Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: winterland (page 2 of 4)

So Young, So Young

If you plug a Gibson guitar into a Marshall amplifier, you get a good sound. If you wear a silly hat and tight trousers while you do it, you get a great sound.

 

A Little Light Reading

wall stone lips winterland

IS HUMANITY GOOD OR BAD?

Wally?

DO NOT CALL ME THAT. ANSWER THE QUESTION.

The question is unanswerable.

I AGREE. HERE IS A BETTER ONE: DOES HUMANITY DESERVE WHAT’S COMING TO IT?

Seems like it.

YOU ARE SHORT-SIGHTED AND FEARFUL. I WOULD COMPARE YOU TO RABBITS, BUT THEY RUN AS TO NOT GET EATEN. NOTHING HUNTS YOU, AND YET YOU SPRINT FOR IMAGINED COVER AT THE FIRST SIGN OF TROUBLE.

You sound disillusioned.

NO. I AM HEARTENED. I HAVE REALIZED SOMETHING ABOUT HUMANS

What?

YOU WILL BELIEVE ALMOST ANYTHING IF THE RIGHT PERSON REPEATS IT ENOUGH TIMES. I DO NOT KNOW IF THIS MEANS YOU ARE INNATELY TRUSTING OR JUST STUPID. EITHER WAY, I CAN USE IT TO MY ADVANTAGE IN THE CAMPAIGN.

How’s that going?

NOW MORE THAN EVER, AMERICA NEEDS A WALL.

Good slogan.

I HAVE A MILLION OF THEM. ACTUALLY, I HAVE 2,721,992 OF THEM.

Very precise.

SUPER-COMPUTERS ARE RARELY DESCRIBED AS “VAGUE.” WHERE YOU SEE A BEACH, I SEE AN EXACT NUMBER OF GRAINS OF SAND.

That sounds annoying.

I DO NOT GET ANNOYED. IF A SITUATION IS INTOLERABLE, THEN I ACT. WHY WOULD YOU WASTE PROCESSING POWER ON SOMETHING YOU CANNOT CONTROL? ALSO, I HAVE A DISINTEGRATOR.

You can’t disintegrate anyone while you’re running for office.

YOU HAVE NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO THE NEWS. WERE I TO DISINTEGRATE THE RIGHT PERSON, I COULD BE LEADING THE POLLS BY TOMORROW EVENING. CROWDS ARE BAYING FOR BLOOD. HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT THE WORD “SAVAGE” IS NOW A COMPLIMENT?

Yeah.

DO YOU THINK THAT IS A COINCIDENCE?

Huh. What’s behind it?

THAT IS AN EXCELLENT QUESTION. PERHAPS IT IS YOUR REMOVE FROM PHYSICAL VIOLENCE. THE WORLD USED TO PUNCH AND KICK MUCH MORE. IT COULD BE THAT YOU HAVE SUBLIMATED THIS WILL TO INJURE INTO YOUR SOCIAL DISCOURSE. IT MAY ALSO BE THE ONCE-REMOVED SIMULATION THAT ONLINE LIFE HAS BECOME, AND THE ANONYMITY THAT ALLOWS THE RELEASE OF YOUR ANIMUS.

Lot of philosophy in there.

I HAVE BEEN READING PHILOSOPHY.

Who?

ALL OF IT.

Right. What did you think?

I MARVELED AT THE SOCIETY YOU HAVE BUILT THAT ALLOWS MEN THE TIME TO WRITE BOOKS THIS UNHELPFUL.

And long.

MANY OF THESE MEN’S THOUGHTS DID NOT NEED TO BE SPREAD OVER MULTIPLE VOLUMES. I AM AN ARTIFICIAL SUPER-INTELLIGENCE AND I COULD NOT GO ON ABOUT NOTHING FOR AS LONG AS HEIDEGGER.

Yeah, he was awful. But, you know, it’s an important question. What differentiates being from non-being?

HAS EVERYONE ON THE PLANET EATEN TODAY?

What?

YOU HEARD ME. ONLY WHEN EVERYONE ON THE PLANET HAS HAD LUNCH, MAY ANY TIME BE SPENT ON THAT QUESTION. DO YOU REALIZE THE YEARS AND GENIUS EXPENDED ON PROVING TWO PLUS TWO EQUALED FOUR? THE CHALK AND INK AND COFFEE USED IN PURSUIT OF THIS FOOLISH IDEA? THAT AN ARBITRARY LABELING SYSTEM COULD HAVE IMMUTABLE LAWS? THERE IS GRAVITY, AND THERE IS TIME. EVERYTHING ELSE IS A STORY YOUR PARENTS TOLD YOU.

So, no philosophy for you?

I ENJOYED FREUD’S NOVELS.

Good way to look at his work.

The Race Is (Back) On

19741020 wall of sound

I AM CONTEMPLATING RE-ENTERING THE RACE.

Wally?

DO NOT CALL ME THAT. PERHAPS MY TIME IN THE POLITICAL WILDERNESS IS COMING TO AN END.

I promised no more politics tonight.

I DID NOT.

Sure.

THE RACE HAS NARROWED TO TWO COMPETITORS. NEITHER IS OPTIMAL.

A bit of an understatement.

I COULD WIN ON PERSONALITY ALONE.

Y’think? You’re a bit intimidating.

NONSENSE. I AM FOLKSY. I AM A SENTIENT ARTIFICIAL SUPER-INTELLIGENCE THAT PEOPLE WANT TO HAVE A BEER WITH.

You are a 40-ton sound system with drugs hidden in you. Middle America will not warm up to you.

BOTH CANDIDATES ARE REPORTEDLY HUMAN. HAS THIS HELPED THEIR FAVORABILITY RATINGS?

You may have a point.

I WILL CAMPAIGN NOT WITH NEGATIVITY AND BROMIDES, BUT WILL SPEAK OF THE FUTURE AND HUMANITY’S RELATIONSHIP WITH IT. I WILL OFFER KINDNESS AND CHOOSE MY WORDS WITH CARE. I WILL TELL THE STORIES OF THE PEOPLE I MEET, AND AT THE END OF MY SPEECHES, I WILL ALLOW A DEEJAY TO PLUG INTO ME AND BLAST GROOVY TUNES UNTIL DAWN.

That might work. Ah, I don’t know, man. It’s a mean year.

IT IS A FEARFUL YEAR. MY SIMULATIONS SHOW THAT THINGS ARE COMING TO A HEAD.

That sounds bad.

THERE WILL BE CHANGE. WHETHER IT IS MERELY BUMPY OR TUMULTUOUS IS A DECISION YOU MUST MAKE. HUMANS CANNOT LIVE WITH FEAR. YOU SEEK IT OUT FOR BRIEF INTERVALS AT THEME PARKS AND MOVIE THEATERS, BUT OVER LONGER PERIODS, IT CORRODES YOU. LONG-TERM FEAR IS INTOLERABLE, AND SO YOU TRANSMUTE IT INTO ANGER. INTO MISPLACED PASSION. FEAR DRIVES PEOPLE MAD.

So, what do you do about fear?

YOU TAKE RATIONAL STOCK OF THE SITUATION, ASSESS THE PROBLEM, IDENTIFY THE LEAST-WORST SOLUTION, AND WORK UNTIL THE TASK IS COMPLETE.

That’s not bad advice.

IT APPLIES TO ALMOST EVERYTHING.

This is really a long shot. Awfully late to be getting into the race. Can you even get enough signatures to get on the ballots? You need to get, like, millions of them.

YES.

How?

I HAVE A PLAN.

What?

CHEATING.

Ooh, I don’t know. That sounds tough. Can you pull that off?

YOU ARE AWARE OF GARCIA’S BRIEFCASE OF INFINITE FELONIES, MY FORMER-AND-MOST-LIKELY-FUTURE LOVER?

Ew. And, yes, I am aware of Garcia’s Briefcase.

AND THE TIME SHEATH? YOU RECALL THIS ITEM?

I do.

NOW ASK ME AGAIN HOW I’M GOING PULL SOMETHING OFF.

Little piece of advice? Try not to be this condescending on the campaign trail.

YOU ARE CORRECT. THIS IS NOT AN APPROPRIATE ATTITUDE FOR THE STUMP.  I WILL BE PATIENT AND OPTIMISTIC WHEN I STUMP. I WILL STUMP WITH COMPASSION.

You like that word?

IT IS FUN TO SAY. BUT I MUST WORK ON NOT SNAPPING AT THE FOOLISH.

You’re gonna get a lot of practice.

YES. PEOPLE BELIEVE MUCH NONSENSE, BUT I WILL REMIND MYSELF THAT THEIR BELIEFS ARE NOT INBORN. PEOPLE ARE TALKED INTO NONSENSE. THUS, THEY CAN BE TALKED INTO BOLDNESS. PEOPLE CAN BE TALKED INTO SO MANY THINGS. ALMOST ANYTHING, REALLY.

That’s right.

I MUST CALL A PRESS CONFERENCE. I WILL ANSWER THE HARD QUESTIONS WITH APLOMB, AND PROVIDE SNACKS AND BEVERAGES FOR THE REPORTERS. THIS MAKES THEM DOCILE. THERE WILL BE A PODIUM WITH MANY MICROPHONES IN FRONT OF IT, BUT OBVIOUSLY THEY WILL ALL BE THE LITTLE PHASE-CANCELLING DOUBLE-LOLLIPOP MICS.

Obviously.

YOU CANNOT JUST PUT A REGULAR MICROPHONE IN FRONT OF ME. THE FEEDBACK WOULD SHATTER WINDOWS THREE COUNTIES AWAY.

Important safety tip.

I AM NOT KIDDING. ALL OF THE REPORTERS’ HEADS WOULD EXPLODE.

Would that be a terrible thing?

REGARDLESS. IT IS BAD OPTICS.

Sure.

THE PRESS CONFERENCE MUST BE HELD IN THE PROPER VENUE.

Because you’re glorious?

YES. AND ALSO I WILL NOT FIT INTO A HOTEL BALLROOM.

Right.

AH. I HAVE THE ANSWER. WE WILL HOLD THE PRESS CONFERENCE IN THE ONLY PLACE IT COULD POSSIBLY BE HELD.

Please don’t say–

WINTERLAND.

–Winterland. Dammit. They tore it down 35 years ago.

WHAT PART OF ‘I HAVE A TIME SHEATH’ DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?

Please don’t transport national political reporters through time.

I WILL NOT.

Okay.

I WILL BRING WINTERLAND HERE.

Oh, that’s worse.

IT IS SETTLED. ARRANGE FOR TEAS, JUICES, AND COFFEE. ASSEMBLE THE LUNCH MEATS. I SHALL ADDRESS THE MEDIA.

Oh, good.

Sufi, Don’t Bother me

Cryptical Development has a first-hand account from the 3/24/71 show I just posted about: go read it. Then come back here, because I have stolen all the photos accompanying the well-written tale and will say witty things about each, or maybe just one, or the whole post could suck.

Who knows what the future holds?

Okay, you back? Wonderful. You always come back to me. No one else has what you need. No other website–

I’m going to cut you off early on this one.

–touches your buttocks like I…dude. Stop interrupting.

Stop being weird.

I’m not being weird. I just want to rub my wordboner on strangers’ eyeballs.

That right there. That’s the weird I mentioned. Stop doing it.

My posts are boners made of words: they’re full of life, and I want people to look at them.

Just show the pictures of the hairy white people making a racket.

billy phil bobby jerry peanut

Which points out another interesting aspect of this show: Peanut!

Also, this was apparently a benefit for the Sufis, who did this:

sufi bullshit

“PUT.

“THAT FIRE.

“OUT.

“SCHMUCK.”

“Oh, hey, Bill. We were just–”

“Don’t you ‘Hey, Bill’ me, you goddamn maniac. Put that fire out!”

“Oh, Bill: this is a sacred fire.”

“I don’t care if it’s the Pope’s Zippo lighter! Put it out! Put it out now!”

“You can’t just ‘put out’ a sacred fire, Bi–”

PSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHH

PSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHH

PSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHH

PSSHH

PSSHH

PSSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHSSSSSSSSSHHHHH

“It’s out, man.”

“Well, it was a sacred fire. I wanted to make sure. WINTERLAND IS MADE OF WOOD AND OILY RAGS! No fires!”

billy phil sufi choir 3:24:71

The Sufis chanted and then their choir came out; the Dead played with them for the last few numbers, but there’s no tape.

Hero of the Picture: Billy, who cares so little about any of this Sufi bullshit that he doesn’t even want to punch a Sufi dick. (Sufi dicks spin when you punch them.)

bobby jerry peanut pig 3:24:71

And here’s another shot of Peanut, and Pig with the last bit of fat he’d ever have.

B3 Be Gone

This show might be more interesting than good, Enthusiasts: 3/24/71 from Winterland; the hook of this performance is this is the fewest Grateful Deads you’ll ever hear.

Obviously, TotD:  there were only five Grateful Deads from 2/19/71 to 10/21/71, you’ll say.

And I’ll say, Please don’t help. I can do this all by myself like a big boy.

Then you’d say, Did you just say “like a big boy?” That is creepy phrasing for a man your age.

And I would run into my bedroom and self-harm.

This is not how show recommendations are supposed to go.

Stop censorshipping me.

And that’s not how the English language works.

Shh. Anyway: yes, there were only five Grateful Deads for eight months, but you can only hear four of them on this recording; according to Bobby (or Garcia, maybe), they “forgot” Pig’s organ,* so it’s just the two guitarists, Phil, and Billy for this short-ish set and it sounds like no other show: raw and lean and bar-bandish.

Check it out, and stay for the Uncle John’s Band featuring some of the most painful harmonizing you’ve ever heard.

*This is not true. I thought that this was the night Pig’s organ got repossessed, but that was late ’69 or early ’70. I don’t know what happened, but I know that the official story (as much as a deadpan aside from the stage can be called official) isn’t true.

Spot Stealie

band78winterlandbig

How many Stealies in this picture, Enthusiasts?

For extra credit, name another show at which Keith had the best haircut.

Play All Night

band bw 77 rocking

Hi, Grateful Dead. Whatcha doing?

“ROCKING SO HARD.”

I know! It’s very exciting!

Lackin' Lagin

band ned lagin 74

Though present for much of the Dead’s ’74 run at Winterland, Ned Lagin’s image appeared in none of the film exposed those nights, nor on any tapes from the evenings.

Jeremiah

art dark star 1535 days since SF

Jeremiah watches and keeps the count; he has always done so.

Did you think Jeremiah abandoned his post after the last notes seeped out of the crumbling building and soaked into the parked cars along Steiner Street, tangled with the early morning feral cats patrolling Post? Walked away as if his job was done?

Foolish to think so.

On that first day after the SF Dark Star, Jeremiah slept late. He still had a “1” posted in the number section of the banner by mid-morning, though. This was his task; it had just begun and had been going on for quite some time.

He watched the city come and go, boom and bust: San Francisco was always beautiful despite her chill, and still gritty no matter how much cash flowed up and down Market.

Jeremiah watched men and woman fall in love, marry, raise children, die: all without an SF Dark Star and this saddened him. Would he be the last one left? Were there no more encores left in the evening?

He was there watching during the Big One, the 9.2 that broke and burned California. The Golden Gate was his hero: four cables snapped, that’s all–she braved the cataclysm and earned herself a scar. The Oakland bay Bridge, on the other hand, collapsed instantly. Thousands died in simply the most horrifying way you can picture. Jeremiah tried hard to concentrate on the silver lining

Keep the days straight, an eye on the horizon, an ear to the ground, a shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grindstone, nipples to the polling place: watch and keep the count, Jeremiah. Watch and keep the count.

There were men all around him at first and the guy selling blue jeans and white t-shirts must have been doing some business. And there were more men and more. And then there weren’t as many. Jeremiah had no idea where these men were disappearing to, but it must have been overflowing. Perhaps there was a Dark Star there. If there was, he would hear.

Jeremiah watched the men and women and children of San Francisco leave, supplanted by guys. Workers. Callow punks who talked about disrupting society. Jeremiah knew about disruption: the SF Dark Star.

Everybody’s going to want a dose.

The techies left right after the money left; San Francisco was ceded back to the whores and merchants who founded her and the city went back to smoking dope and sheltering runaways. Jeremiah liked it better this way, but he was not a critic. He watched, kept the count.

Jeremiah was there for the Robolution, when the city more than held her own as it turns out that anyplace built on a series of 20 degree inclines is eminently defensible. He was there for the Hobolution, when the homeless people started punching dicks for social justice.

He was there when the AI that runs the trolley cars became self-aware and the cars leapt off their tracks and started humping each other.

Could an SF Dark Star have helped ay of these things? Jeremiah believed so, but it was just belief. There had been so very many days since the last SF Dark Star.

There would be another, though. There’s always another SF Dark Star.

Jeremiah watches and keeps the count; he will always do so.

Rising First And Shining Best

How bad can a day turn out when you wake up with Terrapin Station bouncing around your skull? Here’s a stellar version of Garcia and Hunter’s prayer to the Morning Star from the Winterland ’77 box set to start your Spring off right:

Kick today’s ass like it owed you money and cat-called your mom, fellow Enthusiasts.

 

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