Living With The Dead Part One

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on August 12, 2009





PG is reading “Living with the dead”, about a band formerly known as the Warlocks. The ghost writer is a man named David Dalton, who channels the lysergic nuttiness of the Haight. Ghost writer, get it , huh huh.

The man behind the curtain might tell you that the GD name was about the death of the ego…a psychedelic thing. Once the band became popular, the skeletons came out of the closet, and suddenly every day was the day of the dead. Jerry never cared for the skull paraphernalia, but got over it.

The person the ghost writer channeled was Rock Sculley. He was doing something in San Francisco in 1965, when Owsley Stanley invited him to the Trips Festival. Soon, the walls of the auditorium were breathing, and the band was playing. This was their first gig as the Grateful Dead, and Bill Graham ( a cross between mother teresa and al capone) was horrified by the new name. The posters had the phrase “formerly known as the warlocks”.

The next night, Mr. Scully went to an acid test in Palo Alto, where Neal Cassidy was juggling hammers and talking endless amphetimated nonsense. If he had just stayed off those railroads tracks he could have been the first white rapper, and eminem would be the personal assistant to Sacha Baron Cohen.

Owsley thought Rock Scully would be a good manager for the band. Maybe because his name sounded like skull.

And so it goes. Did Kurt Vonnegut ever see the Grateful Dead? They would have been a good match, especially with all the cigarettes mr v smoked. He could have been dosed, and time tripped back into that meat locker in Dresden.

Did you know there is a Dresden Drive that connects Brookhaven to Doraville? Dresden Drive is a popular road for police cars, and PG learned a long time ago to watch the rearview carefully there. At this junction point in history, Dekalb County drove gold Plymouth Satellites. PG drove a gold Plymouth Satellite in the eighties, after the girl in Planet Claire made everyone forget the Dekalb gestapo.

Back to the book, which is a lot of fun to read. The ghost writer and Kurt Vonnegut have a similar effect on PG…when he reads a book by mr v, he starts to think like the book reads. LWTD is having the same impact, which can be intimidating to the readers of this blog who dare to go this far. The sixties were like that in California, or so PG heard…in 1967 he was in the eighth grade, and was a long way away. Neal Cassidy said he got more out breakfast than he got out of the eighth grade.

LWTD is chock full of trivia. Did you know that St. Stephen was written about Stephen Gaskin? Or that Grace Slick would never sunbathe nude on David Crosby’s boat, because David’s girlfriends were all so pretty. Grace just couldn’t compete. Oops, that last bit was from David Crosby’s book, which was another perversion excursion. Does anyone else find the concept of Mr. Walrus being the turkey baster supplier for Julie Cypher…just a touch bizarre?

PG is on page 213 of LWTD at this point. This is a mathematical wonder, using all prime numbers and a superstition into a sum of six. The story of the dead is at a turning point, but then almost any inning of this ballgame was a turning point. It is early 1972. Pigpen has been replaced, but doesn’t know it yet.

The dead just played the armistice day show at the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium, which is fondly remembered by many who were not there. In a bit of irony, this is one of the last shows with the old sound system. There is a quote from a someone who saw them in NY a few weeks later, and said it was the worst he had  heard the band sound.

This is also turning point in america, with the rise of george mcgovern leading to a landslide for tricky dick. The sixties were slowing coming to a multi colored end. They were too painful to live and too profitable to die.

The dead rode the wave for the next thirty seven years, even after uberdeadhead Jerry became the real thing on hiroshima day in 1995. The book has about 144 pages to go ( that’s gross), but PG suspects that it won’t be as much fun as the first 213.

The pictures for this post are from a farm in Tennessee. As PG edits the pics, he listens to a tape of the auditorium show, and the band plays “Tennessee Jed”. Once, PG was playing a tape of “Tennessee Jed”, and a neighbor asked him “ Do you like that?” “Yes” “then you are a hick”.





4 Responses

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  1. […] PG finished reading “Living with the dead”. Celebrity biographies differ in the details…

  2. Ten Bands Nine Opinions « Chamblee54 said, on March 27, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    […] This negativity is what PG associates with The Eagles. 01- The Grateful Dead-PG has written about the Dead before. Lots of people think they are groovy. What is usually not said out loud is the “other […]

  3. […] […]

  4. Podcasts Part Two | Chamblee54 said, on October 14, 2020 at 7:52 am

    […] an origin story, the ballad of #Pigpen.” Many non-naive people already know that the dead have a healthy *dose* of music business nasty. Later this week, “Dead and Gone” […]

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