Thoughts On The Dead

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

This Is All A Dream I Blogged: Chapter Five

I would be inclined to scoff at the mystic destiny firmly interwoven into the tale of how Keith and Donna joined the band is it weren’t truly the only version of the story that’s ever been told. Multiple contemporary accounts of people vaguely trustworthy and kinda sober all corroborate that “it just kinda happened, maaaaan.”

Sam Cutler was, and possibly continues to be, a very smart man. Rock Scully was, but does not continue to be, a very smart man.

Page 196 and Bobby has not mentioned McCoy Tyner.

How is it possible–and you will notice this is a recurring theme–that no one noticed that Ron Rakow was full of shit? He just showed up in the book and I knew he was full of shit. If the Grateful Dead had read this book, then being the Grateful Dead would have been much easier. More bands should read their own oral histories before starting their careers.

Oral histories can get monotonous quickly, but Jackson & Gans vary the tempo of the speakers well, letting some ramble on when they’ve got a point to get to and other times intercutting and this is pleasing to me and it merits a plug: go buy book.

I do have some professional jealousy, though: I offered numerous publishing houses my idea for an oral history of the Grateful Dead, but was rejected due to the fact that I wanted to tell the story of the band through beejers they had received: from the inexperienced and exciting first slobberings of the early days, to the coke-fueled and professional knobjobs of the 70’s, to a seedy and dispiriting rimmer with Dan Healy in the room.

My calls were not returned.

Spoiler alert: Pigpen dies.



  1. Bonnie Lass of Fenario

    November 19, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    You didn’t mention Donna’s “side of the story”.


  2. Since McCoy Tyner has come up, and since he circulates among Dead mythology, and his influence on Weir is taken for granted, I want to point out, selfishly, I’m afraid, where the observation about Weir and Tyner originated. It first appears here:

  3. I always thought the McCoy Tyner thing came from here:

  4. Question for Alec – where did you get the scoop that it was Sue Swanson who threw the water balloon at the cops and not Weir?

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