Unless you’re lucky enough not to know any, (I’m not – several of my friends are Deadheads) you’ve by no doubt been having your Facebook feeds and conversations filled up the past few days by Grateful Dead fans going apeshit over the fact that their beloved band is finally calling it quits. Thank fuck they are, because that’s just about the only positive thing that’s happened so far this year. They’re one of the most overrated bands of all time. Actually, they go beyond just being an overrated band, because their shitty brain cell killing music has created an entire subculture of “deadheads” who never shut the fuck up about them. They base their entire lives around a band whose collective musical talent equals that of a profoundly retarded swan.
It boggles the mind how the Grateful Dead have managed to last so long and have such enduring popularity. Not only does their music blow, but every one of their songs sounds almost exactly the same. Every song is an eternity of whining, high pitched guitar riffs that don’t go anywhere, accompanied by a virtually non-existent contribution from bass and percussion. Actually there is some percussion involvement, but never really when the guitarists are playing.
The Grateful Dead often employ two drummers, which I always hate. The only band that was ever able to make that work was the Butthole Surfers, who are an infinitely better band. The only time the drummers in the Grateful Dead do anything is when they have annoying drum solos that just prove how ill-fitting drum solos are in the jam band genre.
Sometimes there’s a lame attempt at a bluesy keyboard line, but it always falls pathetically short. For a brief time, the music goes down a notch so that a jumble of meaningless lyrics can be spouted off. It’s the kind of shit that seems profound and inspirational when you’re stoned off your ass, kind of like looking at a sheet of aluminum foil. Once you sober up you want to ram your own balls through a salad shooter for having listened to it.
A few of my friends are self-proclaimed deadheads and their entire existence revolves around shitty music and multi-day Dead festivals which are pretty much hell on Earth. All of their social media posts are Dead quotes, pictures of themselves at Dead performances, or YouTube videos of the Dead. Many of them have tattoos with those fucking Grateful Dead bears accompanied by some of their favorite lyrics. It kind of reminds me of the anime fandom subculture. Their obsession with a random subject explodes far beyond a simple interest and soon it becomes the only thing they ever talk about and the only thing they care about. Instead of being a part of their life, it overtakes their entire existence.
Some friends of mine who fit the above description constantly went at me for years trying to get me to go to one of the concerts. They told me if I just went I’d completely change my mind about hating the Grateful Dead. Knowing this wouldn’t work and not really having any desire make it work, I always refused to go. I deviated from my refusal last year after meeting a rather attractive (well, attractive for the kind of woman I’m able to get) woman who wanted me to attend a Grateful Dead festival with her. I agreed to attend, in hopes that it would help me score some coitus. It didn’t.
The lack of getting to populate a vagina was nowhere near the worst part of this experience. We were in a large outdoor area, surrounded by literally thousands of Grateful Dead fans, nearly all of whom were constantly stoned and looked like they never bathed. Everything literally smelled like shit, as there were several of those portable outdoor bathrooms. Many of them were consistently occupied, so you never knew when you’d be faced with the horror of having either an aging hippie or young neo hippie crouching down to take a shit five feet away from you.
My date and I, as was the case with most everyone else, were staying in a tent. It was hot and humid as fuck the whole time and in addition to the terrible smells and uncomfortable lodging, there was a never ending swarm of mosquitos, fruit flies, and gnats all over everything. As bad as all of these things were, they were no match for the constant sound of the aging jam band which made Chinese water torture seem like a Thai massage. When the band wasn’t playing, half the assholes in attendance were playing their music on their personal devices, so there was never a break.
I don’t know how a bunch of elderly, brain-dead stoners are able to even stand on the stage for as long as they do, let alone pluck away at their guitars and vomit out lyrics into microphones for such long stretches of time. They must be blessed by some sort of evil power. Every member of the band looks like they’re one tap on the shoulder away from crumbling into a pile of fat, hair, and hemp. Having to spend a weekend with these pricks and their legion of fans who never shut the fuck up made me hate the Grateful Dead even more than I used to. The only thing that kept me going was the hope that lightning would strike and take them all out.
Even if the Grateful Dead didn’t lack musical talent and didn’t have their army of deadheads, they’d still piss me off. They campaigned for Obama, who recently wrote some half-hearted letter congratulating them on being assholes for so long. Anything, once liked by Barack Obama, loses a great amount of whatever appeal it may have otherwise held. A few of the deadheads I know hated Obama up until he did this and now they love him. Now I know I’m a rare case in that I never tend to like any of the mainstream Democrat/Republican politicians. I realize many people do like Obama and that’s fine. However, if you like a politician, it should be because of his character, deeds, and achievements – not because he happens to like the same band as you do.
I also hate their symbols and merchandise. Every time I see one of those fucking Grateful Dead bears my day is automatically ruined. They look like the wall decorations of a special ed classroom, except for the fact that retarded kids could probably produce drawings of a much higher quality. Their other main emblem is a skull tagged with a red and blue circle divided by a lightning bolt. It’s misleading, because it looks like it could be the icon for metal band that would beat the living fuck out of every deadhead on the planet. It builds your hopes up only to smash them. If you ever see a sticker of one of them plastered on to a stop sign, get the fuck out of the neighborhood. If you don’t, you’ll probably end up going into a rage and killing someone within five minutes.
Anyone who possesses a guitar and working vocal cords can produce the same music as the Grateful Dead. Here’s what you have to do:
1. Plug the guitar into an amplifier.
2. Turn the bass and mid-range down to 0 and turn the treble up as high as it can go and turn off the distortion.
3. Take some weights and slam your head with them until you’ve lost whatever musical talent you may have had. If weights aren’t available, a hammer works.
4. Write down 30 to 50 random words on scraps of paper.
5. Put the words into a hat and draw them out one by one.
6. Paste the words into a line in the order in which they were removed from the hat.
7. Get a few people with other instruments to stand around with you, but make sure they don’t actually play them.
8. Move one hand over the frets of the guitar aimlessly while weakly picking at the strings with your other hand. Keep this up for at least 20 minutes.
9. Start singing the pasted together lyrics in your weakest and most sickly voice.
10. If you don’t smell and look worse than death, stop immediately and wait 2-3 weeks. Do not bathe during this period. When you’ve achieved this, go back to step one.
11. If you don’t get that gang-banging-your -ear drums-with machetes-merciless-torture sound, repeat step 3 until you do.
12. Congratulations! You’ve just written and performed the newest Grateful Dead hit. Now you can start putting on concerts and charging admission. Just say you’ve come out of retirement and their brain dead fans will be too happy and probably too stoned to notice you aren’t the actual Grateful Dead.
As I read through this article, I find some irony in the fact that it’s a lot like a Grateful Dead song. It just kind of drones on and doesn’t go anywhere and fails to make any real cogent points. That’s probably because I’m one day removed from an injury that caused me to experience a leak of cerebral spinal fluid, so at least I have an excuse. The Grateful Dead do not.