Thoughts On The Dead

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

Uno, Dos, Tres, Catorce

Does anyone else remember Dave, and his Picks? They’re back!

Dave’s Picks 14 comes from the legendary, but mysterious, Academy of Music run at the end March, 1972, right before they hit Europe. As usual, it sounds pristine and clear and clean and wide; you can hear nascent (but still deeply spacey) Playin’ and the greatest love song that no one’s ever heard of Two Souls in Communion here (and while here, order the whole shebang.)

The Academy of Music in 1972 was a–


–place full of whoopty-doo and also a lot of yippee.

The nice people should just go to the unparalleled Dead Essays, where there is a voluminous and enlightening historiography of the run.

Okay. What now?

I don’t know. But that’s better than you could do. It contains facts and talks to itself far less.

How much less?

None at all.

Bold choice. Ah, I was going to yell at David Lemjolnieuxir.

Oh, why? Of all the related ventures that fall under the umbrella of “Grateful Dead,” the one that bears his name is the most consistently high quality. And comes out on time.

I have some things I need to discuss with him.

At least let the man speak for himself.

As always, DL was interested and interesting when you could hear him over what I can only assume was a sharknado taking place immediately behind the camera. For those of you in countries in which the above video was blocked, please let me give you the transcript:


Luckily, the third and fourth DaP’s of the year generally come during less windy months in the Bay Area, so we have that to look forward to.

But, Enthusiasts, we here at Thoughts on the Dead need to look forward to nothing, because here for an exclusive interview that will go poorly is the man, himself: Dead archivist David Lemieux.

“Oh, hi. Am…am I a part of this now? I don’t think I want to be a part of this. Please don’t–”

Hey, Dave. Whatcha doing?

“–make me a part of whatever goes on in here. Um, hey.”

Great pick, man. Looking forward to it.

“Thanks. Listen, can I leave? Not to be rude, but: may I go?”

Dave, this is a safe space.

“It is not. It is explicitly not: you have created a semi-fictional version of me to use as a sock puppet for the purposes of–and I’m quoting you–yelling at me. It is the opposite of a safe space.”

Just a couple quick questions. I promise you I won’t accuse you of things.

“You do that a lot. It’s unsettling.”

No accusations. No weird stuff. You’re doing such a great job with the Dave’s Picks: they’re both a worthy successor to Dick’s Pick’s, and stand on their own. A neophyte would do worse than to simply listen to the DaP series in order to get an overview of the band’s music.

“Oh, all right.”

What’s the next Pick?

“Can’t talk aboot it.”


What? What did I do?

“Gonna gimme the thick Canadian accent, eh? Oh, c’mon!”

All right! Sorry. Sorry. You’re right: no one should do that to the English language. Gimme something on the next pick: it’s surely chosen?

“Ahhhh, ok. The show did not take place in California. Wait: that might be the one after this one. Disregard everything I said. It’s gonna be a great show, I know that.”

What about the Big Box Set? Are the rumors about the May ’77 Betty Boards true, and that’s the Big Box Set? Tell the nice people about it.

“It’s big. Bigger than Europe.”


“Like, the actual continent?”

Or the rock band.

“Still talking physically?”


“Neither. It’s a couple dozen CD’s in a nice case with some books and stuff. There were five big Swedes in that band and Europe is a place. Places have to be bigger than things. It is their complementary nature.

“Things need places to be.

“And without things, how do you even know there’s a place? These two simple words encompass this reality and all others, at their cores.”

That’s some deep shit, David Lemieux.

“No charge.”

We should be in the next season of True Detective.


Anyway: I like your videos. I might be one of the very, very few people who made it all the way through due to the wind noise which makes it painful to listen to with headphones, but I like them. Your enthusiasm is catching.

“Well, thanks. I appreciate that.”

I take your advice, too: I downloaded a copy of Mickey’s 1972 album Rolling Thunder. I also noticed you really made a point of the liner notes. Guy named Jammy Jerbil wrote ’em?

Jesse Jarnow. He’s a tremendous young writer and smart young man and everybody is very, very high on the kid. Great, great writer and tremendous addition to the Grateful Dead creative family.”

Jimmy Jumpjump?

“I think we all see what you’re doing.”


“Stop this. You’re just embarrassing yourself.”


“Okay, what’s going on here? Jesse is very nice to you on Twitter.”

He is, yes.

“So, you should be happy for him.”

Yeah, that’s the way brains work.

“Regardless: do you even want to do liner notes? You’ve expressed no interest in ever writing a straight review and, you know, buddy: we just can’t have Mecha-Billy showing up in anything official.”

You mean you won’t admit to Mecha-Billy in anything official.

“Okay, whatever, sure. You want an audition?”

For the liner notes gig?



“Yeah. What show do you want to do?”

Any show? Wow. How about a dark horse teenage favorite, 9/10/91?

“Oh, 9/10/91? You need to bring Bruce and Branford’s lawyers into this? Good choice, dope. That’s why you can’t do the liner notes. Just pick something obvious.”

Fine, how about 4/12/78? The Duke show.

“Well, you know: not that obvious.”

There was no show I could have picked you wouldn’t have been mean about, is there?

“No. Okay, let’s hear the liner notes. Just gimme a taste.”

Huh. Okay.

“No rush.”

Don’t do that. Gimme a second. Okay: Webster’s dictionary defines “Grateful Dead” as a large and hairy brute, given to raping and pillaging, but only statutory rape, and it was the seventies.

“Are you kidding me?”

You’re saying it needs a polish?

“More references to rape than you usually see in liner notes to live albums by choogly-type bands.”

Okay, I can tone it down.

“Way down. Way, way, so much more way down.”

I got it, I got it: The Grateful Dead’s concert at Cameron Indoor Stadium on April 12th, 1978, only makes sense if you imagine that–through some arcane and evil magicks–cocaine has acheived physical form as a rabid polar bear rampaging through the building, and eating all the people who it didn’t infect with the Curse of the Werepolar Bear.

“Do you not hear the problem?”

Did I misspell Cameron?

“That was not the problem. Which, again, boggles the mind that you can’t hear.”

How about this: The Duke show: great, you know it by heart, blah blah, let’s talk about Bobby’s potato salad.

“We’re done here.”



  1. I look forward to hearing more from Monsieur Lemieux in the near term.

  2. Bumpin’ down the universe in a Space Cadillac…

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