Who was the most useless member? Musically speaking, obviously. In a serious crisis, like a fire or a cruise boat disaster, you would want precisely none of them around. Garcia might keep a cool head, but that’s it. Bobby’s presence would result in a vast increase in casualties due to the time expended by having to explain over and over, in increasingly simpler language, what was happening and why it was a bad thing. Brent would lose the will to live immediately and just walk into the flames.
Which brings us to Tom Constanten. TC is no one’s favorite Dead member, but he is also not anyone’s least-favorite. No one puts on a tape of 1969 and admonishes his friends, “Dudes, listen to the Bach-flavored calliope noises way in the background. LISTEN TO TC TRILL FANCIFULLY!” TC seems to have been included in the group for three reasons: to make Lesh seem like less of a pretentious dick, his clothes, and mustache. Let us examine these things:
Phil Lesh is unbearable, we all know this. If you can read an interview with the man where your hand does not involuntarily start making the jerk-off gesture, then you’re a more tolerant man than I. If Phil were a modern-day hipster, he would work the fact that he didn’t own a television into the first 30 seconds of every conversation he ever had. Phil’s one of those New Atheists that likes to start internet arguments. TC demanded that the group buy him a harpsichord. We have a winner.
As for attire, the only thing to be said is that TC thought he was dressing to play Hippie at a Dinner Party #2 in the flashback scene of a random ThirtySomething episode. TC owns a cape. It is not his first cape. In fact, TC has a “cape guy.”
But the Fu Manchu was pretty sweet.