Monthly Archives: November 2015

Weir and Mayer

In news that was refreshing to everyone, Bob Weir proved he left home with at least 2 pairs of pants when he took the stage at The Target Center in Minneapolis Saturday. Rumor has it, Buckwheat called and said, “Imma donna need ta git muh britches back!” Weir realizing it was the right thing to do returned the pants that he had been wearing since October 27th. Dead & Company’s wardrobe assistant on the tour, a mannequin that goes by the name of Saint Stiffen had no comment. Weir claimed to win the britches in an auction on Participation Row the last time Buckwheat Toured. He covered all bases by saying it may have just been a dream he had. None of my rumors are ever able to be confirmed so you’ll have to just take my word for it.

For those that are under the impression that I am in some way an insider now, I have to make it clear that I’m still as much of a Nobody as just about anybody. I may have become a higher level Nobody but I still haven’t elevated any higher than “Absolute Nobody” Status. As a matter of fact, after my review of this years “Night At The Movies” from Alpine ’89, my comments about Kreutzmann during Drums looking like an epileptic that discovered bread sticks at a salad bar got me blocked from posting any more of my material on his page. That’s OK, he’s still my third favorite drummer in Dead & Company, right behind Oteil. I wonder if people know when I’m kidding and when I’m not? Like right now for example…

As for Minnesota, The show was hot and the hippies were cold. The music was great at The Target Center except for Dear Prudence which I think sounds like a bad rendition played by some old dudes at a local Battle of the Bands competition. They would likely finish in 3rd place. Most of you get a real kick out of that tune so I probably should’ve kept that to myself. I know I’m probably supposed to love everything and think it all sounds great but to me Dear Prudence sounds like shit. I’m sure a lot of you disagree. I Love everybody either way! It was great to hear Cryptical but it was missing The Other One. Those 2 will get reunited soon and be much better than either of them alone. It was great to hear Mexicali but odd for it to stand by itself as well. Throw Mama Tried in front of that and we’re much better than before. I like the pic from Minnesota here because it shows a lot about what is going on at times. Weir is clearly saying, “Stop fuckin soloing and get back to the song!” John is most likely not listening at all because he’s lost in the moment. Perfect picture by whoever took it! Maybe Weir is really jamming along with him but has an expression that looks like he’s thinking, “Stop fuckin soloing and get back to the song!” I don’t know…

Dead & Company are a great a band but people that associate anybody as a “Spiritual Heir” to Garcia are more crazy than an Armpit Sandwich. I’m not sure why folks feel the need to compare anybody’s contributions to Garcia but it’s an unfair and irrelevant comparison. Nobody ever has or ever will come close to Garcia within this community. It’s an unrealistic expectation. If you haven’t heard it already, check out the interview Gary Lambert did with John Mayer. It’s a great interview and Gary is wonderful at saying the right things and asking the right questions without ever looking to be controversial. He’s much nicer than I am and is definitely better at handling the wing nuts that call into the show than David Gans. I like David because he’s got a really soft way of saying, “Lets hang up on this motherfucker!” without saying anything like that at all. Anyway, John made this interview incredibly easy on Gary because he began to answer questions that Gary never even asked. John had extremely interesting things to say and addressed all kinds of things that have been said about him. Check it out if you haven’t already by clicking this. Great job by Gary as always!

With the holidaze starting to take shape, I’ve put together a gift guide for the Deadheads in your life. It’s for those that will still have anything left to spend once they’re done seeing Dead & Company Shows. For most family and friends of those that have spent the year following our favorite musicians from Santa Clara to Chicago and now throughout the rest of the country, prepare to get a T Shirt they wore twice before wrapping. For anyone else, here are some great gift ideas for the overly obsessed people in your life.

My favorite book of the year comes from David Gans and Blair Jackson and is a great gift idea. You can have it signed by both of them and get it in time for the holidays if you stop dragging your feet and order this week. If you’re waiting to buy presents once you get back from Las Vegas, with all of your winnings, I hope your family appreciates the home made card. This Is All a Dream We Dreamed: An Oral History of the Grateful Dead is a wonderful read whether you have 5 minutes or an hour to spare. There’s enough substance in this book to keep you busy for over a year as a toilet reader (Results may vary based on your diet and the condition of your GI tract). Since you Love The Dead, You’ll Love The Book!

David Gans also has a new CD out and you can buy “It’s a Hand-Me-Down” right here. David’s take on some of our favorites is a pleasant change of pace for those of us that listen to Grateful Dead Music 24 hours a day. Whether fishing by a stream or having Love with your significant other, these versions are sure to bring a peaceful vibe to the experience. Great Job David!

For those willing to listen to something other than Grateful Dead Music, My bro, Brian Swislow has a great band together called Object Heavy. Brian has played with a bunch of dudes that toured with Zappa so it should be obvious that he’s a top shelf maker of music. Object Heavy is available for download or CD Purchase on Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. This CD is as funky as a pair of tour socks after 15 shows. I personally appreciate listening to something other than The Dead every now and then and this CD has found a spot in my regular rotation. Brian also makes some killer clothes and you can check them out at That brother is like the Daymond John of The Grateful Dead World. His shit is truly unique and is For US and By US! I have a few of his shirts and they’re high quality threads for sure!

For those that haven’t illegally downloaded the Fare Thee Well Product Line from Torrents and would prefer the entire package with all the accompanying and Official Swag, there’s the FARE THEE WELL COMPLETE BOX JULY 3, 4 & 5 2015 at the Official Site. That shit is gonna be on my list for sure! You can also grab the last night only if you don’t care about the best night which happened to be the first night. Look for the same box to be put out for Santa Clara before long because that shit is like money in the bank for our favorite enterprise and collector of all of our extra loot.

That’s it for today, catch y’all down the road…

Dead To The Core,

Dean Sottile (pronounced Total Nobody)
@gd50th on Twitter
The Official Home of Unofficial Grateful Dead News and Grateful Dean on Facebook


Dead & Company came through St Louis last night with the big ball of life rolling downhill. This band is getting to a place where stellar performances are routine and mediocre shows are a thing of the past. The momentum coming into the City of Blues was substantial and St Louis didn’t offer a speed bump. The required repetition is paying off as many of the songs are now acquiring a style that’s unique to the band that’s presenting them. The music being put out right now isn’t a good attempt at copying what was once great but a great example of what chemistry can do to a good thing. Day by day this band is able to communicate more clearly using only the voices of the collective souls that are truly pushing our music community furthur. Many musicians have passed through the revolving door but this time all of the ingredients required for the perfect storm have been assembled. When it comes to the new guys on board, it has long been said, “Once in a while you can get shown the light in the strangest of places”. Light is coming through this bunch like they’re plate glass windows. The music is beginning to come through them like sun through stained glass. What’s being projected is much greater and is being cast much further than human talent alone could hope to achieve. Songs that were never blended together seem to naturally fall into one another. Songs whose placement had been fairly concrete for decades have found new room to roam and appear perfect in their new surroundings. We’re experiencing a very special time playing the back 9 with our favorite musicians in the dusk of our times together.

Any party that starts with Shakedown is a party with a good start! The jams were furious and possessed the unique sound that is becoming completely identifiable. These songs are feeling refreshing to me in a way that I haven’t felt since I started in 85. Oteil’s imprint in the creation has completely changed the entire backdrop of the experience in a way that adds an originality and vibrance that improves on the creation. As much as we’re all impressed by John, I believe it’s Oteil that has brought something completely revolutionary to the band. I find myself leaning my ear his way more often than any. Throughout the course of listening to various bands put together to play our favorite songs, attempts at making those songs original have usually fallen flat to me. Attempts to take the songs furthur have usually taken them further backwards. For the first time in my own personal experience, not necessarily yours, I’m feeling like the songs are growing in a positive direction.

After Brown Eyed Women, Minglewood finally came off right to me. It had seemed a little awkward previously but found traction last night and came across as the the first set Weir tune that has always filled arenas with life. Jeff’s volume in the mix has fluctuated a little from town to town but it’s undeniable how much better everyone is when he’s turned up. It reminds me of how Brent could wake up 20,000 people with a single sweep of the B3. Dan Healy’s mixes of the Dead should be studied much the same way the songs have been studied by Oteil and John. The Warlorcks in Hampton and Spring 90 would most closely match the approach of the current configuration.

The highlight of the night for me was the long awaited arrival of Black Throated Wind. I remember the excitement when it came back to the rotation for the first time in over 15 years on March 16, 1990 at the Capital Centre in Landover. The place went absolutely nuts and it was Weir’s best bust out of the decade. The only thing I ever wondered was why that tune lay dormant for so many years. Undoubtedly my favorite first set Weir Tune! It was tremendous and Bob has shown the kind of strength and consistency that carried the band through more turbulent years. I’m grateful to be a witness! Sugaree followed with no hesitation and if I had to guess, that’s a song that will stay in Mayer’s repertoire as long as he plays. It’s perfectly suited for his natural inclinations and has been a highlight of any show its been played. The Music Never Stopped was a great way to round out a terrific first set.

The second set erupted with the same energy that fueled the first with Aiko Iko (See what I did there?) followed by an incredible Eyes. The Eyes has become a perfect example of this band taking the experience to new heights. It sounded like a musical kaleidoscope in a constant state of falling apart and immediately coming back together as something increasingly more powerful. The sounds that are found within the center of the thick jam are a perfect example of the change that Oteil has brought to the cumulative direction of the sound. Let It Grow is no easy tune to play and it was performed with power and precision. The ability of the band to communicate through the songs was never as apparent as it was on Let It Grow. When everybody is on the same page, there’s no better page in the world to be on. Another trip to Terrapin readjusted all of our compasses and was another tune that gains incredible cohesiveness and clarity with each revolution.

The Wheel rolled out of space and has received a face lift that has made it more refreshing than any other tune in the rotation. The reggae ending embellished by Weir’s singing has given something completely new and that something has exemplified what happens when they try just a little bit more. Taking complete and total ownership of the post space segment, Weir sang Looks Like Rain for the second time this tour in the spot typically designated for the Garcia Ballads that had the ability to make any show a great one and put an exclamation point on a show that was already great. It once again proved to be the perfect location for that song since it moved from the pre drums neighborhood where it lived for most of its life. It was sung with all the heart and soul and authority that it ever has. Weir’s vocals were inspired and the song came from The Dead Center of his heart and came through him instead of from him. The liberties that were taken in its delivery were impeccable and the pieces seemed to fit just right in every situation. John’s finger picking was immaculate and the entire band appeared to making love to the song with everything they had. Mickey was basting chickens a dozen at a time with the brushes behind his kit and Bill was in that place he goes to when his eyes roll back in his head. Oteil was in a state of musical fornication and his heart was obviously spilled out onto the experience. The song was changing lanes and passing music into the realm of neurological restructuring and nobody that was surrendered could escape the process. Sugar Mags has been providing Magical Moments of Mayhem forever and it closed a post space segment that was totally owned by Weir. Even on streams you could feel the dynamics of the room shift throughout the night. It was a crazy and inspired ride that just keeps on gaining steam. Nobody can complain about Ripple and it was the tune that sent us packing after a blistering night in St Louis.

Going where the chilly winds absolutely do blow tonight in Minneapolis. If things continue like they have been, the entire state will see a measurable increase in temperature between 8:00 and 11:30PM. Catch y’all later! No time to edit, my apologies for any mistakes. I Love Y’all and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it! We’re so fortunate to have Bob, Bill and Mickey creating the kind of thing they’re creating right now! A Million Thanks to the band and ALL of the members that are absolutely KILLIN IT on a nightly basis!

Dead To The Core,

Dean Sottile (pronounced So Tilly)
@gd50th on Twitter
The Official Home of Unofficial Grateful Dead New and Grateful Dead on Facebook

Official Show poster by: Mark Sgarbossa ( ‪
Great artwork! Wonder why the guitarist is a lefty?
Top quality posters all tour!