care. Do you know what time they start practice in the legitimate theater world?”
“Yeah! And the early part of the morning, too. The real morningy morning. Oh, and speaking of starting: do you know when things start?”
“When they’re supposed to! I’m used to easing into things 45 minutes late, or whenever Bobby shows up. It’s bordering on militaristic around here.”
That’s a bit hyperbolic. Overalls Wolverine is completely out of regs.
“I’ve been calling him Mister Muttonchops.”
“Dude, do you know how long a 20-minute intermission lasts here?”
“Yeah! Isn’t that fucked up?”
No! That’s the way professionals behave.
“Exactly! I wanna go back to the Bush League. This whole environment is too tense for me.”
Okay. You making a move on Dita Von Teese?
“I’m gonna let her watch me shampoo.”
Hey, Jeff Chimenti. Bobby looks weird.
“That’s not Bobby. She’s an actress from Red Roses, Green Gold.”
Oh, right. The jukebox musical with all the Dead tunes in it that you were the musical director for. How’s that going?
“I do not like these musical theater types.”
“They never stop singing. All day, nothing but show tunes in 95-part harmony. And I don’t know if you know this, but they sing loud.”
I did. Theater kids can weaponize Sondheim.
“And their hand gestures are so dramatic.”
“And there’s an AIDS benefit every fifteen minutes.”
“Plus, the smell is unbelievable. Backstage, I mean. It’s just rectal sweat and feet, man. These kids work up a frothy lather. You know what Oteil smells like after a show?”
“I went backstage after opening night and I couldn’t get the funk out of my hair for days.”
Oh, not your beautiful hair.
“I know! Had to get it professionally laundered. I was about to go buy a couple gallons of tomato juice.”
Ew. So I guess this means you’re not gonna be the next Lin-Manuel Miranda?
“No way, man. I’m sticking to rock and roll.”
You rule, Jeff Chimenti.
Was John Mayer not invited or did he have Celebrity Thanksgiving to attend?
Why is Oteil not sitting with the rest of the band? Is it because he wore sweatpants on Thursday?
Is Matt Busch wearing a fucking Islanders hoodie? Unacceptable, Matt Busch.
“Who’s the youngest here?”
“Thanks, Billy. Black Phil–”
“Oteil. My name is Oteil.”
“–will you read the Four Questions for us?”
“Wrong holiday, Bobby.”