Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: warren haynes (page 1 of 2)

Huggy, Bear

“Get in here.”

“Nice to see you, too, Phil.”

“There is no Phil. I’m the Hugmonster.”


“You’re so warm.”

“Thank you.”

“Hold me tighter.”

“This is odd.”

“Squeeze, man. Squeeze me like I’m Temple Grandin.”

“I’d like this to stop.”

“We’ll be buried like this, Warren. This hug will last for eternity.”


“You okay, Phil?”

“I’m good. The doctors recalibrate my pills every six months or so. Makes me a bit loopy. Why are you still awake? Shouldn’t you be hibernating until next festival season?”

“Got some October gigs, so I couldn’t until late. Pain in the ass. I’m gonna wake up groggy in May.”

“What does your family do while you’re asleep? They gotta tip-toe around?”

“Nah, course not. I got a chamber.”

“A chamber?”

“Built below the basement. I call it the Warren.”

“I see what you did.”

“Nice and cool. Full of real soft branches and pine needles. Got a humidifier.”

“Uh-huh. And do you sleep straight through?”

“I get up once in a while.”

“To piss?”

“To solo. I don’t piss while I hibernate. My kidneys operate at peak efficiency. My whole physiology changes, matter of fact.”

“Like a sled dog when it runs.”

“Yeah. Doctors got no idea how it works.”

“Wow. You wanna hug some more?”

“Not really.”

“We’re gonna.”


In His Summer Home


Aw, no. No. Not talking to you, Woody Hayes.

“Not him. Me.”

I’m quite certain I haven’t been introduced to the backing band.

“Not the band.”

Please don’t say–

“It’s me, Red Metal Chair.”

–that you’re Red…motherfucker.

“Don’t suppose you’ve seen my cousin.”

Red Metal Stool? No, not for a while. Bobby can stand upright now for more than ten minutes.

“Yeah. He’s out of work!”


“Started drinking. I think he’s into the pills, too.”

Where’s he getting pills from?



“He’d need a stool of his own. But, you know: he’s real solid on the ground.”

Sure. How’s it working for Woody?

“Same as always. Storage for eight months, spend the summer in various fields around the country.”

Does he really hibernate?

“Oh, yeah. Sleeps in between festival seasons. Around September 1st, he’ll start guzzling down 10,000 calorie smoothies, put on 150 pounds, plug up his butthole with stolen merch, and then it’s lights out for 2/3rds of a year.”

I didn’t know humans could do that.

“You’re an adaptable species.”


“Seriously, though: could you look for my cousin? His mom’s worried.”

His mom?

“Red Metal Couch.”

Sure. I’ll look. Hey, what song are they playing?

“The one where he sings all growly and solos for twenty minutes.”

Oh, that one.

“Gig’s a gig.”

I hear ya.

Phlock’n To Lock’n

Hey, Phil. Whatcha doing?

“Feelin’ it!”

You’re enjoying yourself.

“Lucky man.”

You are. I couldn’t post pictures for a couple days.

“I don’t give a shit.”

And I had a medical procedure.

“Oh, well, that’s not good. You all right?”

I got through it.

“The procedure  was…?”


“You fucking with me?”


“You’re gonna come at me with an endoscopy? I got another human’s liver in me. You want sympathy, you need at least a triple bypass. Is that what you’ve been whining about? Endoscopy? Kiss my ass.”

It was traumatic. I was woozy all day.

“You were woozy?”

Very high levels of wooze.

“I see.”

You’re playing with Bobby at Lock’n. That’s exciting.


The Disco Biscuits are gonna be there.

“Good for them.”

And Fogerty.


Government Mule.


Woody Hayes’ band.


Warren Haynes.

“Well, duh. It’s a festival so Warren’ll be there. Can’t get a festival permit if he doesn’t play. He should be waking up right about now.”

Its’ 5 pm.

“No, no. Late March. Warren hibernates in between festival seasons.”

That makes perfect sense.

“Right after Labor Day, he smokes a ton of weed, eats a million fried chickens, plugs up his butthole with grass and leaves, and goes to sleep for eight months.”

His wife put up with that?

“The last four didn’t, but this one doesn’t seem to mind.”


The Randos Of Navarone

mickey walter cronkite mike gordon

“I found randos!”

Oh, for fuck’s sake, Mickey: that’s Walter Cronkite and Mike Gordon. And the lady looks important. And I think that’s Steve Kimock’s hat.

“Gimme a second.”

I don’t want to.

“But you will.”

Oh, fine.

“Here you go. Prime rando.”

mickey peter fonda stills


“Not randos?”

They are actually less rando than you are, Mick.

“Is the guy behind me a dolphin?”

No, he’s the living embodiment of both nepotism and the different beauty standards society holds male and female movie stars to.

“Wait, wait, wait: I got ’em. I got the greatest collection of randos. Check this out.”

obama michelle band

Jesus, Mickey.

“What? I’m standing right next to two randos!”

On which side of you?

“Right side?”


“They are randos, though.”

Sure, but their rand gets overwhelmed by the non-rand surrounding it.

“I’m not great at this.”

Not at all.

“I didn’t know Branford was married.”

You’re not allowed to be in the Rando War anymore.

The Position Has Been Filled

As the Dead & Company tour is planned for the late Fall, Woody Hayes will already be in hibernation, plump from craft-services barbecue and tuggers from divorcees; he also will have plugged up his backdoor with leaves, dirt, and free t-shirts. It is dangerous to approach his dwelling during these months, but when Festival Season arrives anew, Woody Hayes will be there, sitting in on a Merle Haggard song and making a serious dent in the shrimp tray.

Sammy Hagar came down to TRI Studios one time when Billy and Mickey were there. Jeff Chimenti was there, too, as this pre-dated his life of crime. It didn’t sound anything like the Dead, obviously, but there was a goofy energy about it and they sounded like fun at 100 decibels; they played for hours. When they were putting their guitars away, Bobby asked Sammy Hagar to he wanted to tour with himself and the drummers  and Sammy Hagar started laughing so hard that he pissed his jumpsuit.

David Gilmour responded to the Dead’s outreach with a handwritten note on handmade paper. It informed them that the offer was a huge honour (they do that) but he would have to regrettably decline, as he was already playing most of the venues a bit later in the year. If you didn’t know how to read British, you would assume he was being polite, but he was doing that English bullshit where he speaks in code because he’s fancy and all the other fancy people laugh at you.

An entreaty was also made to Queen’s Brian May, but the call did not go well because Brian May started talking about badgers. Brian May is fucking obsessed with badgers, which as far as I can make out, are some sort of fat European tunnel squirrel. They fuck up gardens; they’re pests; Brian May has chosen them as his totem. After around ten minutes of “They also enjoy eating rutabaga,” Billy lost his patience and called him a limey and that was the end of that.

Stevie Ray Vaughn did not return calls.

Peach Pits

warren hayes john popper
Here are things I did not know about John Popper until I looked him up on Wikipedia:

  • He’s a libertarian.
  • He’s a gun nut.
  • The brim of his fedora is made from flattened harmonicas.

Here is something I did not know about Woody Hayes before I looked him up.

  • Apparently had a whole prior career as a football coach; I assume he had a different haircut.

Another One To Feed To The Abandoned Gods


Before Grateful Dead:

spencer says- August 5, 2015 at
After Grateful Dead:

spencer says- August 1, 2015 at


Lockn’ Lol

This is Saturday's lineup at
I’ll see you there, right? Highlight of my year: pooping in a Virginia field in September. Sleeping in a tent next to humping strangers, eating while I stand up, Warren Haynes: man, this is gonna be great.

TotD is not particularly fancy. I slept on a couch last month, but it should be noted that it was a leather couch in an AirBnB in a rapidly genritfying neighborhood. My living situation is allowed to be scruffy, but it must be permanent; I will not sleep under a nylon roof. Camping is just not for me.

Jews and camps…

Anyway, if you’re there or going or streaming it or whatever: have a blast, but I will be making love to my air conditioner. I do have some random thoughts, though:

  • Fishbone’s still around? Didn’t half of them get thrown in jail for kidnapping the other half?
  • Will Robert Plant be not playing Zep songs at the crowd again? Those fuckers at the Grammys rewarded him one time for not playing Zep songs and now all he does is not play Zep songs. Fuck that guy: play Zep songs.
  • Did anyone ever answer Robert Plant about the remembering laughter thing?
  • No Umphries? What the fuck, man.
  • Once again: fucked by Peter Shapiro.
  • I think Peter Shapiro’s in love with me the amount he fucks me.
  • I mean, the String Cheese Incident is gonna be there, so that’s awesome.
  • But, no Umphries.
  • Was Billy’s departure and Phil’s arrival worked out between the two camps as to not have them in the same place at the same time?
  • Just asking questions, man.
  • But, if so: you know Billy put Benjy on the phone to handle it just to be a dick.
  • Can you see Jill and Peter Shapiro pushing the phone back and forth at one another?
  • “You do it.”
  • “This is what you get paid for.”
  • “I don’t get paid enough for this.”
  • And so on.
  • Again: just asking questions.
  • Man.
  • Steve Earle is the musical version of The Wire.
  • Decipher that how you will.
  • WAIT: Billy is playing with Jefferson Airplane on Friday right after Phil!
  • Fun.
  • Also: Jefferson Airplane sucked. In every incarnation and in every way, and they are celebrating their 50th anniversary in a pasture in Virginia instead of a football stadium.
  • They’re not even headlining.
  • (Although, this group of musician is so far way from being the actual Jefferson Airplane that it includes G.E. Smith, who is still performing despite having the worst case of Les Palsy known to man.)
  • Hey! You got your String Cheese in my Doobie!
  • Hey! You got your Doobie in my String Cheese!
  • Well, you should probably just throw the results out, as it will surely be terrible.
  • Is Michael McDonald even going to be there, or just the guy who looked like he was the lead on WKRP?
  • The Oh Hellos, you go to your room and don’t come out until you’ve thought up a good band name.
  • You, too, Slightly Stoopid.
  • In fact, Slightly Stoopid: go fuck yourself with your deliberately shit band name.
  • Put some effort into life.
  • Mickey just announced that he would be playing with Bobby on Saturday night, and if Bobby doesn’t play Lost Sailor, I will lose all respect for him

The Gang's All Here (Almost)

band old warren

In this photo, we see Mickey and Phil doing their version of the classic comedy routine “Dave’s not here,” except Phil always lets “Dave” in the door after the first knock and offers him some coffee and a cookie. It’s not funny, but it really speaks to Phil’s hospitality.

Also, I’ve figured out why Mickey wears those sweatbands all the time: stigmata.

Silly Symphony

I never understood–to the point of immediate dismissal–the rock band/orchestra mash-up. And remember, my musical tastes matured during the period when you simply weren’t a super-group unless you had been backed up by a bunch of unemployed Julliard grads conducted by Michael Kamen. (It was always Michael Kamen.)

The Dead only did this sort of thing once: first and poorly as usual. They jammed or something with the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra in 1970, but as far as I can tell (there is neither recording nor set list,) the extent of the thing was the Dead getting oboists stoned and hitting on flautists and Mickey inviting the timpanists up; the whole thing smells like Phil’s idea, quite frankly. It was the kind of half-crazed, semi-professional bullshit you were allowed to get up to in 1970 in Buffalo in March.

The problem, of course, being that of chalk and cheese, or the Dead and cash, or Bobby and clowns: symphonies and rock music just don’t go together, proven by the fact that every single time it has ever been attempted, it sounds like shit. It is bananas upon bananas; it goes not to eleven, but to seventeen; it is the soundtrack of a fifteen-year old boy who’s really into gaming playing with himself.

The whole thing is so overwrought, always, because: dammit, we paid for a brass section, so let’s hear the trumpets. The arrangements are always these MASSIVE sub-Wagner heavy metal classical German stuff with every possible note involved. (This was a popular style called UndDerKitchenSinken.) 

Perhaps the worst stench emanating from the symphony jam was the inferiority complex wafting off the band. There were always jokes about being the savages, etc., but they were never jokes.  It was like watching the comic actor try his hand at drama, or that year Sting thought he could play the lute.

So I might have been guilty of viewing the whole symphony thing with Warren Haynes with a bit of a jaundiced eye.

Now, TotD can understand why everyone involved was involved: for the audience, it sounded like a fun evening out; for the orchestra, it was a nice chunk of cash to fund their season of playing music no one actually enjoys; and for Warren, it was some place to go.

(I honestly believe that Warren Haynes is homeless.)

I just hope all protocols are being followed with Wolf. Warren plays one of Garcia’s old guitars, Wolf, at these shows; the people get to see the object that Garcia actually sweated on.

Are the rituals followed? Are the proper chickens and voles sacrificed  in the proper order and facing the correct direction? Does the man keeping watch over Wolf handle her with the prescribed gloves? After the show, is he sacrificed facing the correct direction? Are menstruating women not allowed in its presence?

If you’re gonna write a liturgy and worship a relic, go all the way: put some pomp in your circumstance.

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