Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: jefferson airplane

And The White Jeans Are Talking Backwards

Ask as ye shall receive, Enthusiasts, unless you ask Mouthless Jenny for a hummer; then, you will not receive. Might get a tug, but no sloppy.

Where are you going with this?

In 1967, The Jefferson Airplane did a Levi’s commercial, white Levi’s in particular.

Interesting. But how does that logically follow your introductory statement?

A trusted and valued Commentator named Steve B shared this information with us because of the last post featuring Mickey in an eggshell slack.

Still not making the connection.

Then you’re a dunce. Posting a picture of man wearing white jeans is implicitly asking the world, What the fuck is happening here? AND it’s Mickey, so there’s a secondary implicit question: From whom did Mickey yoink these pants? We now know the answer is that the Jefferson Airplane–probably Spencer Dryden–was given a couple boxes full of white Levi’s and Mickey helped himself. Case closed.

What case?

I’m a historian.


I’m an historian.

That wasn’t the problem with that sentence. Let’s end with something everyone can agree upon.

Jefferson Airplane sucked.

There ya go.

Lockn’ Lol

This is Saturday's lineup at
I’ll see you there, right? Highlight of my year: pooping in a Virginia field in September. Sleeping in a tent next to humping strangers, eating while I stand up, Warren Haynes: man, this is gonna be great.

TotD is not particularly fancy. I slept on a couch last month, but it should be noted that it was a leather couch in an AirBnB in a rapidly genritfying neighborhood. My living situation is allowed to be scruffy, but it must be permanent; I will not sleep under a nylon roof. Camping is just not for me.

Jews and camps…

Anyway, if you’re there or going or streaming it or whatever: have a blast, but I will be making love to my air conditioner. I do have some random thoughts, though:

  • Fishbone’s still around? Didn’t half of them get thrown in jail for kidnapping the other half?
  • Will Robert Plant be not playing Zep songs at the crowd again? Those fuckers at the Grammys rewarded him one time for not playing Zep songs and now all he does is not play Zep songs. Fuck that guy: play Zep songs.
  • Did anyone ever answer Robert Plant about the remembering laughter thing?
  • No Umphries? What the fuck, man.
  • Once again: fucked by Peter Shapiro.
  • I think Peter Shapiro’s in love with me the amount he fucks me.
  • I mean, the String Cheese Incident is gonna be there, so that’s awesome.
  • But, no Umphries.
  • Was Billy’s departure and Phil’s arrival worked out between the two camps as to not have them in the same place at the same time?
  • Just asking questions, man.
  • But, if so: you know Billy put Benjy on the phone to handle it just to be a dick.
  • Can you see Jill and Peter Shapiro pushing the phone back and forth at one another?
  • “You do it.”
  • “This is what you get paid for.”
  • “I don’t get paid enough for this.”
  • And so on.
  • Again: just asking questions.
  • Man.
  • Steve Earle is the musical version of The Wire.
  • Decipher that how you will.
  • WAIT: Billy is playing with Jefferson Airplane on Friday right after Phil!
  • Fun.
  • Also: Jefferson Airplane sucked. In every incarnation and in every way, and they are celebrating their 50th anniversary in a pasture in Virginia instead of a football stadium.
  • They’re not even headlining.
  • (Although, this group of musician is so far way from being the actual Jefferson Airplane that it includes G.E. Smith, who is still performing despite having the worst case of Les Palsy known to man.)
  • Hey! You got your String Cheese in my Doobie!
  • Hey! You got your Doobie in my String Cheese!
  • Well, you should probably just throw the results out, as it will surely be terrible.
  • Is Michael McDonald even going to be there, or just the guy who looked like he was the lead on WKRP?
  • The Oh Hellos, you go to your room and don’t come out until you’ve thought up a good band name.
  • You, too, Slightly Stoopid.
  • In fact, Slightly Stoopid: go fuck yourself with your deliberately shit band name.
  • Put some effort into life.
  • Mickey just announced that he would be playing with Bobby on Saturday night, and if Bobby doesn’t play Lost Sailor, I will lose all respect for him

Hulk vs. Superman

1977 is something that must be dealt with; its little brother is ’73. Speak to me not of 1974, when Billy decided that they were gonna be a damn jazz band if he had anything to do with it. Leave ’76 in your pocket, when tempos dragged and everything was a dirge. Yes, the Beacon shows were outstanding, but they were still figuring out what to do now that they were less of a fighter jet and more of a bomber.

You’re going to bring up the Old Shit, the Primal Dead Shit. The before-they-learned-how-to-write-songs Dead. The Dead that had, like, four riffs that went with three different sets of lyrics, each more ridiculous than the last, and would just trip their balls off while holding instruments in front of audiences really loud? We all love that Dead. You can’t not love that Dead. It’s like the Baby Jesus. We love the Baby Jesus simply because he’s gonna be Jesus, but right now: he’s a baby! Yay, we love babies! And that’s what the Pigpen era was: Baby Jesus.

If the Dead hadn’t learned how to write songs, they would have ben the Quicksilver Messenger Whatever. Or Jefferson Airplane. Just endlessly jamming with some nonsense lyrics about The Man, or the Shire.

So we must leave Primal Dead, to refocus on 1977 and 1973.  1977 and 1973. They are the Batman and Robin of the Grateful Dead’s output.

Some will say it is the historic availability of the high-quality Betty Boards that bias the long-time Grateful Dead listener: these shows were taped so well that they were invariably the best sounding thing in anyone’s collection. Huge bass, crisp separation–these tapes were a joy to listen to, as opposed to the murky 4th and 5th gen Maxell’s cluttering up your basement. No matter how “warts and all” your stance, you couldn’t help appreciate the sound that rivaled some of the Dead’s official releases. (I’m looking at you, Skull & Roses.)

Perhaps ’77 is so esteemed simply because listening to it doesn’t give you a headache? This would have been a valid argument years ago, but after 32 Dick’s Picks, two dozen Road Trips and Digital Downloads, we have fearful amounts of Dead available, all at a sound quality that any one of us would have once killed for. Yes, you can quibble over the “punchiness” of this release versus that, but these are, when it comes to using the Dead to feed the hunger of your burgeoning OCD, light years beyond what we used to deem acceptable

We have not mentioned any year past 1977. There is a reason for that. (We’ll get to Brent later, you can be assured.)

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