Thoughts On The Dead

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

Thoughts On Shirts

Through much of the 70’s and 80’s, rock stars treated shirts as sketchy fees at a used-car lot, or a camisole on a stripper: they existed only to be taken off. The 1970’s star generally paired his skinny torso with blue jeans: if it was a summer show, that’s how 75% of the crowd would be dressed. (The other 25% were fat or women.). In the 80’s, muscles abounded: big capped shoulders tapering down into skintight leather pants.

(It should be noted, of course, that all rock stars alluded to are male. Lady rockers didn’t take off their shirts. This is partially based upon women generally not preferring to strip down in front of an audience, but mostly based on the fact that all of our opinions about women’s breasts were thought up by men and are obnoxiously stupid.)

(For instance: there is a parallel dimension just exactly the same as ours, except they consider the nipple to be the non-objectionable part of the female breast. That’s what they blur–after all, they figure, both men and women have nipples, so it can’t be the nipple that’s the salacious part. It must be the non-nipple portion since that’s only possessed by women, so on TV, all you can see is the nipple poking out like a little pink (or brown) eye from a big (or small) blurry face.)

(The Germans have a word for the part of the breast that is not the nipple: BoobenFleschen.)

Get on with it and cut the shit with the parentheses.

(One last one: there is a lady rocker that used to take off her shirt–Wendy O. Williams from The Plasmatics. She actually proves my point, as quite literally the only thing remembers about her was the shirtlessness. However, in a blow against patriarchal views on nudity, it should be noted that their music was dreadful.)

The Dead were most certainly not a bare torsoed kind of band. Where as some guitarists might respond to the heat by popping their shirts off, Garcia handled it a different way: refusing to leave his air-conditioned trailer. None of them went to the gym on a regular basis, except for Phil, who enjoyed jazzercise and stealing towels.

Brent was covered in prison tattoos.

Keith never removed his shirt (nor his scarves) for fear someone would see his belly button. It was an outie. But, more so: it was four inches long and an ashy pink; Keith couldn’t move the thing, but if you flicked it with your finger, it would go “wobbadobbadobba” and shake back and forth like one of those coiled doorstops that kids like playing with. He and Mrs. Donna Jean tried on several occasions to introduce it into a lovemaking situation; Mrs. Donna Jean was giving and game, but it was just too weird for her.

Another reason you’ll never see Garcia without a shirt: he was born without armpits. Very rare.

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