Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: oteil burbridge (page 3 of 7)

I Spy With My Little Eye

I see you back there.


I got eyes everywhere, Oteil.

“Listen, just keep this under your hat.”

Not wearing one.

“And stop being so literal.”

Hate to hear what Billy will have to say.

“Please don’t turn this into a thing.”


“Don’t call me a quisling.”

Mickey’s not gonna like it, either.

“Billy’s more important.”

In every way.

“Don’t tell Billy.”

I dunno, Oteil. Let’s ask Steve Wozniak.


Hey, Woz.



“Shoreline. Not as fun as the US Festival.”

Sure, but your ticket didn’t cost $12 million this time.

“True. What’s up?”

Should I snitch on Oteil?

“Snitches get stitches and wind up in ditches.”

You’re a fucking truth-teller, Woz.

“I know.”

You have a good show.

“Back atcha.”

Oteil, you’re off the hook. You should thank Woz.

“I completely do not understand how this universe works.”

Don’t ask Bobby. You’ll be even more confused.

“Yeah, sure.”

You Just Tal, That’s Just About All

There’s not many pictures with Oteil where he’s not the hands-down best bass player. In this shot, he might be, but he also might not. That’s Australia’s Tal Wilkenfeld, who broke out playing with Jeff Beck at the age of, like, 13 or something.

Check her out:


To Life, To Life

Hey, Mickey.

“I was wondering when you were gonna get to me.”

It’s a long summer, buddy.

“Great summer. You see how many drums I got?”


“The most! I checked around. No one touring this summer has more drums than me.”


“You’re welcome.”

You having a little party?

“Oh, yeah. Getting drunk with Black Phil and Girl Justin.”

Reya. She is your daughter.

“I knew the second part.”

Why are you all so bad with names?

“Decades of substance abuse.”


“Also, I don’t hear ’em when people tell ’em to me.”

Also true. This is sweet that Reya’s going on tour with you.

“It’s great, man. Having adult children is a blessing.”

I think you just mean “children.”

“No. They’re fucking terrible when they’re kids. I avoided that whole thing.”

Probably for the best.

“Can’t get drunk with children. I mean, you can.”

You shouldn’t.

“No. Kids can’t drink for shit. Sloppy little fuckers.”

You’re cursing more than usual.

“This is my sixth margarita.”

Gonna be a good summer.

“I’ll drink to that.”

Separate, But Unequal

2017 and we’re still dealing with this kind of racism.

Excuse me?

The non-whites get segregated. That is the textbook definition of racism.

Jeff Chimenti is white.

Italians are white now? What next, the Irish?

You gonna be like this all night?


Okay. Hold on.







Did you just deliberately get beaten to death by Turkish security goons?



We Were Having A Grand Time

The O-hawk is back.

“You like?”

It’s straight this time.

“It was straight last time.”

I have pictures, man. Don’t revisit this.

“You cannot get me down today. Or ever. Summer’s here and the time is right.”

You’re a positive guy.

“What’s not to be positive about?

You’re like if Bill Walton was shorter and had all his original bones.

“Sure, okay.”

A terrible HIV test.

“We can stop.”

What’s the secret, man?

“You wanna know?”

Hell, yeah.



“Any more questions?”

Not a one.

Jealous Again

“Looky there, man. Little Josh suckin’ off the Dead nipple some more.”

Chris Robinson?

“Heeeey, brother.”

Don’t call me brother. I know how you treat your brother.

“It’s just shit, man. Legacy acts playing their old hits. Just sad, man.”

Sure. What are you doing this week?

“Playing a show from ’77 with Phil.”


“Where’s his beard?”



Don’t call him that. Only me and Bobby and everybody else gets to call him that.

“Still: where’s his beard?”

I don’t think he has a girlfriend at the moment.

“You think this is what Jerry would have wanted?”

He’s dead. He doesn’t get a vote, except maybe in Chicago.

“Whatever, man. Just sad Play your own songs!”

You’re very hard to handle, Chris Robinson.

“You suck, too.”

Nice of you to stop by. Call first next time.

Second Verse, Chooglier Than The First

Hey, Oteil. Whatcha doing?

“Singing! And playing bass. But the singing is the headline. Gonna take lead this summer.”

Good for you. What songs?

“It’s a surprise.”

Boo. You know all the words?

“Of course I do.”

Well, forget about a quarter of them. You’re a Grateful Dead, dammit. There are standards and precedents.

“Nope. Gonna kill it.”

You’re a positive man, Oteil.

“What’s there not to be positive about? Playing music I love for huge crowds, making lots of money, flying on private jets, my kid’s healthy, and I got a mohawk. I’m a happy man.”

You’re awesome.

“Right back atcha.”


“I know you see me, asshole.”

Hello, Red Metal Stool.

“You’re a hater.

No I just hate you. Your actions and behavior and statements have caused me to hate you. Not a free-floating hater.


Of what?

“You want Bobby to sit on you.”

I truly do not.

“Plop right down.”

Is this gonna be all summer with you?

“Yeah, I’m thinking about evolving my character into a more antagonistic-type deal.”


“Hey, tell Chris Robinson to suck my red metal dick.”

I am not in contact with any of the Black Crowes.

“He looks like hippie Slender Man.”

Granted, but I don’t speak with him.

“Tour, baby!”

Everything about this year is worse than everything about last year, and last year was the worst year.

“Really? ‘Everything?’ The ‘worst?’ You sound like him now. This year is worse than 1920?”


“Five percent of the world’s population died from the flu.”

Fuck ’em. I am distracted by the news. This is worse.

“You’re a monster.”

You’re a stool.


Headliners On A Northbound Train

If you only looked quickly, and did not know who Dick Gregory was, you might think that was a different kind of red hat. It’s a Billy-style red hat, from the MLK memorial. Acceptable red hat. Good and righteous red hat.

Goddammit, that bloated pisslicker ruined red hats.


Is it the angle or does Oteil have an enormous head? If the latter: has Oteil always had a head this large and I did not notice, or has he begun an HGH regimen in the past few months?


I love when men hit a certain age and stop giving fucks and can finally appreciate things for being adorable.

“What kind of phone cover do you want, Dick?”

“Bouncy baby blue!”

“Okay. You sure you don’t want this cool black-and-silver one? It’s shiny.”




Oteil has strenuously taken to Dead shirt-wearin’. He’s applied himself; he does his homework. Soon–one day very soon–the student shall become the master, and he will defeat Mickey in an epic Merch Yoink duel.


Can Oteil grow a full beard? He’s had a neat Vandyke, but has not gone Full Muppet. This is the state of the world: there are now two Grateful Deads that cannot grow beards. The gyre cannot hold.


“Mr. Gregory, can I get you a snack?”


“Not a piece of fruit, something healthy?”

“I’m 84! What the fuck’s a banana gonna do at this point? BUGLES, MOTHERFUCKER!”

“Yes, sir.”

And Introducing Radio Randy


“Oteil, I can’t thank you enough for being on the show.”

“Thanks for having me, Radio Randy.”

“Not my name.”

“Don’t sass me.”

“Oteil, you started your career with a jam band with a terrible name, then you put up with Gregg Allman’s bullshit for many years. Now you’re a Grateful Dead.”

“Is there a question?”

“No. I did not prepare for this interview.”

“Why not?”

“I’m not the actual deejay. He’s tied up in a port-a-potty.”


“Yeah. Oh, shit. The cops.”



“Not ME, you idiots! I’m in the Grateful Dead! Him! He’s the kidnapper!”

“Oops, sorry.”

“We keep doing that.”

“We just assumed.”

“We assumed, we did.”




“Uh, hi. Oteil? Hi. It’s me, the real Radio Randy.”

“You got out of the port-a-potty?”

“Yeah, so…we could do this if you want.”

“The interview?”

“Sure, yeah.”

“You were kidnapped ten minutes ago. You don’t wanna have a smoke or something?”

“Naaah. SiriusXM hosts get kidnapped at a remarkable rate. Gans and Lambert both had to take out special insurance. I’m used to it.”

“Ooookay. If you say so, man.”

“Great. So: Oteil, you started your career with a jam band with a terrible name, then you put up with Gregg Allman’s bullshit for many years. Now you’re a Grateful Dead.”

“The other guy asked me that.”

“When he tied me up, he stole my notes.”


“Let’s get to the real issues, Oteil. You’re not in as many storylines as the other guys. To be completely honest, Katy Perry is a far more-developed character than you.”

“Especially in the chest area.”

“I hear that.”


“But, seriously: Oteil, is this racism?”

“I can’t say that it’s definitely racism, but it’s definitely racism.”

“What’s the difference?”

“Placement of the italics.”


“This is how I see it: if Jeff was in more stuff and not me, I’d be suspicious, but all Jeff gets to do is sit there and look pretty.”

“You’re talking about Dead keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, and his grey glory?”

“I am.”

“What does it smell like?”

“Jeff’s hair?”


“Trustworthy cinnamon.”

“Wow. Any thoughts on the recent revelations about Page McConnell?”

“That he’s not…you know.”

“You know.”

“Yeah, that was kind of an open secret in the jam band community.”

“The jammunity?”

“Don’t call it that.”


“We all knew. Remember the kid in high school who thought no one knew he was gay, but everyone knew? Well, substitute ‘not retarded’ for ‘gay.'”

“Wait, Page is gay?”

“No, he’s not retarded.”

“Oh, okay. Next question, Oteil, and it’s a previous question: just how racist is TotD?”

“More than he should be; not as much as he could be.”

“Well put. Oh, we have a caller, and he’s from Florida. Caller?”

Stop calling me a fucking racist, Radio Randy!

“Then stop being a racist, racist!”

Fuck you, Radio Randy!

“I’m hanging up on you!”



“I’m sorry you had to hear that, Oteil. Let’s not take any more calls.”

“He’s losing his mind a little, isn’t he?”

“No, the depths of the fissures are just becoming more obvious.

“Well put.”

“Oteil, what’s next?”

“He’s gonna circle around until he thinks of a punchline.”

“Not with the post.”


“Dead and Company. Will there be another tour?”

“Holy shit, do I hope so.”

“There’s our punchline.”


Vote (A Little Too) Early And Vote Often


Hey, Oteil. Whatcha doOMIGOD LOOK HOW CUTE HE IS.

“Gonna be a ladykiller.”

The curls! He looks pre-Raphaelite!

“If you say so.”

Give him some wings and a bow & arrow.

“Getting weird.”

Little, yeah. Sorry.





“They just gave him a sticker.”

How much did Hillary pay your baby!?

“Stop this.”


“We’re leaving.”

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