Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: keith godchaux (page 3 of 15)

All That Could Not Sink Or Swim

annabelle keith drawing

Annabelle posted this drawing, along with a short, sad, and funny story about Keith saving her life on Instagram; I thought as many people should see it as possible.

Happy birthday, Keith.

(Also: it is a shock any of the children made it to adulthood.)

Dear Old Daddy, Rest His Soul, Left My Mom A Heavy Load

donna keith zion couch

Presented without comment.

It’s All Connected, Man

As TotD revealed exclusively yesterday, the Martin Scorsese-produced documentary about the Dead has had its scope significantly expanded to become the Grateful Dead Cinematic Universe (GDCU), with a strategically-planned docket of solo films, team-ups, and spin-offs scheduled from now until the end of time.

After speaking with director Amir Bar-Lev, I received an anonymous text that said “Hey, this is Amir Bar-Lev.” I told him he was terrible at being sneaky, and then he sent me a picture of Billy’s dick and the texts stopped. After the precise amount of time it would take to set up a number to text anonymously from, I got an anonymous text. “Hey, this is NOT Amir Bar-Lev,” and I just went with it to save time. Then he asked me to call him Deep Throat, but I would not go with that, even to save time. “Okay, call me Margaret, because I’m leaky.”

And I asked him to stop texting me, but he sent me the official schedule for the GDCU and was all “You didn’t hear this from me,” and sent me more dick pics, at least one of which was not Billy’s. I asked him if he would stop contacting me if I leaked the information, and then he sent me a selfie, and then a text that read, “Shit. That’s not me lol,” and at that point I put the phone in the other room.

It’s still a good scoop, so here we go: The Official Schedule for the Grateful Dead Cinematic Universe.


GARCIA: THE FIRST GRATEFUL DEAD Directed by the Russo Brothers, and starring T.J. Miller as Garcia (with abs), the film sets up the other films for around two hours. It’s set during Garcia’s five months in the Army, where his drill sergeant  (Javier Bardem) is secretly a monster or a demon or some bullshit. Bardem hopes to get hold of one of the Six Cumberlands of Power, which will tie the GDCU together.

PIGPEN: THE OTHER FIRST GRATEFUL DEAD Ang Lee will helm this fractured, angular take on a complicated man. Keenan Thompson stars, and the Big Bad of the GDCU is introduced in the post-credits scene: it is Sean Penn sitting in a space-chair, and when we figure out what to do with him, you’ll be the first to know. Pig’s girlfriend will be played by Lupita Nyong’o. In the after-credits scene, Bill Graham appears to invite Pigpen to join the Grateful Dead Initiative.


BOBBY: BOBBY Instead of a straight-forward tale, Nicolas Winding Refn planned a lyrical and evocative poem about Bobby’s summer on the ranch; he even had the synthesizer score written. Then Bobby insisted on playing himself and now it’s just three hours of a 68-year-old guy on a horse. (The horse is motion-capture, and played by Andy Serkis.) The second Cumberland of Power is involved, somehow.

PHIL & BILLY: COURT IN THE STREET Phil is played by Donnie Yen; Billy is played by Tony Jaa; the two of them kick the living shit out of each other for an hour. Then, Ned Lagin (The Rock) shows up and the two of them team up to fight him for control of the fourth Cumberland of Power. (The third Cumberland was claimed by the road crew on the Netflix spin-off show Front Street Blues.)

2019, 2020, 2021

Cancelled due to war.


MICKEY: HART OF THE GALAXY Mickey, played by Miles Teller, is some sort of space pirate. Billy appears, now played by Shailene Woodley, as Flapjack the Space Fucker. (Billy was allowed to write his own part.) Keith and Mrs. Donna Jean are introduced, setting up their solo film.

KEITH & MRS. DONNA JEAN: WAR IN THE PARKING LOT Keith is played by Donnie Yen; Mrs. Donna Jean is played by Tony Jaa; the two of them kick the shit out of each other for an hour. Then, the second set of an ’88.


GRATEFUL DEAD: WAR FOR THE HEAVENS Set in 1974, the band unites for the first time (somehow) to defeat a sentient and power-mad Wall of Sound. (The Wall is motion-capture, and played by Andy Serkis.) The Grateful Dead save the world…but at what cost? The entire movie is the post-credits scene.

BOBBY II: BOBBIER This solo film is about a solo album: none of the other Grateful Deads appear, as Bobby is instead surrounded by the Midnites (John Cena, Quvenzhané Wallis, Fred Ward in an alien costume). The fallout from the Wall’s rampage–the Reno Incident–have had sever repercussions and now the Dead is feared and loathed. Bobby just wants to play music and be treated like a rock star, so he puts together the Midnites. At their first show, though, Bobby uncovers a vast conspiracy that could rip the GDCU to shreds! Aliens? Nazis? Fuck it: alien Nazis.


GARCIA 2: JERRY BAND Garcia, too, is on the run: he joins John Kahn (Adrien Brody) and a talking dog named Pumpkin. (The dog is motion-capture, and played by Andy Serkis.) Billy is along for the ride, now played by Sam Rockwell. They have been chased to China, where they have fun adventures and note what progress China has made, and how many strides the Party has taken; Garcia receives a sidekick, Choog Li (John Cho), and the production receives a billion potential viewers.




Lego ‘Land

lego winterland

The lack of a nose isn’t funny until you put the beard on, and then it’s hilarious. Look at Lego Garcia. Look at him.

The future is turning out underwhelming, half-baked, but it allows a guy from Japan to listen to a band from San Francisco, build a diorama of them with toys from Denmark, and post it on a social media site that is also from San Francisco. So, there’s that.


lego garcia mickey


Six Young Chiquitas In Omaha

band 78 bw shadows

This is the only picture available from 7/5/78 from the Omaha Civic Auditorium, and it may or may not be a random picture from ’78 that I am claiming is from 7/5/78. Regardless, it is enormous and fit for use as a desktop or, if you are a medievel Pope, a ceiling fresco.

As you may have guessed, somehow or other a copy of the Complete July ’78 Recordings Of Completeness found its way to Fillmore South and, after a minute or two of thought, I decided to start with David Lemieuxnitionsexpert’s pick, the Omaha show; holy shit, is this thing stellar. I have not heard the second set, but I am ready to declare it the BEST EVAR. In fact, I am doing so. It has been declared.

Also: Garcia’s plump little titty.

Rocks, Off

band onstage red rocks 2 7:7:78

Look at this bullshit. Look at all this bullshit. I’ve been sitting here giggling at it for five minutes. Everything is off-kilter and askew: nothing kilters and there is no skew. Not one skew. To paraphrase Ghostbusters: no human would set up a rock band like this.

The Dead’s crew took “Just put that anywhere” as a dare.

When I Stack My Masterpiece

band onstage red rocks 3

Precarious Lee never won any awards. He came in third in his sixth grade spelling bee, and that was better than he had expected to do, so he was happy. He created no lasting works; Precarious never learned to sculpt, and he didn’t have the patience for novel-writing.  He facilitated art, but never got around to making any. Precarious has lived his life without inflicting much of a scar on the historical record.

But, Precarious? He did that bullshit right there.

And that bullshit right there?  That’s art.

Keith Godchaux On A Horse

keith horse egypt

A foreign horse, at that.

An Open Letter To Kidd Candelario In 1972

Dear Kidd Candelario in 1972,

Hi. How are you? I’m fine, but the future is terrible. You should stay in 1972.

Anyway, when you are recording Dead shows in 1972, could you please turn Keith up? Betty made me Keith really loud, except by the time Betty took over the tape deck, Keith was playing kinda shitty some nights. In 1972, however, Keith was a god; you cannot hear him.

To reiterate: make Keith louder. Also, if this letter reaches you in the first half of 1972, then you need to stop the Olympics. I don’t know how that might be accomplished, but if anyone can get the Olympics cancelled, it’s the Dead. If you are reading this in the latter half of the year, then I am sorry about what happened at the Olympics.


Something About Keith

keith glasses microphone

Pigpen was perversely photogenic, and garrulous. TC will talk to anyone who calls, and has spoken as expansively as one can about a particular year out of one’s youth. Brent and Vince and Bruce all gave long interviews and fulfilled their publicity duties.

Not Keith, though. Only one good hit when you Google “Keith Godchaux interview.” There’s footage of him and Mrs Donna Jean shot for The Grateful Dead Movie, but they were incoherently high and the material was not used.

Beyond that, Keith appears in far fewer photographs than the rest of the band. When it comes to onstage photos, this can be explained by his off-to-the-side stage position, or the fact that a picture of a thrashing drummer will always be more interesting than one of a sad-faced piano player with bad posture.

But there are also less candid shots, and by a wide margin.

All Keith left was two sons and his music.

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