Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: steve silberman

A Sidewalk Of New York

“Walter Becker.”

“So sad.”

“Favorite Steely Dan, Amir?”

“The original, Steve.”

“The one from the book?”

“It combines my two greatest loves: steam-power and dildos. What about you?”

“Black Friday, I guess.”

“That’s a good answer, too. What are you doing in New York?”

“Hadn’t been in a while, Amir. Needed to see the city again, and everything that makes it great.”

“The East River kayak put-in area.”

“Chase Bank.”

“51st Street.”

“The Chase Bank opposite the first one.”

“The Home Depot in Union Square.”

“Guy Fieri’s in Times Square.”

“All of Times Square, really. And Alphabet City.”

“Oh, it’s not Alphabet City any more, Steve.”


“Nope. Eho.”


“East of Houston. It’s all condos and restaurants owned by David Chang now.”

“Sounds great. Any Chase Banks?”

“Enough. Enough so you know you’re in the Greatest City on Earth.”

“And what are you doing in New York, Amir?”

“I live here.”

“Good reason. How’s the family?”

“My wife, Shpilkis, and my children Shmuley, Hummus, and Tom Hagen?”

“Yes. Your family.”

“They’re great.”

“Tom Hagen?”



“I’m raising him to be my cinematographer.”

“That’s long-term planning, Amir. Good thinking.”

“His first words were ‘Sven Nyqvist.'”

“That’s a good omen.”

“How’s the Buddhism going, Steve?”

“Well. Very well.”

“Reach Nirvana?”

“Saw it once.”


“But, you know, then I realized that I saw it and it disappeared.”

“Nirvana’s kind of a little bitch like that.”

“You dabble in Buddhism, too, don’t you?”

“I do. I dabble. More of a Jewish Buddhism, though.”

“How so?”

“The mandalas are made of brisket.”


“And instead of meditating, you just have a nice sit.”

“Sounds kosher.”

“So what’s next for Steve Silberman? Working on another book?”

“I am. The next Game of Thrones book, actually.”


“I’m a fast writer. I think I can beat Martin to the shelf.”

“Can you do that?”

“Sure, it’s easy. Make up some words, steal some Tolkien, describe meals for five pages at a time. Simple.”

“No, I mean are you allowed to do that?”

“We’ll see, won’t we?”

“I guess.”

“What’s next for Amir Bar-Lev?”

“I’m executive-producing a children’s cartoon about the Wild West.”

“Yeah? What’s it called?”

The Brony Express.

“Sounds fascinating.”

“They fight the Paiute using friendship.”

“How does that go?”

“Terribly. The Paiute use guns.”

“I love these talks we have.”

“Me, too. Chinese food?”

“Yeah, but I need to hit the ATM.”

“I think there’s a Chase Bank on the way.”


Dropping In

You look familiar.

“Hi, I’m David Gans, host of the Grateful Dead Hour on SiriusXM’s GD Radio, and I’m here to tell you about my new album.”

Did…did you travel through time to plug your record?



“Gotta hustle in an expanding music market.”

True. Usually, people around here break the laws of temporality for much dumber reasons. Billy keeps using the Time Sheath to score–and I’m quoting–Etruscan puss.

“Well, I can see doing that once. You know, for the experience.”

He’s there all the time. They know him in Etrusca.

“I don’t think the Etruscans lived in Etrusca.”


“Can you pay attention? I literally traveled through time to tell the Enthusiasts about my album.”

In a Beetle, nonetheless.

“I bought it off an astronomer. Anyway, the record’s called Drop The Bone and it’s solo and full band stuff, originals and covers. Little bit of everything.”

Sounds good, but can we hear some of it?

“Funny you should ask that.”

You gonna hang around 2017?

“Fuck, no. It’s horrible here.”

Everything’s broken and covered in sadness, yeah.

“Hey, Young David Gans!”

Who was that?

“It’s me, Young Steve Silberman!”

Oh, for fuck’s sake.

“Hey, Young Steve! What are you up to?”

“Being young, going to Dead shows. You?”

“Same! I love being young and going to Dead shows!”

“We should do that right now!”

“Is there a Dead show right now?”

“I have the Time Sheath, so: yes.”


Can you two take this somewhere–

“Hey, guys! I heard you were being young and going to Dead shows, eh?”

I know that accent.

“Hey, Dave!”

“David. Hey, Dave!”

“Hey, Dave!”

“David. Hey, Steve!”


“Was there a young person’s party?”


“You’re very rude.”

I like your Bar Mitzvah suit.

“Thank you.”

Steve Silberboy

Excuse me, but you can’t be here.


Randos need to be supervised by a Grateful Dead at all times. Or at least John Mayer.

“I’m not a rando. You own several of my books.”

Ooohhhhh. Wow, sorry. You do not look like I expected, Mr. Pynchon.


Are you one of the Brontë sisters?

“I said that you own several of my books.”

Got me there. None of those women are allowed in my house. Okay, I’m stumped.

“Steve Silberman.”



I really don’t think so. Steve Silberman wears suspenders.

“You can’t be this stupid.”

Oh, yeah? Try me.

“I am Steve Silberman, best-selling author and recent interviewee of Amir Bar-Lev from the documentary Long Strange Trip. There was a lot of extra conversation that didn’t make the movie, so I transcribed it for

Lemme check.

Yup, it’s All the comments are yelling about how you should have transcribed a conversation from the 80’s.

“It’s as single-minded as Breitbart in there.”

They have a cause. You sure you’re Silberman? You look like the new bass player for Metallica.

“Jason Newstead?”

No, the new new bass player.

“Robert Trujillo’s 12-year-old son?”

No, the old new new bass player.

“Robert Trujillo?”


“Glad we got that settled. Was there a purpose to any of this?’

No. Wait: be more specific. I mean, the answer’s still gonna be “no,” but I want to know if you’re asking whether life has a purpose or this post.



“Leave me out of your bullshit.”

I make no promises. Steve?


That dimple is fucking adorable.

“Leave me out of your bullshit.


Ladies And Gentlemen, The Beatles

If there is a camera within 100 feet of him, Bobby can sense it. And glare at it.


An incomplete list of Parish’s strengths:

  • Roadie strength.
  • Big guy strength.
  • Old guy strength.
  • Crazy guy strength.

If Parish grabs you, you’re grabbed.


The fellow in the blue is Steve Silberman. He wrote the indispensable Skeleton Key: A Dictionary For Deadheads, which was a bit of a tangible shibboleth of Deadheadedness in the 90’s: every single Deadhead owned this book. (Of course, there were fewer books about the Dead back then, as opposed to the shelves’ worth you see today.) And he’s in Long Strange Trip, where he does a wonderful thing by discussing the Deafheads, who should be brought up often and loudly.

“Who’s your favorite band?”

“Oh, they’re cool. My favorite band is so good that even Deaf people listen to them. Checkmate.”


Nice pants, Bobby.

“They were sold to me as a ‘clingy slack.'”

Is there spandex in there?

“They got a lot of give.”


That’s Bobby’s wife, Natasha Monster, and she’s in Long Strange Trip, too; everything she says is eminently reasonable to the point where you wonder how she got involved with a Grateful Dead.

The Only Thing That Could Distract Me Today Was Me

The softcover version of So Many Roads: The Life and Times of the Grateful Dead by the great David Browne is coming out, and you can buy it here. even if you have the hardcover, you should spend a couple more bucks and get this version: there’s a new chapter on the Farewell Shoes, plus–and here’s the important part–a blurb on the back cover from yours truly!

Check it out:


And if that’s not reason enough to lay your Tubman down, then look at the expanded love TotD gets in the front of the book:


If we’re being completely honest, I would have preferred the People blurb to separate Steve Silberman’s quote and mine; certainly not out of animus: it’s an honor for my words to appear on the same page as his. But, Jesus: Steve’s quote is all grown-up sentences and Rashomon references; he sneaks a “hitherto” in there!

What do I have? Idiosyncratic punctuation and “purchase the fucker.” Someone nail a dunce cap to my skull and push me into traffic.

We end on a high note, though, in that TotD is now anticipating a large payday from Mr. Browne or his publisher. Exhibit A, Enthusiasts:


I have told you this before: I stole choogle first. I stole it fair, and I stole it square. It’s my word now.

Also, Bobby owes me money for the “Let Trey Sing” shirt, and Peter Shapiro still owes me 50 bucks from the webcast I purchased but did not watch.

Why are you still here? Go purchase the fucker.

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