Thoughts On The Dead

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

The Return Of Phil And The Phoxes

Enthusiasts, let’s solve a puzzle. We’ve done it before. The timeline of Garcia’s unfortunate 1969 mustache? Done. Who actually booed Seastones in Germany? (The Americans.) What caused the Civil War? Slavery.

It’s more complicated than that.

Only if you’re a historian or a racist.

Yeah, okay.

But now, Enthusiasts, we come to our greatest challenge ever. Our Apollo Creed, our Clubber Lang, our Ivan Drago, our whoever-Rocky-fought-int-the-fifth-and-sixth-ones. Perhaps some of us shall not survive. Perhaps all of us will not survive. If so, it’s been an honor lying to you.

But we must soldier on. I call to the Four Winds! I call to Nicolantheum von Meriweather in California, and David Lemieuxrphy’soilsoap in Canada, and Corey from Lost Live Dead in the Comment Section! Hear me, Deadbase editors and amateur rockologists! Are you out there, two specific women from Minnesota who should be in their late 60’s by now?

Please help me.

Please help me.

What the fuck is this bullshit?

I posted this photo years ago, and christened the band Phil & the Phoxes; to be honest, I didn’t even notice Pigpen standing behind the amplifiers. Found it on Google, slapped it on the blog, made my wee funny, and moved on with what I’m euphemistically referring to as “my life.” But here it is again, risen from the collective subconsciousness of Deadheads everywhere, and contemplated by the great Jesse Jarnow.

This is what he has to say about it:

Except, that is, for one intriguing photograph by Tom Berthiaume. Dead bassist Phil Lesh sings at center stage, and Ron “Pigpen” McKernan leans on the band’s amps at the rear. Seated at the drum sets, however, aren’t Billy Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, but two fashionably dressed young women, more mod than hippie. A call to Berthiaume several years ago yielded nothing more than the memory that the photo was almost definitely taken between the evening’s early and late shows, and not during the performance itself. Beyond that he remembered nothing.

So: who are they and why were they allowed to sit and Billy and Mickey’s kits? (One would imagine that this action generally led to a sudden and vicious thrashing.) They don’t look like they came with the band–they’re clean–and they also don’t look like they came for the band; that is most certainly not what groupies looked like in 1970. Neither of those haircuts should be in the same room with the Grateful Dead, let along onstage playing the drums behind Phil.

(Let’s just note what Phil looks like, accept it, and push forward. Also: I think the ol’ Pig is birddogging Tig Notaro on the right.)

So here’s the question, Enthusiasts: what the fuck? Let’s solve this. Then, world peace.


  1. Luther Von Baconson

    May 5, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    the Herkimer twins. Judy & Trudy.

  2. I say that this is the show that was radio broadcast, and these ladies were brought in to help sound test.

    Bang on the drums when I ask, while Phil tests the mics.

  3. in a few years he would be backed up by the Heineken twins. Bella & Stella.

    • Thoughts On The Dead

      May 5, 2017 at 11:02 pm

      Even when the picture is from before or after the Heineken Years, I still look for the green bottle.

  4. Luther Von Baconson

    May 5, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    I do like what Phil did with his bangs. I think the twins like them too.

  5. Luther Von Baconson

    May 5, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Got it. Sandi & Sally

  6. And who is the (hell’s) angel on Phil’s right shoulder?

  7. Mean, Green, Devil Eating Machine

    May 6, 2017 at 9:56 am and the ‘edge you Kay Ted’ guess is 10-18-70 in Minn., MN.

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