Bands the Dead was better than:

And I’ll just tell you upfront that I’m leaving Phish out of this entirely. I have as much interest about arguing Dead v. Phish as I do with getting involved in internet arguments about atheism: none.

Pink Floyd – Quick: what was the Pink Floyd sound? (Yeah, yeah.) Imagine Floyd jamming on, say, Summertime Blues. What would it sound like? Right.

Jefferson Airplane – The whole two singers just kinda standing there annoyed me. If you’re singing on a stage, you either stand tall with thrusted chest holding a libretto or you rock the fuck out and end the show by laying your enormous wang on a PA speaker, allowing the audience to watch it vibrate to the feedback of the guitars. That’s a lead singer. Being curly-haired and singing part of shitty Airplane jams makes you just a guy standing there singing occasionally.

Van Halen – Eddie and Garcia were both virtuosos, I suppose. Eddie could play a lot more notes. Both were known for their custom guitars, although Eddie made his in his garage for $40, and the creation of Garcia’s guitars always included, somewhere along the way, the phrase,”Well, it costs what it costs, man.” These are some of the most dangerous words in the English language, and when you hear them, you should stop letting the person who spoke them have anything to do with your money ever again.

The Sleigh Bells

Where is your drummer? You fuck right off back to Brooklyn and get yourself a drummer. We understand that the Marshalls are ironic, but Leggy Von Bangsinhair, an Ibanez guitar, and an IMac do not a band make.

Queen – And that pains me to say, because I love Queen. When the Wembley ’86 double-CD live album from the legendary–yes, legendary: like Dunkirk–Wembley Stadium Show came out, I ditched school for an hour to go to the mall and pick it up immediately: I wanted to show enthusiasm in my purchasing so perhaps Queen would do another tour in America. Freddie was dead within weeks.

But still, it was a good album.

Freddie did this a lot. No one in the Dead ever did this, except maybe after chimichanga night at Club Front. So, points: Dead.

U2 – Because every band is better than U2. It’s music for people who don’t particularly like music.

The Beatles – You couldn’t dance to the Beatles. Could you make sweet, sweet love to them? You could certainly make drugged-out love to Revolver, but the rest of it? Piffle and bosh. Plus, Revolution #9 was, pound-for-pound, every bit as annoying as Seastones, but y’know what: Seastones wasn’t on the album in the middle of the all the other stuff, the stuff you actually wanted to hear but now you had to sit through these dicks futzing around with their recording desk or, since it was 1970, get up and walk across the room the move the record needle, which is barbaric.

The Who – The Dead and the Who had a friendship/friendly rivalry thing starting at the Day on the Green in ’76. It was only an equipment loan from The Who that turned the Egypt excursion from “economically infeasible” to simply “ruinously expensive.”  Also, Daltry, Townshend, and the dead one behaved badly after Keith Moon’s death: they should have retired the name, at least. Instead, they carried on with a drummer so boring he was called Kenny Jones.