Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: ramrod (page 1 of 2)

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!

Bidet Of The Locusts

The second bidet was installed in the bathroom like normal, and after Billy was appraised of how foreign an object it was (“You mean even the name’s French? I’ll pass.), the band was free to launder their nethers to their hearts’ content.

The road crew began using it as a drinking fountain immediately; Phil and Bobby beat them back with truncheons and chair legs.

“Back! No! Not for you, beast!”

“Not beast,” the road crew said. “Always to walk on two legs. Never to walk on four.”

“Drink from your bowls!”

And then Ramrod started licking himself. It was a weird afternoon.

Nothing Could Be Finer

What is it with you guys and blankets?

“We like wearing ’em!”

And headbands?

“We LOVE wearing ’em!”

Phil, that’s the best your hair ever looked, ever, hands down, no runner-up.

“Wonderful to hear.”


ALSO: I think the shoulder and ear on the left side of the picture belong to Bill Graham. Anyone with me?


jerry ramrod good hair

“We can’t both do big hair, Ram. We look like an ad in High Times.”

“So, what do you suggest? A schedule? Should we flip for it?”

“Yeah, or I could just accidentally light your hair on fire while you sleep.”

“I’ve got a hat.”

“Awesome. Good talk.”

Deep Crew Sea

jerry parish ramrod scuba

Parish was a man of the working class and, therefore, insisted on a uniform of vest and no sleeves at all times.

If You Build It

wall 73 11 30

When the Solstice came, there would be a reckoning. This is what the message claimed: build it and there will be a need. It is your destiny that has been written.

Where was it written? Excellent question. Many books. Many. It’s written all over the damn place.

Originally, you’re asking. Huh. Well, buddy: that is a superior question. In the sky, and on the wind, and on the lips of children, and…you ain’t buying this, are you?

Fine. You need to keep this under your hat: the Wall built itself a little bit maybe.

It sounded crazy to everyone. Ramrod came in early most mornings: he was a farm kid and could never sleep much past first light and he would grab donuts on the way in and open up the office and one morning in late ’72, there was a hum….

Those speakers hadn’t been there before. They were on the manifest and battered in the same way that the other speakers were, and festooned on every side with a Stealie or a lightning bolt like the other speakers. but they hadn;t been there before.

Soon a new amplifier arrived, and another. They hadn’t been ordered, certainly not paid for, but there they were and the fucked up thing, the thing that Ramrod couldn’t get his mesh-backed skull around, was that they weren’t new. They had, according to his notes and the purchase orders and even according to Hoyle supposed to be there.

But they hadn’t been there before.

The PA system got larger and larger and soon there was this idea going around: “the wall,” “we could have a big wall,” “what about a whole wall of sounds,” and finally “not A wall of sounds, THE Wall of Sound.”

No one had the idea: all of them had the idea. It cam from nowhere, like those speakers. It hadn’t been there before.

But soon there were more speakers.

It's Wall Over Now, Baby Blue

wall proto

“Ramrod, can you move it a foot to the left?”

Road Crew La La

ramrod tom finland

So that’s why Bobby wore his shorts all those years: it was acceptable within his in-group norms. Ah.

Also: WHAT THE FUCK’s up with G.A. Pornstache there? Ramrod, sure: he was just a wiry little quippie with some Merck up his nose, but WHO IS ROCKIN’ RICKY RAMYOURBUTT? Is he from Finland? Is he named Tom? How much longer those shorts gonna hold up? The only way this guy could be more of an 80’s gay porn star is if he died of AIDS.

WHY!? Why do you have to make things weird?

You did make it rather weird.


bobby whaa?

This was Bobby’s ponderin’ face, and it meant trouble. There were going to be follow-up questions and Bobby might need Ramrod to fetch the white-board and at least six different-colored markers. Now, after the show: fine. In fact, people would save up topics for Bobby to go ponderin’ over after the show.

Sometimes, though, Bobby got to ponderin’ before the show and the evening was as good as ruined. Bobby only knew 65% of the lyrics the Truckin’ when he was concentrating, so when he was making the expression in the photo?

Because they were professionals, the Dead banned the following topics from being mentioned anywhere near Bobby anywhere near showtime:

  • The infield-fly rule.
  • Icing.
  • Were the Romans nothing more than re-branded Etruscans?
  • GIF with a hard “G” or soft?
  • Water: sentient, semi-sentient, or a duck’s best friend?
  • How would you have played Han Solo, Bobby?
  • Why are we so casual and imprecise with language? For example: why do we say “I want to stick it in your butt” or “I want to stick it up your butt” when both of these activities are physiologically implausible? We should say ” I want to stick it within your butt.” What say you, Bob-o?
  • The World Cup from a fourth-wave sex-positive proto-cis-queer-feminist (of size) perspective.
  • Who’d win in a fight: Freddy vs. Jason; Hulk vs. Superman; Hunter vs. John Perry Barlow; Mickey vs. Billy; the Pyramids vs. the Pentagon (the buildings); pyramids vs. pentagon (the geometric entities); Tastes great vs. less filling; lion vs. grizzly bear (fight); lion vs. grizzly bear (spelling bee–the judge was eaten almost immediately); your mom vs. my balls and/or dong.
  • Bobby, these shirts are $17.99 originally and are on sale at 20% off. If the sales tax is 7.5% and I only have a $50, how many shirts can I buy?
  • Show your work and stop cheating off Bear

Feed Me, Fillmore

wos winterland lips

If the Dead were playing more than one night, they would leave the Wall set up and the road crew would draw straws to see who would stay with it; a member of the crew was always onstage with the gear, no exceptions. Ramrod drew the short straw on the first night in that February ’74 run. He had curled up under the piano for a little pre-dawn nap when he head a voice coming from the Wall.

“Feed me,” the voice said.

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