Thoughts On The Dead

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

Terrapin Station? Sweet!


These are more plans from Terrapin Station, the planned building-with-many-things-in-it that the Grateful Dead never got around to building in 1998. (They got to the fund-raising part, though.) “Plans” might be overstating it: pretty sure you need to use a straight-edge to draw straight lines if something’s going to live up to the status of “plan.” These might be sketches.

Note the permanently-installed drum circle.


The library was to contain the Dead’s complete collection of tattered sci-fi paperbacks; membership in the Founders’ Club enabled you to hunt poor people; the private terrace was for Billy to “make God watch me plow skank.” (I was disturbed by that last phrase, too, but as you can see: it’s in quotations. Just telling you the facts.)

Sharp-eyed Enthusiasts will note that there the plans for the third floor are not here; they are missing.

Rather, they were believed missing, but a Bothan spy broke into The Vault and stole a copy, bringing it back to Fillmore South, where I immediately killed him: bad luck for the Bothan not to die to bring you your information; it’s like having a good dress rehearsal. I can’t show you the drawings, but I can tell you about some of the features.

Why can’t you show the nice people the plans?


Tried drawing it and got fed up 30 seconds in?

Okay, reason.


Shh, you. The third floor of Terrapin Station was going to be a magical place:

  • Several more gift shops.
  • Water slide in the shape of Robert Hunter’s face.
  • Very large collection of leaves that no one will explain.
  • The Feelseum. (In the spirit of interactive children’s science museums, The Feelseum encouraged Deadheads to reach out and touch the things that made the Dead so special: Phil’s giant 1974 beard, Brent’s unwashed mascot costumes, Mickey’s balls.
  • While Billy was planning on plowing his skank on the fourth floor, he insisted on a backup skank chamber on the third: it looked like what Darth Vader sat in in Empire, except it was made of easy-to-hose-down materials and also completely see-through.
  • Secret apartment for Walt Disney.
  • Mechanical bull.
  • Actual cheetah. (Just doing his own thing. Stanley the cheetah, he’s got a dog buddy named Hopper; they don’t bother no one, man. Stanley and Hopper are good people. Don’t run around him, though. Stanley can’t himself; he’ll chase ya. You ain’t outrunning Stanley. Then Hopper come trotting up, he gonna help eat your dumb ass. Just be chill when you meet Stanley and Hopper, man. Be chill.)
  • Forward-thinking for ’98, Terrapin Station was to feature on the third floor a “web cafe” with several personal PC computers loaded with AOL so guests could use the complimentary dial-up to “log on” to the World Wide Web.
  • Big-Dicked Sheila’s Hair Salon for Rock Stars and their Fans. (Sheila saw an opportunity, and took it. She’s a small business owner, dammit.)
  • Yoga studio.
  • Caricaturist that draws you with a giant head and a tiny little body in a dune buggy.
  • Giant fan that blows upwards that people hover over in skydiving suits. (Both Billy and Mickey swore not to throw anyone into the fan (but they were lying (and everyone should have known that)).)
  • Shrine to Garcia that everyone was going to say wasn’t a shrine but was totally a shrine.
  • Information table for Y2K preparedness.
  • Hot tub.
  • Hot Doug. (Hot guy named Doug, up for whatever. He’ll hang, he’ll bang, whatever: he’s Hot Doug.)
  • Before Dick Latvala’s death, there had been plans to build small platform for him to harangue passersby from.
  • Babaganoush joint.
  • Murphy beds with broken latches, but hidden within the walls, so every once in while a bed comes flying out of a wall at someone and breaks their collarbone.
  • One of the goals of Terrapin Station was to recreate a Dead show, so the third floor was going to feature a room full of Spinners that everyone could avoid.
  • Balrog. (Small one, but still: a Balrog.)
  • Keith’s grand piano.
  • Billy’s drum set.
  • TC. (They were going to let him live there.)
  • Bullfighting ring. (Cancelled.)

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