Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: jon mcintire

Astronuts

You want to be as close to the equator as possible if you’re going to launch a rocket into orbit, which is why Cape Canaveral is in South Florida. You can, however, be anywhere on Earth to communicate with said rocket ship, so if the Speaker of the House is from Texas when NASA is being set up, then Mission Control will be in Texas. Houston, specifically, and in the 60’s, Houston was Space City and they weren’t about to let you forget it. Their brand-new baseball team was called the Astros; they played in the Astrodome, the world’s first indoor stadium, and since it was indoors and real grass could not be kept alive, the team played on a newly-invented synthetic surface called Astroturf.

So when Six Flags built an amusement park across the parking lot, they didn’t really have any choice in what to name the sucker.

There were rolly coasters and logs that would flume you about: it was your standard American theme park, and so it also had an outdoor theater called the Southern State. During the week, they would do shows for the kiddies or dance troupes or whatnot; on weekends, they would have bands for the local teens. You could ride the SkyScreamer in the afternoon and then get down to some groovy tunes in the evening, all for the price of one ticket. It’s a good deal.

For the teens, that is; the acts must have closed their eyes and gotten through the evening like professionals. Look at this bullshit:

Do they drop people from that tower? I think they drop people from that tower. You’re onstage singing your little song, and WHHHHAAAAAAAGH behind you every 150 fucking seconds. It’s goddamned demoralizing.

The Dead played the Southern State Theater on 8/30/85, and it seems almost criminal to take ’85 Garcia to Houston in August. The air is so thick with humidity as to behave more like a solid than a gas; also, it being Texas, the air is armed. He (and Bobby) looked like this:

(Holy shit, this show is one week after Boreal Ridge, where they dragged poor Garcia up a mountain. Serious question: were they trying to kill him?)

Now, obviously, this post is in honor of the great scholarship and snappy storytelling in the latest missive from Lost Live Dead detailing the Dead’s relationship with Texas; his site is a must for any Enthusiast, as is the sister site Hooterollin. , which OMIGOD I FORGOT TO TALK ABOUT THE LAST POST OVER THERE which is so very good. (It’s about Skeletons in the Closet. Remember Skeletons? Don’t play all cool like you didn’t listen to Skeletons a million times.) However, Corry Arnold (author of both sites and a valued commentator here) only allots a scanty three paragraphs to the most important show the Dead ever played in Texas, instead choosing to fill space with “evidence” and “facts” and “contextual analysis.”

But you know I don’t roll that way. I made a few calls and was able to get detailed notes of the Dead’s day at the Astroworld:

3:00 pm 

Band arrives at venue. Phil refuses to leave van. Garcia is unable to leave van. Rest of band wanders off.

3:30

Soundcheck. No one is there except Phil; he is asleep behind the amps like a drunken angel with perfect pitch. Road manager Jon McIntire attempts to have the band paged, but Billy has commandeered the PA booth and is broadcasting his skank session. (Billy found skank.) Mickey has been thrown out of the park for punching a hot dog vendor.

4:00

Through a mixture of bribes, threats, and cocaine, the band has been lured to soundcheck. No one has seen Brent. Billy announces that if Brent isn’t there in five minutes, then he would rub his testicles on Brent’s synthesizer.

4:05

Billy rubs his testicles on Brent’s synthesizer.

4:20

4:20, yo.

4:30

A representative from the park asks Jon McIntire a question; while his attention is diverted, the entire band wanders off.

4:35

Mickey, now wearing a fake mustache over his real mustache, is thrown out of the park again, this time for punching the guy who runs the bumper cars.

5:00

Billy, returning to the source of his previous fun, has once again taken over the PA system and is using it to tell jokes of a questionable provenance. Garcia was in the bathroom, which made Jon McIntire both sad and happy: sad because of what Garcia was doing in there, but happy because he wasn’t going anywhere. Bobby has eaten astronaut ice cream, and a giant turkey leg, and had a caricature done of himself, and bought a license pate with his name on it, and he was thinking about taking his shirt off.

5:01

Bobby takes his shirt off.

5:20

4:20 plus 1, yo.

5:30

Billy, lying in wait behind a blind turn, pounces on a family of five from Corpus Christi. When later asked why he did such a thing, Billy would respond–and I quote–“I felt like a puma.”

6:00

Phil wakes up and wanders into the park, where he makes a kid in a Dead shirt buy him a giant churro. Jon McIntire spots him, asks if he’s seen Brent. Phil hits Jon McIntire with the giant churro, then makes the kid buy him another one.

6:10

Mickey, now in blackface, is thrown out of the park once more for punching a balloon salesman. No one has seen Brent.

6:30

Billy has ridden the Texas Cyclone 17 times in a row; he punched the ride operator in the dick and turned the switch to FULL so the train’s been circling without stopping. Security is on its way.

6:35

Security arrives and throws Billy out, along with Mickey, now in blackface with a fake mustache, who had snuck back in and punched the same balloon salesman again.

6:45

Bobby arrives backstage. He is wearing a tee-shirt with his own face on it and carrying one of those leashes for imaginary dogs.

6:55

Phil shows up and yells at Jon McIntire because the wine selection at the theme park is not up to snuff.

7:10

Billy and Mickey wander in and begin making fun of Weir’s shirt while secretly wanting one.

7:20

Someone in an armadillo costume comes backstage. Everyone says,

“Hi, Brent,” and he removes the costume’s head and says,

“Hey, guys,” and no one asks him any questions at all.

7:30

Garcia emerges from the bathroom and tells Bobby and Brent to change. Bobby protests; Brent does not.

7:40

Showtime.

G’Day To You, Old Southern Skies

The Dead never went to Australia. There were many reasons: the 85-hour plane flight, the visa requirements (Billy had bitten the last three doctors who tried to give him a booster shot, so Rakow had had to forge the paperwork for the insurance company and immigration tends to look at things more closely,) and the fact that Bobby was convinced he was “gonna fall off, man. Opposite Day’s one thing, but Upside-down Day? Not on my watch.”

The Dead down under? Silliness.

But it happened.

Once again, David Lemeuixxx (DL’s alter-ego who runs a Dead-themed webcam show in which he talks about the upcoming releases while removing up to three layers of fleece and/or goretex) has roused a TUMESCENT TERROR from the nether reaches where lies spawn and honor receives a bad haircut. A DEMON OF LIES, is he, out to ROGER US PROPERLY with his FIB-BONER!

I can’t even look at you right now.

The Dead did indeed visit Australia, and New Zealand too, in the Summer of ’77. Mickey’s car crash was a ruse, a shuck, a jive: twaddle, I calls it! Think about it: Mickey getting fucked up and doing something stupid that cost the organization a small fortune? Does that sound like Mickey?

The plane ride went poorly. Everything got covered in acid and then there was turbulence so everything got covered in vomit and there were still, like, 32 hours to go.

Their arrival went poorly, too. In Australia, they’re fond of a certain word, starts with a “C,” they use it constantly about everyone and everything. We don’t. So, when the custom official, in what he thought was friendly banter, called Betty Cantor that, she hauled off and socked the dumb cunt.

Nicely done. Subtle.

Luckily, the entire country–including everyone in authority–is made up of sunstroked lunatics of criminal stock, so they respect a good border-guard whalloping. They think it’s a way of asserting your home countries’ pride. Australians are like Klingons in flip-flops.

The shows went poorly, as could be guessed: there were too many distractions. Jon McIntire got eaten by a kangaroo, then fired by Billy for it. Keith, having accidentally taken too may uppers instead of his usual barbiturates, declared himself Cockodile Dundee and wandered around Perth stark naked and demanding strangers look at his Uluru. It was nice of him to use the traditional name for it, but still.

The disasters continued: Garcia was mistaken for a koala and forced to pose with tourists in a nature preserve: he didn’t much mind because they kept him tranquilized and he copped a lot of feels when good-looking ladies took a picture.

The last dates were in New Zealand, so the boys rented a boat to make the hop, except it’s about 900 miles between Australia and NZ, so they nearly died 9 or 10 times and when they got there, everyone realized that it was just hobbits and sheep and cliffs–New Zealand is basically warm Iceland–so they went home and when they rehired Jon McIntire, who had been brought back to life via Time Sheath technology, his first task was to hunt down all the tapes of the shows and destroy them. When he had burned the last tape, Billy fired him again for no discernible reason.

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