Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: mickey hart (page 2 of 64)

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?

Ready For The Feast

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?”

“Black Phil.”

“Thanks, Billy. Black Phil–”

“Oteil. My name is Oteil.”

“–will you read the Four Questions for us?”

“Wrong holiday, Bobby.”

Throw Me In The Waffle House, Til The Sun Go Down

They fed you!

“Yeah, thanks. Bobby saw your post and felt bad. I mean, not bad enough to pay, but bad enough to stop.”

“I hadn’t eaten in four days. No, wait. I found an old sugar packet in my organ yesterday. Tasted fucking awesome.”

“You didn’t tell me about the sugar packet.”

“Sorry, O. I just ate the whole thing before I even thought about it.”

“Not cool, man. I ate my shoes yesterday.”

“So that’s where they went.”

Guys, are they really not letting you eat?

“It’s fine.”

“They love us.”

This is not okay. Aren’t there, like, union rules that say you have to have a certain amount of meals provided?

“Oh, they’re provided.”

“And then slapped cruelly from our hands.”


“When I play my big solo on Friend of the Devil, Mickey uses a fishing rod to suspend a burrito above my head like Tantalus.”

“I often don’t have the strength to do my bouncy dances.”

“Billy often makes his water on the salmon.”

“John made me watch him pull his pork.”

Is that a euphemism?

“Yes and no.”

This is unacceptable. What does Bobby say?

“He lets it happen.”

“When everyone finds out, he’s gonna issue a statement saying that he had no idea.”


“Benign moral neglect.”

This is shocking. You guys should quit!

“What? And leave the Grateful Dead?”

“I get to sing now. I’m not going anywhere.”

Enjoy your meal, guys.

An Expected Conclusion With An Unexpected Postscript

Hey, Mr. Davis. You look…I don’t know how you look. I can’t read your expression.

“Pissed off at white motherfuckers.”

That’s a given.

“Nah. Got a special anger right now. Hey, you’re a Jew.”

No good conversation has ever started this way.

“You must know motherfuckers at the New York Times.”

I don’t. I know people who write for music magazines.

“Yeah, some of my friends are losers, too.”

That’s just rude.

“I wake up. Do my stretches. Go downstairs. John got my breakfast the way I like it.”

How do you like it?

“Small lines. Motherfuckers wanna lay out big-ass rails the size of Hercules’ dick. Show they’re tough or something. I don’t appreciate that. Low class. Gimme six itty-bitty lines. And some fruit. Gotta start the day healthy.”


“And a Heineken. Love that shit.”

Sounds like your day began well.

“Then I opened the fucking paper. And I found it. The shit I been looking for all my life.”


“Proof that the white man is the fucking devil.”

The blowjob about the Nazi?

“What the fuck is wrong with you motherfuckers? How many chances you motherfuckers give each other? N—-r sits down for some fucking song and he can’t get a job. White man wants to kill everything darker than a fucking cuticle, and you talk about his favorite fucking teevee shows.”

I have no defense.

“The fuck is wrong with you motherfuckers?”

Again: I do not know.

“I start shooting off my mouth about how I wanna kill all the honkies, you think the fucking Times is gonna be so nice to me?”


“This angered me. Then I finished my Heineken and there wasn’t another one there for me. That angered me, as well. I needed to do something with my feelings.”

Oh, God.

“I shot and killed my wife, John Mayer.”


“You knew it was coming.”

I didn’t think it would happen off-screen.

“This dialogue bullshit don’t lend itself to fucking action scenes.”

Oh, Mr. Davis. Is he really dead?

“If he isn’t, then he’s in for a hell of a surprise when he wakes up in that landfill.”

You dumped John Mayer in a landfill? He’s a Grammy winner!

“I know. I traded his awards for pills.”

You’re a horrible man.

“Don’t listen to him, Miles! Everyone’s wanted to shoot Josh for years. Grab your racket and let’s hit around.”

“Who the fuck is that?”

“I don’t know if we’ve met. I’m Mickey Hart.”

“Yeah. Airto told me about you. Said you crazy. Like crashing sports cars and getting in fights and sniffing cocaine.”

“Yeah, that’s me.”

“I like that. Fuck tennis, though. Let’s just take the balls and throw ’em at old Chinese ladies.”

“That sounds much better, honestly.”

“Gimme five minutes to change.”

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