Thoughts On The Dead

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

The Cure For This Evening’s Sickness

Get off the innertubes, shut it down and the teevee, too–though why you’d be watching, still, is a riddle–and go find a chair or a couch, some abnormal wonder of comfort produced by a society of luxury that is oh so fragile, and hunker. Just a temporary hunker. A hunk o’ hunker. Before you do, though, roll yourself three doobies, fat as your preference, and you can rip the matchbook cover off and make a dinky holder, or just slobber on it: do what you like.

You’ll need three doobies for In A Silent Way; it’s 38 minutes long and–for this relaxation technique to work–you must not stop smoking the doobies: I would advise lighting the second and third doobies from the dying roach of the previous doobie, but that only works with cigarettes made by a machine.

I must repeat: do not stop smoking the doobies.

And put on In A Silent Way. You’ve heard it before, or maybe you know every note, or perhaps you have no idea what I’m talking about: no matter. In A Silent Way doesn’t care, and neither do the doobies. It doesn’t need to be too loud, but it’s not the type of music you can play too loud; I don’t know if you could ever play In A Silent Way loud enough. Isn’t it ironic?

If you do it right, you’ll cry when the drums kick in at the end, but don’t panic: that’s supposed to happen.


  1. Thanks for this; i have the big box set with all the outtakes and jams and stuff, but it’s nice to go back to the original intended setting. Also, the print edition of this month’s JazzTimes has an exerpt from this book that you’ll want to read about Miles’s “Lost Quintet.”

  2. legendary session. there are a lot of stories about it, but i only recently heard mclaughlin’s version. says he’d been in NYC less than 24 hours. had no idea he’d be playing with miles until he got to manhattan.

  3. Mean, Green, Devil Eating Machine

    October 20, 2016 at 10:43 am

    Electric Miles – as good a brain scrub as you can get. It’s like running a pipe cleaner through every nook and cranny of your thought box. Cleans you up and gets you out, fresh and ready for the new!

  4. My favorite Miles album

    • NoThoughtsOnDead

      October 20, 2016 at 11:16 pm

      I couldn’t have just one “favorite Miles album,” that’s like the best EVAR Eyes… Don’t get me wrong, I do like some Electric Miles. But I’m a complete sucker for earlier stuff than this, and I guess I’ll have to set aside an evening someday for the TotD version of “In A Silent Way” appreciation.

      • Thank you, Mr. TOTD. It’s been some years but as memorable and as fresh as the first I heard it. Miles’ every note is perfect. Even for Miles. Which is saying something. So is Zawinul’s. But here’s the rub. From the day I first heard this in the early 70s to this moment, I want to, but can’t, get Chick out of my head. Lord knows I’ve tried. I even had the pleasure of joining a staged walkout of his set at the Saratoga Jazz Festival one year. The rest of them were walking because he had played Sun City. I was leaving anyway. Such a skillful guy and beautiful player. Why couldn’t he just SHUT THE FUCK UP? That’s not me talking. That’s Miles, walking out of the room frequently just to get away from Chick, only to return, lay down some brilliance, and ask himself ‘why is this guy still making all this noise’?

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