Thoughts On The Dead

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

The Last Half-Step

img_3303Garcia, lemme ask you a question.


Why weren’t you guys at the Last Waltz?

“Weren’t asked.”


“Didn’t wanna.”


“Whole thing was kinda jive, anyway.”

People have many opinions on that evening.

“Also, they couldn’t meet our price.”

There ya go.

“And, you know: come up and play one song. Not our thing. We weren’t real tight with The Band, anyway, man. Danko was great fun, real solid cat, and Levon was always a hoot. Loved their records, but you know: we didn’t hang out with ’em.”

You were on the road.

“Right, man. Barely got time for your rhythm section, let alone another band. Played with ’em at Watkins Glen, but they weren’t really jammers, y’know? They just played their songs real good, which is just as valid as our way, I suppose.”

You’re a reasonable man.

“I’m dead: it’s easy.”


“Although, they used to wear those little suits, right? Remember Big Pink? Those suits? They used to wear ’em onstage. Looked like fancylads.”

They weren’t manly suits, no.

“Plus, you know…promise you won’t tell anybody I said this?”

Sure. Why not.

“We were better than everybody there.”

Neil Young, Dylan, Muddy Waters?

“Maybe not Muddy, but: yeah.”

Better than Van Morrison?

“In so many ways.”

Yeah, I guess.

“You see what I’m saying.”

I do.

“Also, when we played Winterland, we took up all the dressing rooms; they wanted to give us one dressing room for everybody.”

That wouldn’t work.

“Yeah, man. Dead rolls deep.”


  1. I’ve always wondered, given the locale and the fact that Graham ran the show, why even one member of the Dead didn’t turn up for the big closing jamboree the way Ringo and Ronnie Wood kinda pop up to hum along for the last number. Kinda liked to imagine that they sent Keith down from Marin and he never made it past the nose room.

  2. With respect to Muddy Waters, no question. I was lucky enough to see him when he was still playing slide guitar, it was direct revelation.

    All the rest of them, sure.

  3. Jerry did show up at the Latin Grammy awards in 1989.

    And he had a good time.

    I was gonna say how usually Jerry does not fit into the “guest artist” role very well he does alright here.

  4. Mild-Mannered Enthusiast

    February 15, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Facts and reason are trustworthy, but for the truthiest truth I’m going to rely on the unfailingly accurate imagination of ToTD.

  5. I’m utterly tantalized by Donna’s drooping strap.

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