Category Archives: Phish


As journalists and pop up bloggers continue to write reviews for shows that happened 2 weeks ago, The forces behind GD 50 are looking forward. Since pulling off the greatest celebrations the Dead Community has seen since Bill Graham served breakfast following New Year Shows way back in the day, Peter Shapiro has had more sunshine blown up his ass than a burrowing groundhog. He deserves the props! The best thing anyone involved with The Dead Community has in their favor is a fan base with essentially little to no memory at all. Unless of course you ask about a show that happened 40 years ago in which case the song list, including any intricacies of the songs played or special guests, can be recalled in an instant. As for what happened last month… No friggin clue… I’m grateful at times for the damage that was done to my grey matter throughout the years because it helps me forget who I was supposed to be pissed at most of the time. The absence of memory has served me tremendously over the years. Except in certain cases… One of the longest things I’ve ever participated in was playing a game of Concentration with another friend from Tour… Lasted for nearly 2 days before we called it a draw… What the hell was I just talking about???

While newly emerging writers are busy throwing their 2 cents into the pile of the past, GD 50 is already looking towards the future. According to Officially Unofficial Sources, Carlos Santana said a bunch of shit in Spanish ending with the words “Grateful Dead”. He booked flights into NYC for November on Orbitz because he got an email that boasted about Flight Deals and Specials that were for “this week only”. When asked about the possibilities of more shows, Peter Shapiro looked at me from atop a newly purchased Throne of Royalty in his office and, like Mel Brooks, said, “It’s good to be da King!” That was all… The one prevailing hurdle to jump is finding a way to erase all written and audio files containing statements about this being the last time these guys will take the stage together. Billy was overheard at a bar saying, “All we have to do is replace Ginger with Carlos and BAM! Problem solved!!! Totally different guys…” When people asked Mickey what he thought, he just said, “I think more people should read about The Beam, baby!!!” It’s clear that something special took place over those 5 nights and it seems like the band is rethinking the possibilities of a few more. My newly upgraded status has elevated me from an Absolute Nobody to just a regular Nobody on the verge of becoming almost a Somebody. Because of this, I was able to get in touch with people who say they know people inside the Lesh Camp… Apparently the conversation there revolves around removing Jeff and Bruce since that would get rid of 2 paychecks and nobody could hear a damn thing they played anyway… When I brought this up to Hornsby, who was still upset that his accordion was intentionally “misplaced” for 2 weeks, and asked how the band might be able to play more shows given the situation, he threw another member under the bus by saying, “Nobody heard a thing Mickey was playing either with those rubber spatulas… We can get rid of him maybe. There’s a solution.” The plot is thickening… I tried to get a word from Scott Allen, The Dead’s Unofficial biographer, but he was unable to speak due to swelling on his lips after having them surgically removed from Phil’s ass… One thing is certain, the bond these guys have formed is remarkable!

The tension of deciding whether or not to announce more shows is now up against the strategy of dealing with all possible reactions from the Faithful. While one might imagine the majority to be extremely happy, the behavior of the Deadicated is never easy to predict. People have returned to arguing about shit that happened in 1984 this week as conversations have begun to return to where they were prior to Fare Thee Well. For many, the emotional hangover still lingers. Doing things like picking up Dry Cleaning and dealing with kids that never listen to a damn thing they say is often enough to make the average Deadhead begin packing up the car and threatening to hit the road. The only problem at the moment is having nowhere to go just yet… The sole comfort that comes with any given day is the opportunity to tell somebody you don’t even know that you were in Santa Clara and/or Chicago. While I’m at it, am I the only one that occasionally walks up to somebody wearing a Steal Your Face on their shirt and makes a comment about The Dead that gets returned by that look that says, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Apparently, people have purchased shirts from Kohls without any damn clue that there’s a band and a community centered around the clothing. That’s a ridiculous shame… How ya gonna go around wearing a Stealie and not have a clue who the Grateful Dead are??? Happened to me twice last week trying to tell people I didn’t know about being in Chicago…

Phish is kicking off their Summer Tour in Oregon next week which will bring their version of the traveling circus through a town near you. For those that got to know Trey a little better during the Fare Thee Well Shows, maybe you’ll take your heads out of your asses long enough to listen to what they’re putting out nowadays. When those brothers are in sync, they provide an experience that’s second to one(Not a typo)! I’m interested to see if all the work Trey put into preparing for the Fare Thee Well Shows translates over into his sound this Tour. I don’t necessarily expect Dead Tunes, although Trey and Mike have both been playing a lot with our favorite musicians, but I do wonder if Trey’s overall sound will be a little different than what we’ve heard in the past. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of our Phish favorites get some Dead treatments. Regardless, I look forward to Trey getting back to that “Staring Into Space” Zone. He came with his head down and nose to the grindstone during the past few weeks. I never saw him look at his guitar so much while he played. Y’all better look out when Trey starts squinting with that face on like he’s squeezing out some gas, looking up into the sky and playin the hell outta some shit! Didn’t see that in SC or Chicago but it’s coming right up!!! Also, With all the credit Caitlyn Jenner has been getting for being so brave, I’m a little pissed that Jon Fishman never got the credit he deserves. He’s been wearing a dress in public for decades. It’s clear the media is prejudiced against hippies. Jon is a pioneer for transgender awareness in the music community and has done as much for that segment of the scene as Phil has done for people who need Organs. Maybe if Jon wore Versace things would be different… If Caitlyn Jenner got the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs, I nominate Fishman to get some kind of Courage Award at the Jammies. That’s all I’m gonna say about that…

The folks at the GDTSTOO are currently dealing with partial refunds and have said that refund requests are coming in at the same rate RatDog mail order requests used to come. Not too many at all… When asked if there would be anything for them to do in the near future, employees at the ticket office were told that they would begin sewing sneakers for New Balance and Puma as soon as refunds were processed. This may lead to a slower return than most were hoping for… Keep your eyes out for more news as it arrives! Lockn will be making some cool announcements in the weeks to come and there’s a whole bunch of Magic just brewing!!! I might be full of shit but I also might not!!! Talk to y’all soon!!!

Dead To The Core,

Dean Sottile (pronounced So Tilly)


Following a week filled with excitement regarding the rumored addition of west coast shows for the Dead, activity settled down quicker than an actress with a chloroform soaked rag over her face. The Dead camp paused for a week and allowed Phil the spotlight he deserved to celebrate his 75th birthday. All seemed relatively quiet in Grateful Dead Land otherwise.

Phil and his friends celebrated our favorite bass player’s 75th birthday with a week’s worth of shows at The Cap. While many shows were sold out, well in advance of the event, for EVERY single show, including Phil’s birthday show, a SIGNIFICANT percentage of tickets were released in the days leading up to the shows. Keep that in mind for Chicago friends. I was able to sneak in by pretending I was a small child. One thing led to another and before you know it, I was scooped up lovingly by Phil and we were singing Ripple together. It was a wild trip that I’ll never forget!
Phil’s bass playing has long been some of the most incredible and innovative playing in history. His command of the instrument is second to none. His low notes are way lower than yours. Phil made it clear throughout the week that his singing is the musical equivalent of Donald Trump’s hair. Maybe I’m not supposed to say that but I just did. Regardless, I’m grateful Phil is still thriving and making music at 75. My grandfather was a professional musician and played his old Wurlitzer electric piano every day of his life that he was able. Musicians are just cooler than the rest of the population, regardless of their age. Happy B Day Phil! Your life has helped change the course of musical history forever! Love You!!!

While opinions of Warren vary, I personally love his voice as well as his sound. While his love for Garcia is equal to ours, his style is completely his own. He sings from deep within his heart as opposed to his head and is able to use his soul as the final amplifier through which lyrics and emotions pass. He fills the entire room with the depth of his sound and his own connection. Not everyone can do that, Warren can…

Then with the patience and precision of a military strike, Phish finally released dates for their Summer tour. The band’s constantly trolling fan base left Grateful Dead sites for the first time since January to return to trolling themselves. The timing of the announcement seemed well orchestrated as after 3 grueling months, Dead Heads seem exhausted by their own complaining and have returned to posting pictures from the lot in Deer Creek, 92 and T-shirts they’ve owned since 1983.

The lull in activity created a precise moment for the unveiling of Phish’s Summer plans including the band’s 10th Festival, Magna Ball, meaning “Massive Testicles” in Latin. When asked about the name the band said, “It’s in August, It’s hot, the odor is pretty bad, there’s very little room to move, it’s totally packed and completely uncomfortable. We imagine this is what life would be like as massive testicles crammed into Mike’s stylish skinny pants. Tom and Trey will be writing new songs for the event that nobody will understand but everyone will sing with compassionate faces and furrowed eyebrows leading people to believe something deeply emotional is taking place during songs written about testicles.

One tradition the Phish crowd has carried on with far greater intensity than the Grateful Dead fan base is bitching about ticketing only moments following on sales. It seems like the upgraded campground, Glen Close, named because it’s close to the activities oddly enough, and because Fishman once slept with her, sold out in 8 seconds leading to an abundance of Conspiracy Theories and more chapped asses than the fans, not in the Glen Close compound, will have by the Monday following the event after shitting in the woods and wiping themselves with branches for 3 days. The upgraded campsite provides festival goers with the opportunity to shower during the weekend and drop their deuces in a toilet as opposed to Port-a-Johns that, by Saturday, will have corn anchors stacked well above the seat, where younger fans will continue to aerial drop their brown trouts making turd pyramids for the record books.

As signs of a maturing crowd following the band, RV Passes were the next to sell out only 12 seconds later. Even though the band selected a location that will accommodate every single person that wants to attend, the arguments around the community seem to be based on the level of comfort they’ll be able to acquire. Instead of Dead Heads complaining about the size of the venue and the inability to secure tickets at all, the Phish people are extremely upset that they might not be able to have the accommodations and amenities they desire. Apparently, the band is married to 100,000 wives that are impossible to please.

In closing, the preceding months have caused me to reflect on the past 30 years of my life like never before. Images from the past have been coming through with such detailed clarity. This week I thought about taking my dog for nightly walks as a teen living with my folks. My brother and I would go burn one and return to watch The Honeymooners or, on the one special night a week we’d grease our minds to properly prepare for The Grateful Dead Hour. Dead Heads throughout the entire NY metropolitan area would gather around the clock radios our grandmas bought us for Christmas or the vintage tubed stereo systems with as many dials as Phil’s basses. Back then we didn’t have, we had David Gans. He was the archive of our younger years and critical listening occurred during his weekly radio show. For many, the best chance you had of hearing soundboards from the latest tour was by tuning in to his weekly show. His voice was synonymous with all things Dead. We didn’t have the Internet so most of us wouldn’t recognize him by face if we were standing next to him. Unless he spoke, then every Dead Head would recognize him immediately. We looked forward to those nights with incredible anticipation starting the day before the show. Now I have a computer with every show that’s been played at my disposal. I’m really not sure which is better… Thanks for being such a cool part of my youth, David! I appreciate you!
Until next time, Love Y’all!

This piece is dedicated to the memory of Calico… God’s Speed Sweet Soul…

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