Thoughts On The Dead

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

The Betrayal Of Familiarity

I now am forced to stop this website, pull over to the side of the innertubes, and have a talk with all of you.

An Enthusiast named Tom Moreno has recommended the Scarlet>Fire from 6/16/85 and in his comment mentioned that this rendition is from his first ever Dead tape.

I understand the pull of nostalgia. One of my favorite shows is 4/29/71: I know every note to that show and almost all of those notes are out of tune; any Enthusiast would be well within his or her rights to mock the show, but it would hurt my feelings. Thus, I will not make fun of this Scarlet>Fire. I will not say that it sounds as though the musicians had never met before. I will not say that.

We are looking for BEST EVAR here, Enthusiasts! I want everyone who has submitted an S>F to rethink their choice and ask themselves these questions:

  • Was this my first Scarlet>Fire?
  • Did they play this Scarlet>Fire at my first show?
  • Is it an ’85?

If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, give your suggestion another look.

(This is not a bad Scarlet>Fire at all, especially with Brent killing it on the Fender Rhodes. Go listen.)


  1. I’ll ask my dad and see what he thinks

  2. i was on hiatus for most of 85 … i had a job!

  3. OK, having rethought based on your sage advice, I’ll change my nomination to 23 May 1982 at the Greek.

  4. I will fight anyone that says the 4/29/71 Hard to Handle isn’t the best evar. 8/6 is great, but the windup jam on 4/29 wins out.

  5. True story: I attended over 100 Dead shows between ’87 and ’95. For most of that period if they played in the western continental, I was there. While about half of this time the Dead were terrible, they were still hosts to the best rock n’ roll party on the planet and I kept going. During one particularly horrible experience in Arizona, I think it was ’92, and it was horrible…seriously “they” were arresting people all over the place. While sitting in a car with ten pounds of mushrooms I watched head after head get knocked down and tied up by douche bags with tie-dyes and mullets. In the early 90’s the fuckery was on and the Drug War was working overtime…I would have freaked out but the pills kept me level. The show was a fairly typical 90’s fare, Jerry periodically nodding out, Vince being a maniacal psychedelic circus clown, Phil working hard and the rest of the boys not giving a fuck and straight cashing checks. At the end of the show I was swooped upon by some godless fucks for smoking a joint. Luckily one of the freaks I was with swallowed the joint mid puff. He must have been from Jersey cause us California boys had no idea what to do. I got grabbed and frisked but was clean…high as fuck but clean. In the lot I told a friend how much I hated the show. Musically they were off, clear as day, it was math not liberal arts, they delivered mud and we had to wallow in it. After listening to my righteous rant my buddy turned to me and said, “Sam and Erin ate three tabs of x and a puddle of liquid. I’m pretty sure they saw the best show ever”.

    • I approve of this story.

    • Straight Outta Compton (Terrace)

      These were also the 3rd and 4th shows after Jerry’s 2nd diabetic timeout. He was looking pretty good for these shows. I seem to remember that he was uncharacteristically sharp-eyed but the rest of the band wasn’t. Also, bustout of H.C. Sunshine on Sunday.

      Finally, because it gets cold as shit in the desert at night, these shows started at 1pm. My only matinee Dead shows.

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