Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: Pigpen (page 1 of 17)

Odds And Ends

How about some reading material, Enthusiasts? Collected from around the innertubes and–dare I say–curated just for you out of love, respect, friendshipliness, all that nonsense: here are places to go, stuff to watch, balls to itch, petitions to sign, and one link that, when clicked upon, will hijack your computer in order to mine Bitcoin. (And, yes, you are right to find humor in the fact that mining Bitcoin is speeding up Climate Change; that shit’s deeply funny.) Here we go:


There’s a school in Palo Alto, which is the town that services Stanford University, named Jordan Middle School. This is in honor of a former Stanford president named David Starr Jordan, who was born in Upstate New York in 1851. Now, Enthusiast, your average fellow or filly born in Upstate New York in 1851 would believe a whole bunch of bullshit we’d find abhorrent today, but DSJ wasn’t average: he advocated for the betterment of the blood, and if that sounds Nazi-ish to you, it should; Hitler stole many of DSJ’s ideas about eugenics.

He also may or may not have covered up the murder of his boss’ wife, or murdered her himself.

Naturally, there’s a movement–or, actually, several competing movements–to rename the facility. Some land on the side of efficiency and cost, pointing out that since the school doesn’t bear DSJ’s full sobriquet, just his last name, it would be easy to rechristen the building after Michael Jordan or Barbara Jordan or whomever. Others want to name it after Steve Jobs; these people are assholes.

There is, thankfully, a good idea: name the school after Pigpen. The ol’ Pig–when he was just a little bitty Piglet–went to Jordan Middle, where he studied Lovin’, Juicin’, and Makin’ It With Foxes; he also smoked cigarettes under the bleachers. TotD backs this plan, obviously, as Pigpen was not (as far as we know) a rabid eugenicist.


Josh has a new guitar! It looks like this:

And no matter what you think, it’s not a Strat. Sure, your eyes are telling you that it’s a Strat, but who you gonna believe: Grammy-winner and clotheshorse Josh Meyers or your eyes? Look at the headstock! Totally not a Strat. Still don’t buy it? Well, go listen to him explain how it’s not a Strat for 40 minutes.

There’s a line from Shakespeare that applies here, methinks.


Hey, guess who the Dead treated like second-class citizens? Did you guess “women?” Well, good for you, smartypants.

Vox Populus

“C’mere, lemme sing you that birthday song.”

Oh, no. I hate that song.

“Nah, don’t be blamin’ the poor song! You jus’ hate gettin’ sung AT. Supposed to be sung TO!”

You got a point.

“The ol’ Pig generally does.”

You are simply the hairiest beast in the world.

“I’m gonna take that as a compliment.”

It was one.

“Way I see it: you ain’t pretty like Weir, you gotta get yourself a look! Foxes are fascinated by the strange and unusual. My bouffant is downright entrancin’ to your average fox!”

I can see that.

“Brings ’em in close, makes ’em woozy with confusion and lust! Plus, I ain’t showered for a few days, so pheromones is just pourin’ off!”

Then what?

“And then I crawl ’em!”


“It’s like the song says: the ol’ Pig’s got the ways and means!”

You sure do.

“Happy birthday, you ol’ bastard.”

Happy deathday, you ol’ Pig.

When The Boys Were Boys

There was a good two or three years in the beginning where Pig–God bless him–looked like a swamp monster.


Check out the JFK-cut on the square on the right. That’s a hairdo that’ll stand up to Communism.


Until rather recently, you were allowed to smoke around any machine, no matter how complicated and expensive and fragile.


Thick air, man.

You Be Me For A While, And I’ll Be You

Hey, Bobby. Nice potato salad.

“Thank you.”


Okay, Enthusiasts: Nerd Time! This is 5/25/72 from the Strand Lyceum in London, and they’re playing Good Lovin’. How do we know this? Because Garcia is not, contrary to your first instinct, hunched over his pedal steel guitar, but covering the organ for Pig while he sings. Go listen: there’s only one guitar for the first five minutes of the tune, and the guy playing the B3 doesn’t quite know what he’s doing.

We also know that Garcia played the piano on 9/20/70 at the Fillmore East for what would turn out to be the last performance of To Lay Me Down for three years:

So: was that it or did Garcia ever play keyboards onstage other than these two times?

Cold Comfort

Goddamn, that’s an enormous hat.

“I told her that! I said, ‘Woman! You wearin’ a damn tuffet!'”

And what did she say?

“She showed me her muffet.”


“You know the ol’ Pig sat down beside her.”

And then?

“We got it on!”

All right.

“It certainly was.”

You know, it’s Janis’ birthday today.

“Where you think she got that bottle from!?”

Makes sense.

“So, tell me: how old she woulda been?”

Today? 74.

“Stop pullin’ the ol’ Pig’s leg!”

I wouldn’t dare, buddy.

“74. Huh. That’s some mileage. My grandma ain’t even that old.”

Getting up there.

“I’m glad I didn’t have to see that. All wrinkly and withered. Bent over and whatnot. Way it all worked out was f’r the best.”

You’re a liar.

“Heh. Yeah. I thought I’d try out fibbin’. How was I at it?”


“Yeah. All right, get on out o’ here. We got some celebratin’ to do.”

How you gonna celebrate?

“We gonna drink and screw all damn night!”

Good plan.

“Course it is.”

Springtime Chillers

Dammit, Bobby: your other left.


No one show Mrs, Donna Jean’s coat to Josh.


A rare instance of Billy winning the Posture Game.


Legally, if you assemble this many Grateful Deads, someone has to be wearing the lady in the background’s hippie vest. (I think they hand those vests out at vegan bookstores.)


Mrs Donna Jean is a Crip.

Couple Of The Year

Janis’ hat is way bigger than yours, Pig.

“Ain’t the size o’ the chapeau! It’s whose head the sucker’s on!”

True. You’re all dressed up.

“Takin’ my gal out on the town! We gonna drink our wine an’ tell dirty jokes an’ get frisky with each other!”

She was the only one who could drink with you.

“Hell, naw. Anyone c’n drink with the ol’ Pig. Jan’s the only one what could keep up! Me an’ her got the same phobia.”

Which was?

“Dyin’ o’ thirst!”

Oh, was that why you drank so much?

“Gotta keep lubricated! People don’ know this ’bout Northern California, but it’s dry as dandruff up here! You could get all parched out in minutes if you ain’t careful!”

But alcohol is a dehydrant.

“Then how come it’s wet?”


“Gotcha, college boy!”

You did.

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.”

Slobs Versus Snobs

Y’know, Pig, most bands had one look. A collective aesthetic, if you will.

“I most certainly will not, you fancy-talkin’ cockknocker!”


“Heard one o’ the crew say it the other day. Thought it was funny.”

It is.

“I know!”

Seriously, man: you guys look like you’re in different bands.

“Y’gotta give the kids options f’r their eyeballs! Mebbe they get tired o’ lookin’ at College Boy over here, so they take a peek at the ol’ Pig! Switch it up ev’ry now an’ then!”

I guess.

“You guess, but I know! Done my research!”

You did research on this?

“I sure did! Asked my ol’ lady! I said, ‘Woman! How we lookin’ this evenin’?’ And she said we looked sharp!”

That sounds like research.

“If y’ can’t trust your ol’ lady, then I feel bad f’r ya!”

You never tell a lie, Pig.

“That ain’t what my ol’ lady says!”

Good one.


The Hogfather

What’s your favorite thing about Christmas, Pig?


Besides that.

“After that, I s’pose I like the music best. All them songs ’bout Christmas heroes and whatnot. I’m talkin’ ’bout Frosty and Rudolph, all them fellows. Big Red.”


“The ol’ Pig loves him some Santa. Me an’ him in the same business! Bringin’ joy to the children!”


“”Cept that fat man only works one day a year! I’m out on the damn road sweatin’ and makin’ it night after night!”

Well, in Santa’s defense, it takes a lot of prep work to get ready for that one day.

“I figure most o’ Santa’s time is taken up by elf management.”


“We tried to do one o’ them Secret Santa deals one year. Didn’t go good.”

What happened?

“The Grateful Dead was involved!”

That will throw a wrench in things.

“Weir didn’t understand th’ underlyin’ concept! He thought ‘Secret Santa’ was like a secret agent or somethin’! Started sneakin’ around in a trenchcoat and other various foolishnesses! Gave himself a code name!”

What was it?

“Felix Navidad.”

That’s a good Secret Santa name.

“I don’t got no hard feelings ‘gainst the name. It’s clever.”

What about the other guys?

“Drummers just took their dicks out! Garcia forgot! The endeavor was an immediate failure at every damn level!”

Sounds right.

“Can’t let nothin’ ruin your Christmas, though. Gotta go out and suck all that Christmas down quick as y’can! Only get so much of it, gotta grab it ‘fore it’s gone. Put that Christmas in the freezer, so’s you can take a little bit out when you need it in July or somethin’.”

You always make sense, Pig.

“I know!”

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