Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: oteil burbridge (page 3 of 8)

A Conversation With Billy That Goes Just How You’d Assume

Hey, Billy. Whatcha doing?

“I think I’m a Big Brother now or something.”


“Helping out an underprivileged kid from the inner-city.”




“Am I being mugged?”

Jesus, man.

“World’s changing, Ass. Used to be you had to be white to be a Grateful Dead. Or at least Mexican. Now there’s a pretty chick, a black guy, and a Jew!”

First off: that is not a pretty chick, it’s John Mayer.

“Tell that to my boner.”

Second: his name is Oteil.

“Oteil’s not a Jewish name.”

The black guy!

“Makes sense. Jewish guys are named Schmucky or Lumpberg or Amir.”

Or Mickey. Mickey’s the Jew.

“Yeah? Thanks for telling me.”


What is that?

“Updating my Jew files on the ol’ Apple Watch.”


“Because it’s 2017. What am I supposed to do, write it down like a caveman?”

We’re done.


Hey, guys. Whatcha doing?

“Talking shit about Billy.”

Which one of you said that?

“Both of us.”

Makes sense.


I don’t know how I feel about the phone-necklace. Is the cord elastic? Otherwise, you’re gonna be doing a real chicken-wing deal trying to text. Does Oteil not have pockets? Did Jeff Chimenti steal Oteil’s pockets? (As established, things disappear around Jeff Chimenti.) What about a fanny pack? Bobby has several, and he’s a generous man.


Oteil has lovely skin. I bet that pisses John Mayer off.

“I wash, and I wash, and I wash…”


“Phil, you sure you don’t wanna stop by for one Dead & Company show? Sit in for a song?”

“Mickey gonna whack a pair of stolen shoes together behind me?”

“Almost certainly.”

“Hard pass.”

When Did Billy Show Up?

Hey, Billy. Whatcha doing?

“Balls deep in the hoopla.”


“Look at this. Me and Phil back together again.”

His name is Oteil Burbridge.

“That’s just an anagram for Black Phil.”

It’s not.

“It is if you’re illiterate.”

Maybe. Where have you been? This is, like, the first picture I’ve seen of you this tour.

“I been checking out art museums. Unbelievably inspiring.”

No, you haven’t.

“You’re right. Skanking it up, baby. Hanging out at dog tracks and methadone clinics. Last night I had a chick who got had a buttock amputated.”


“Lopped that fucker straight off.”

I don’t even know how that works.

“Me, either, but it did. Doctors didn’t amputate her butthole.”

How come you didn’t go to the Capitol to meet Al Franken?

“I’m a Davis man.”

Makes sense.

A More Elegant Bass Player, For A More Civilized Time

Don’t give those to Billy.


No time for pleasantries, Oteil. Do not give lightsabers to Billy.

“You exaggerate about him. What’s he gonna do?”

He’ll lightsabe people. If Billy had a lightsaber, then he would lightsabe people. Like, within seconds.

“I dunno about that.”

I’ve known him longer than you.

“Okay, I won’t give Billy lightsabers.”

Or Mickey.

“Shit, no.”

Or Bobby.

“Bobby wouldn’t hurt anyone.”

Have you seen him with his drone?

“Yeah, okay. What about Chimenti?”

He’ll turn them into bongs.

“Well, I’d be into that.”

Me, too. Put that silver-haired motherfucker to work.

Staredown Street

“Who the hell is that?’

Which one?


John Mayer.


Josh Meyers.

“Still nothing.”

You okay, Bobby?

“I was bored before the show, so my shoulder started hurting.”

Stay away from those goddamned pills, Weir.

“Not pills.”


“I crushed ’em up.”


Barefoot In The Park With Oteil

Hey, Oteil.


You okay, buddy?

“Uh-huh. See me smiling? Happy Oteil. Real happy. Everything’s great.”

Hey, hey, hey. What’s going on with my big guy? You can tell me.


What is it?

“Nothing! I’m fine!”

Did Mickey steal your shoes to use as drums?


Oh, buddy, you gotta stand up for yourself.

“He was very aggressive.”

Mickey gets like that when he’s drinking.

“How did you know he’d been drinking?”

Was he awake?


Well, there you go. Doesn’t Bobby have some backup sandals you can borrow?

“Bobby said he only travels with one pair of Birkenstocks at a time.”


“Better gas mileage in the bus.”

Okay. Wait: Josh should have at least three or four dozen pairs of shoes with him.

“Yeah, he offered. We’re even the same size.”


“Honestly, I’d rather be barefoot than wear that shit.”

I hear you. Well, it’s just for the show. Can’t be that bad.

“Billy keeps throwing handfuls of Legos at me.”

Sounds right.

Basest Solos

Hey, Bobby. Whatcha doing?

“Taking a load off.”

I see that.

“I don’t know if you’re aware, but the Grateful Dead rarely featured full-blown bass solos.”

No, they didn’t.

“For a reason.”


“But, you know, Branford loves doing ’em. Bless his heart.”

His name is Oteil.

“Agree to disagree.”

You don’t even want to comp behind him or anything?

“I’m not encouraging bass solos. Mickey used to toss used chewing gum into Phil’s hair when he did ’em. I’m not gonna go that far, but I won’t participate.”

You’re a man of principle.

“And I wanted to sit down.”

That, too.

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.”

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