Thoughts On The Dead

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

This One Got Away From Me

One of the running themes of these bloggings is this: the Dead weren’t as special as we think. They did precisely the same trend-following as every other big rock and roll combo of the time, it’s just that they were incompetent at it. They discovered reggae at the same time every other with-it white dude in LA did, but their reggae song was in 7/4. Plus, Phil wasn’t exactly Family Man Barrett.

They did cheesy music videos, but instead of hitting the gym and hair stylist like their peers, they chose to look like this: bobby phil NASA phil unshaven

(Hand on my heart, I only meant to post one picture of Phil looking completely unpresentable. The two-fer was just a happy accident.)

(Okay, last parenthetical, but it has to be said: our boy’s looking rough in that second one there. Like he’s a stranger in a bar who keeps moving through the room getting closer and closer to you, but you never notice him actually moving , and then all of a sudden HE’S ON THE STOOL NEXT TO YOU and he asks you if you want to hear a secret? Because, mister, I’ve got a secret and…I’d like ta tell it to ya.

What the hell, man?

You disagree?

It’s not that I disagree or not: it’s just unseemly. First of all, close your parenthesis.


Second, I’d really prefer you didn’t even imply that the ground-breaking bassist from our favorite improvisational combo was some sort of lumberjack rapist.

I would never imply that Phil raped lumberjacks. That’s–

–Wait, that is not what–


–I said. I meant that he was a lumberjack who raped. 

… Oh: A lumberjack-rapist?!


Well, it’s kinda on you for being so fast and loose with the typography, Mr. “Close your parenthetical.”


COMING SOON: The much-promised, never-delivered return of Elvis! Also, check out this rightfully well-regarded show from 9/20/87 and pay special attention to the Desolation Row, Garcia’s solos in particular. They’re a matched pair: the first, sadness; the second, release. He only takes one verse each and makes every bar both a logical continuation of the bars before it AND a complete surprise. Plus, Bobby just kills it.


  1. I think I love you.

  2. So what are we so afraid of?

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