Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: mickey hart (page 1 of 63)

First, I Look In The Perse

What is this?

“Oh, glad you’re here. This is the new party poncho from James Perse’s new Dead & Company line. It’s officially licensed!”

It’s a garbage bag, Mickey.

“You know nothing about fashion. It’s Polybutadiene prepared with a high-quality Ziegler–Natta catalyst.”

Uh-huh. Wait here while I google that.

“Sure. I’m gonna drum.”


It’s vinyl, Mickey.

“Officially licensed vinyl.”


“What our fans have told us is that they’d like higher-end merch. Also, what I’ve told the merch guys is that I’d like higher-end merch. A man cannot yoink on tee-shirts alone.”

How much is that?



“There’s a Stealie on it.”


“So you wouldn’t believe how many rich morons we have as fans.”

I totally would.

Trivia Time!

Okay, Enthusiasts: this is a tough one. Name:

  1. The show.
  2. The activity.
  3. The song that caused the activity.

Winner gets an angry cat thrown at them. GO!

Keith’s Left, Keith’s Right, He’s Gone



Why did Keith’s piano move from one side of the stage to the other, depending on what show it was?

“Two reasons.”

Were they shits and giggles?

“Little bit, yeah.”

Why would you do that?

“Gotta find your fun somewhere. We’d put his piano stage left for a few shows, then shift it to the other side, and he’d get so confused. One time, he just sat on a road case and started playing a monitor.”

That is kinda funny.

“Yup. He kept tweaking Bobby’s nipples trying to turn himself up.”

That’s damn funny.

“Certainly was.”

We Were Having A Thigh Time

These men got groupies.


Younger Enthusiast, this cannot be explained away by invoking “it was the fashion of the time.” When the Dead wore rainbow trousers and fringed jackets and frilled shirts: well, it was the 60’s. That was what hip young men wore to attract groovy young ladies. But this bullshit? This bullshit right here? This bullshit was not the fashion of the time. This bullshit was not the fashion of any time in human history.


It is rare, exceedingly so, that Bobby’s short shorts are the most acceptable pant on stage: if a bit risqué, they are still basic and classic jean shorts. Whereas Phil is wearing sky-blue velour and holy fucking shit there are cuffs on Garcia’s.


None of their shoes are helping, either.


If Phil sits down, his balls are escaping. That’s a fact.




Is Brent’s monitor on an end table?



“Coffee table was too low.”


Not As Black And White As They Used To Be

“White jeans?”

“They’re in now. Very stylish. You should see how the light plays off my potato salad.”

“White jeans, man?”

“You look better with a beard.”

“Your bangs are crooked.”

“Shut up.”

“You shut up.”

“Don’t talk to me that way. You’re not in the Core Four.”

“On a technicality, man. I’m as core as they come.”

“Not legally 40 years in the future.”

“You got me there. Are they Jordache?”

“Shut up.”


“I don’t know Steve Bannon, either.”

Fuck, I hope not.

“Eh. There’s a shot. Met a lot of rich asshole Deadheads.”

True. Who’s the worst?

“The bankers. They always gotta tell you about the other thing they do. ‘I’m really a novelist, I’m gonna open up a B&B. All that bullshit. Only thing worse than a banker who hates his job is a banker who doesn’t. Those are the creepy ones.”

Bankers worse than the Hollywood guys?

“Hell, yeah. At least the Hollywood assholes have good stories.”

True. I keep thinking you’re wearing a Che Guavara shirt.

“Fuck that guy.”

I’m with you on that one.

“I don’t know Steve Bannon, either!”

No one thought you did, Mickey.

“Wanna talk about drums?”

Not really.

Ready, Set-Up, Go




“Which part?”

All of it.

“Drummers wanted to be up front.”

Why did you let them?

“Why would I care? They wanna set up in the bathroom, I’ll set ’em up in the bathroom.”

What about Phil?

“What about him?”

Why is he all the way in the back?

“He was feeling anti-social today.”

Sure. Precarious?


Is there any security at all?

“Now there is. Shitloads of it.”

What about in 1970 when the picture was taken?

“Yeah, no. No security at all. Concept didn’t exist. You hoped that the kids were too fucked up to riot, and the road crew punched stagehoppers. That was it.”

The good old days.

“The old days.”

It’s A Set-Up

We are told that the triangle is the strongest shape found in nature, but triangles do not occur in nature. Lot of shit’s triangular–mountains are pretty trianglescent, for example–but no actual triangles. Spheres? Circles? Absolutely. Bees’ll do ya up a nice hexagon. But triangles? Nah.

And certainly not hairy rhombi, which is the configuration the Dead have assembled into here. The Mickey-Bobby and Phil-Billy-Garcia (hereafter known as MB and PKG) line segments are parallel and share a slope of +1 (roughly).  The rhombus is an inherently unstable shape, which is why the Egyptians did not entomb their kings in them. (Also, Ptolemy hated rhombuses. “Your name being spelled wrong is my thing,” the pharaoh would often say, to which his courtiers did not respond, as the joke only works in modern-day English.)

Which brings me to my thesis: the Grateful Dead did shit wrong.

Is that your thesis or an overarching theme?



Look at them. I mean, just look at them. Everyone is entirely off their kilter; perhaps no one had even been on their kilter at all that day. Besides the asymmetry–which would be bettered if Pig were in the shot–it’s the bocce court in between Mickey and Billy that’s the beauty bit.

You see those monitors? They’re not monitors. They’re speakers shimmed into position with some stolen motel Bibles. Monitors are wedge-shaped so you don’t have to lean them against stuff to get them into the right position, and in 1970 they didn’t exist. So you propped up some PA speakers, plugged ’em into the board, and fiddled with knobs until they didn’t feedback. That was about it. And they were just for the vocals, really; you heard your guitar through the nine giant amplifiers stacked behind you.

So, if you wanted to hear the drummer, you had to stand right next to the drummer.

But the mic was all the way at the front of the stage, so Phil had to run up Drummer’s Alley every time he had to sing. (Do you think he waited til the last second and sprinted up dramatically like the big-time Rock Stars used to do? Or was it a casual mosey? It was a casual mosey, wasn’t it?)


Whatever their current relationship, Phil and Billy used to be Shirt Buddies, and that’s how I’ll continue thinking of them.

Six The Hard Way

Mickey: actively masturbating.


“Hi, there.”

“Yeah, uh, hi.”

Who is speaking right now?

“Bobby’s thighs.”


Noooooooope. Not happening.


Everyone looks like they’re sucking up to Garcia to get a promotion.


Billy’s shirt by Wyatt Koch. (Click at your own risk, but I’ll tell you upfront: you’re gonna want to murder the next rich fucker you see.)


Amir Bar-Lev is directing a documentary about Phil entitled Tucker: A Man And His Shirts.


Seriously, how was Bobby in a band with these mutants? He’s like an Eloi among Morlocks.

Overheard At The Hospital

  • Mickey, put the nurses’ scrubs back.
  • Has anyone seen the pharmacy?
  • No, Bear, please don’t rewire the public address system aaaaaaaand you fried the entire building; thanks for that, genius.
  • Who put tequila in all these IV bags?
  • Well, look around for it; it’s gotta be here; livers don’t just walk away.
  • Nurse, a shoeless black guy and a white guy with hair like a unicorn just stole my food.
  • No, not the contents of the pharmacy; the pharmacy.
  • Paging Dr. Beechwood.
  • Paging Dr. Schott.
  • It’s a lovely house, Bobby, but we need those tongue depressors for the patients.
  • You dosed the otolaryngologist? I dosed the otolaryngologist. Jesus, how many people dosed the otolaryngologist? We should check on him.
  • The opening to the gown is supposed to be in the back, Billy.
  • Yes, it’s a problem that everyone can see your dick.
  • No, we’re not “all professionals here,” Billy: we’re in the cafeteria.
  • Security to the parking lot: two ambulances have been stolen and are being repeatedly crashed into one another; approach with caution, as suspects are armed and married.
  • The whole pharmacy is gone, all of it, it is not there anymore, I don’t know how much more clearly I can put this.
  • If you don’t lock the morgue up, the road crew are just gonna steal more parts.
  • HOLY SHIT, are you smoking in the fucking burn ward?
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