Thoughts On The Dead

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

They're Not Booing…

Having previously brought you Phil’s letter to Trey, TotD has also acquired the personal and private letter Phil wrote to Bruce Hornsby entreating him to join the Dead this summer.


My Friend Bruce,

Hi, Bruce. It’s Phil. Phil Lesh. Of the Grateful Dead. How are you? I am fine.

Are you dead? You played keyboards for us. Statistically, you are deceased. If you are dead, let me ask you two things: totally dead? Because we did an entire European tour with Pig when he was mostly dead: we can work with mostly dead. If you are 100% dead, though: tell Garcia I need my lawnmower back; he’ll know how to get it to me.

Continuing under the assumption that you are still alive, I come to my point. The Grateful Dead will be reuniting for three shows this summer at Soldier Field; we’d like you to be there with us.

We had such good times during the too-brief period when you were with us, Bruce. Musically and socially: do you remember the time Mickey dosed you and Bill Walton, dressed you in Godzilla costumes, and pointed you at those Japanese tourists? I’m sure they remember it! (Bill Walton remembers it: he shredded his Achilles tendon tackling that tiny little Hello Kitty of a woman and missed the playoffs.)

Let’s have those good times again; look how little has changed: Trey Anastasio is playing guitar, so there will be a bearded reformed(?) junkie smiling at you; Jeff Chimenti will be stuck behind you playing a little dinky Casio, so you’ll have your contractually obligated “piano bitch;” and Bobby still thinks your name is Brian.

There is, of course, the small detail of the money, but I think we should–as Billy always says–“let the Jews take care of it.” (I’m not saying I agree with the sentiment: it’s a terrible thing to say. I’m just saying Billy says it all the time.)

In a financial nutshell: you won’t be getting the least amount of money, nor will you be getting the most. (Funny story: Bill Graham will be making the most money out of all of us. He inserted an iron-clad first-refusal for the 50th in some contract for a 1985 show at the Greek. Wily bastard, Uncle Bill.)

I have only three small things to ask of you:

One: If you see Mrs. Donna Jean, don’t say anything. Long story. Just dummy up.

Two: If you don’t have room in your suitcase for your accordion, that’s okay.

Three: Don’t hit Chimenti above the neck. May God help us all, he’s the closest thing we have to handsome nowadays. Shoulders down: that’s up to you.

We all hope to see you in Chicago and make some more music together.



p.s. Bobby wants me to say “Hi, Brian.”

1 Comment

  1. I like Bruce Hornsby a lot. Good writer, solid player. I really hope he’s making some serious bank off of being dragged into this sad clusterfuck.

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