Dead Stage Banter Part 1

collected from

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I remember this show in 71 at Bangor Maine wherein Garcia is begging to have his monitors turned up and Pig says, "Don't turn Garcia up, he sings awful." He then does Hard to Handle. It's great on the tape but was hysterical live.

These came from a file that (I believe) was compiled from DDN:

12/1/79, Stanley Theater, Pittsburgh, PA
Bobby: what do you say to a one-legged hitchhiker?
Ans : hop in.
10/31/79 Nassau Coliseum
Bobby: What's the difference between a duck?
Ans : One leg's both the same.
Bobby: What's the difference between a frog?
Ans : One leg's both the same.
Bobby: What's the moral of the story?
Ans : It takes a heap o' haulin' to make the pigeon toed.
Similarly, 2/14/70, after China/Rider:
Someone in the audience yells "The Faster We go The Rounder We Get!"
Bobby then sings, to the tune of Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush:
"The faster we go the rounder we get
The faster we go the rounder we get
The faster we go the rounder we get,
In the fourth dimension!"

Don't blame me, you asked for it. Here is the complete transcription as in Dupree's.

From 12/12/69, Thelma Theater.

Bobby: "Okay, gather 'round kids. I'm gonna tell y'all a story. Anyway, if...some of you maybe have heard this one before."

Jerry: "Aaaaaaaaaaauuuuwwwwuh."

Unknown: "Is it bedtime already?"

Jerry: "I'm falling asleep."

Bobby: "Well, then just shut up and I'll tell you when its the punchline, because it's really funny. Anyway, it goes like this. There was once this guy, and he had a dog. It wasn't just a regular dog. It was a short, fat, squat, ugly, little yellow dog. And, anyway, he was out walking this short, fat, squat, ugly, little yellow dog. And he decided he was thirsty. Figured he go into a bar. He did that. He did just that. Went into a bar. And sitting down the bar from him was this guy with a big, black, slick, mean looking dog-all toothy and gnarly and slick and mean looking. And the guy with the big, black, slick, mean looking dog shouted down the bar to the guy with the short, fat, squat, ugly, little yellow dog and said "Hey, that sure is an ugly little dog you got there, all short, fat, squat, ugly and yellow." And the guy said "Yeah, well he may be ugly, but he sure can fight!" Yeah, that's what he said. Anyway, so the guy said, "Oh yeah? Well, why don't we take them out back, and we'll have them fight it out. And I'll put a five dollar bill on mine says he wins." And the guy with the short, fat, squat, ugly little yellow dog agrees with the guy with the big, black, slick, mean-looking dog and said yeah, we'll do that. And, so, anyway, they went out back, and they had it out. And the short, fat, squat, ugly, little yellow dog just whipped the shit out of this big, black, slick, mean-looking dog. After the fight, that short, fat, squat, ugly, little yellow dog was looking good, or as good as he ever looked, I guess. And the big, black, slick, mean-looking dog was reduced to a pile of fur. Anyway, the guy said, "Well, you were right. He sure could fight." The guy with the short, fat, squat, ugly, little yellow dog said to the guy with the big, black, slick, mean-looking dog said, "Yeah, I was right. He sure could fight. Anyway, where's my five dollars?" The guy gave him his five dollars and said, "Yeah, but I never seen a dog like that, anyway. I mean all short, fat, squat, ugly, little and yellow. What kind of dog is that? I've never seen one of them." The guy said, "Well, he used to be an alligator before I cut off his tail and painted him yellow.""

I did type that whole, horrible, terrible, horrendous, repetitious thing. I hope and pray no one else posted this while I was typing. If you'll all excuse me, I'm going to go rock back and forth in my chair, muttering "Damn that Weir" :-)


This one is recent and I caught it on the KPFA Dead Marathon (David Gans was speaking on the phone to someone at a show which had just ended). He didn't mention who told the joke, but after hearing it, I'm sure it was Weir. The joke may be offensive to some:

What do you call a psychic midget who's just escaped from prison?

A small medium at large.

From: "Michael E. Carver" <>
Subject: More Dead babble
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 1993 22:23:08 GMT

3/21/73 Utica, NY -- Memorial Auditorium
AU format .au (484 Kb)
Phil(?): For all you St. Stephen fans, ahh we don't DO that song any more.

Bob: T-t-the bitter truth. Yeh, we had to quit doing it cuz you liked it too much.

later on ...

AU format .au (1347 Kb)
Phil: Since alot of people have gone home, there's probably a whole lot of room here, and I KNOW that our sound system is real good in this here [room]. So if everybody could move back, it 'd probably ease the pain of their brothers and sisters up here in front. So, we-we're gonna try a simple little exercise tho' we have practiced in New York and a couple of other places beside. I'm gonna say STEP, and you're gonna turn around and step back. Or, you can step backwards if you like, that's okay. And I'll say STEP! and you step back, right? And'll 'ay STEP! and you step back one more time and STEP! STEP! STEP! STEP! STE-E-E-P! And now everybody can breath again. But.. hold it. Everybody stay were they are. Don't CRUSH forward again in a blind, unreasoning stumble. Re-laxx. Get mellow! and enjoy the music. Thank you.

1/16/70 Portland, OR -- Springer's Ballroom
AU format .au (1945 Kb)
Phil: Microphone please.

Jerry: Can't hear nothing, man.

Phil: T-There's n-not much coming out of those m-m-m-monitors B-b-b-B-Bear. Now they're a little bit snippier. He always does that to us. It's like, he wants to show us who's boss. So he sticks a needle in through our heads before every performance. . . . . The Mono-turs.

Bob: Yoo-hoo!

(?): [sotto voce] Mono-turs.

Jerry: Monitors

(Phil): Pass the word the monitors are coming. The monitors are coming, pass the word.

Bob: Uh, there they go. Well, maybe here they come. It's really hard to say.

(Phil): Yes, it is hard to say. And yes indeed it is hard to say.

(Bob): [falsetto] Hard to say!

Jerry: That's pretty good there, man.

Phil: It will be adequate for the first essay. Hey, Bill says he can't hear a bit of it. How 'bout you Bear, can you hear my voice?

(Bob): Eh! Eh! Eh!

Phil: Boy, it sure bounces funny.

(Jerry): Okay, yeh, it's good.

(?): Let's play.

->Casey Jones

Bob: Hey, I've been asked to make a pleaded call for some Coca-Cola on the stage. Our poor road manager can't get back to the Coke machine and there's people dying up here of thirst.

(?): Hey, I got Coca-Cola.

Bob: Well there's Coke here, but there's not enough

Jerry steps on his lines with intro to Mama Tried

->Mama Tried

Note: ( ) indicate Really ain't too sure who's speaking. Actually I'm only guessing on Phil -- I could be wrong -- it happened ONCE.

6/18/74 Louisville, KY -- Freedom Hall 1st set
Promised Land -> noodling

Phil (?): We sure glad you all could make it here tonight. All [??????] thousand of ya. We're still tuning up, you understand?

Bob: You're probably wondering why we called you all here tonight. The upshot of it is, that one of ya is a Venusian spy. We believe that this spy will reveal him/his or herself shortly.

Phil: Meanwhile, stay tuned.

-> Must Have Been the Roses

6/9/77 San Francisco, CA -- Winterland
Bob: Our highly trained and efficient crack equipment team is-is busy at work making everything just exactly perfect.

->Feniculi Fenicula

Bob: Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner! I believe, or, I've been informed that everything now is-uh just exactly perfect, so we'll go on.

->Help on the Way

From: Christian J. Ullsperger <>
Subject: Crowd Control #1 & Subject: Crowd Control #2
Date: 15 Aug 1993 02:15:01 GMT

Well, folks, I have finally gotten around to compiling all those crowd control threads. I have only included those threads where the band is instructing the crowd to shut up or back off, and not those threads where the band is responding to shouts for Phil or addressing other issues (e.g., 5/6/70 "There is a lost kid named Frank. Anybody lose a kid named Frank?").

Note that some of the venues are missing, and some are probably wrong. Some of the dialog is probably inaccurate. I would greatly appreciate any corrections/additions to this list. If the changes are substantial, in a few months I will post an updated version (otherwise I'll just remark on the changes in a short post).

There is definitely a discrepancy on the first date shown here. As many people as not dated it 11/21/69 Cal Expo. My own tape of the "falling tower" dialog is labeled as Miami Pop Festival. I don't have a Deadbase handy, so someone please help me out with this one.

Other critical questions: Who does the shushing at 7/8/78? What is Phil responding to when he tells someone they've got the wrong band at 7/26/72? Is the 8/12/72 date and dialog correct? Anyone care to transcribe the "take a step back" routines?

Thanks to all those who contributed, especially to those who carefully transcribed some of the lengthier admonitions.

Please e-mail me corrections and additions:
with CROWD CONTROL as the subject header.


12/28/69 Miami Pop Festival

(Cold Rain & Snow)


Pigpen: We's tuning up now. Hey how come you guys can't come up this way, closer a bit. I mean ain't no cops around, I don't see none.

Phil: Now you've done it Pigpen, now you've done it. Hey, be real careful of the wires, folks, look out for the wires, be really careful of the wires. Otherwise, it all come down on top of you, and you wouldn't want that, would you.

Pigpen: Just be careful of them there towers & wires, it'll come down on your head, a disaster.

Jerry: Just be real cool, you know

Bob: You might, you might want to move back on account if you're if you're real up close you can't see or hear shit.

Pigpen: Hey, your lens cap is on, you

Jerry: Also --

Pigpen: Hey wait a minute, wait a minute -- one of the towers already did fall down, so I'd like you to cool it from them wires & towers. Just don't mess with the wires & towers, & everything'll be fine. And the man over here says don't push on the fence ??: in tune yet? do hard to handle

Jerry: Remember, at least 50% of all this is to make it so that somebody's who's afraid somewhere will know everything's gonna be cool and that means, don't anyone get hurt is what it's all about

(Hard to Handle)

(Mason's Children)

Pigpen: Thank you. Hey listen I've just been informed that you guys got to move back a taste because if them things fall down it's IN TROUBLE city for you. They just ask you like to move back. So you can either move back or you can stay, but if you stay, you might get smashed, so it's your decision.

Jerry: And now we told you all right.

Pigpen: The warning is there so I, well, forget it, just do what you want

1/10/70 San Diego

Phil - We just said something about the aisles. You want to say more about the aisles?

Jerry - Clear the fuckin' aisles, will you?

Bobby - Has anyone else got something to say?


pigpen (i think) when someone screams says, "put that horse out of it's misery"

2/14/70 - Fillmore East

Audience member - "hey Garcia"

Jerry - "What?"

A.M. - "play Saint Stephen" Much hollering.

Jerry - "You want to hear Saint Stephen?" More hollering. "then buy the record."

5.2.70 (maybe)

phil says "how do you expect us to play when you're screaming."

7/2/70 somewhere (Stonehill College, someone once told me)

think it's Bob: Everybody just sit back, we've got you all night long!

[random noodling, crowd going wild]

Bob: All right, all right! How d'you expect us to play music if yer screamin'?

Jerry(?): Cool it everybody... gotta behave like a mature responsible audience.

Bob: Don't lissen ta him...

10/31/71 Cincinnati

before Ramble On Rose, which was apparently fairly new at the time, Jerry introduces it saying

Jerry: ...we laughingly call [this] Rambling Rose.

Bob: Hah hah hah. [guffaws unnaturally]

Anyway, the banter starts after Ramble On Rose ends...

[audience noise]

Heckler: Hey! Play Truckin'! Play Truckin'! . . . Truckin'! . . . Why won't you play it?!

Band member: We don't know it.

Someone: Eat it, man! Eat it! Eat it!

Heckler: Truckin'! . . . Truckin'! . . . Truckin'!

Jerry: Come on, man. Come on, man. You gonna be a cop? Is that it? "Play Truckin', play Truckin'." We'll play whatever we like.

[audience cheers]

Jerry: 'Course, that's not saying you--

Bobby: Yeah, it's a free country, y'know.

Jerry: --won't like it. You might like it too. You might like it too. It might be all right. It might be something perfectly OK.

[rinkydink cartoon theme from piano]

Jerry: What about all those people that might not like Truckin'?

[Sugar Mag tune-up hint]

Jerry: Well, how 'bout it, man?

Band member [to Heckler]: Why don't you play Truckin'?

Bobby?: Hee, hee, hee. [giggles]

[tuning sounds]

Phil: We realize we're wasting valuable time folks, but it's really OK in the long run.

Bobby: You folks up there--are you folks back there sittin' right under the ba--the lip of the balcony. You wanna watch out--

Band member [as Porky Pig]: the rubbabubbabubba balcony. . .

Bobby --'cause any minute now--

Other band member: a-dab-a-dab-a-d. . .

Yet another band member: Hey buh-buh-buh. . .

Bobby: --any minute now they're gonna be dropping a whole load of live chickens one you. Aha. [chuckles at own witticism]

-> Sugar Magnolia


Phil: OK, man. This one's for you! This in the one you've been waiting to hear!

Bobby: We're gonna pause for about 3 or 4 seconds and scratch our asses and think it over.

[they saw at axes in fingernail-on-blackboard fashion]

-> Truckin'

7/26/72 Paramount Theatre, Portland, Oregon Before opener:

Phil (spoken with a down-home accent): Okay, folks, now, uh what we gotta ask you is would y'all please move out of the aisles because, you understand,, we only sold enough seats as were available here in this house and if you're in the aisle y'all don't belong so get on back to your seats otherwise we're gonna have to stop the show, you understand?

>>Cold Rain and Snow>>

After CR&S, some yelling in audience (unrecognizable)

Phil: Hey, man, you got the wrong band! Don't you believe everything you read in Time magazine!

8/12/72 Sacramento (I think that's the day),

where before the third song Bobby or somebody says something about "Would the people with the flash bulbs kindly..." and Phil cuts in "FUCK OFF!"

Then he proceeds to say "That means you, man!" There's more chatter, but I forget and couldn't quite catch all of it.

6/22/73 PNE Coliseum, Vancouver, British Columbia

Phil (to screaming audience): We're going to play a long show, so why don't you all relax.

(some screams of approval, and then random shouting)

Phil: You, too.


i think phil says "since you won't go back to your seats, i guess we're just going to have to conclude that you're just not going to act like ladies and gentlemen." someone screams NO and phil says "well is that right or isnt' it?"

6/16/74 Iowa State Fair Grandstand

Phil, to guy in the crowd screaming to do Me and My Uncle "Don't make an idiot of yourself, man."

5/8/77 Cornell University:

Bob: Now it's time to play everyone's favorite fun game, move back!... Take a step back! Now take another...step back! And another! Take a step back!!

(funky drums and keyboard)

Bob: Now doesn't that feel better?... Whatdaya mean, NO?!?

Jerry: Everyone up front here is geting horribly smashed. If you just move back some....

Bob: then all your friends up front won't look real bug-eyed.

10/29/77: take a step back routine

11/05/77: take a step back routine

7/8/78 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO

Jerry (?) (to quiet rambunctious fans during bridge in Wharf Rat): SHHH!

1983 Dane County: take a step back routine

6/27/85 Saratoga NY SPAC

Set I, after Little Red Rooster Which ended: (not surprisingly) "Leave everything in the barnyard people, Fucked up in every way."

Bob: Hey, Hey. Y'all up on the balcony. The management has kindly requested that you don't hang off there. You gotta realize, that first steps a real doozie (sp) and so kinda cool it. [angrily] Don't hang off the balcony.

Phil: Seriously now. Yo Butch! You! Off the balcony.

(kinda hard to tell who said what in the next 3 lines)

Jerry: See those guys there.

Bob: Stop hanging off the balcony. Off the balcony.

Phil: Get back in a seat would'ya. There are 50,000 people waiting for you to get back in your seat man. You got any friends up there?

Bob: There we go. I say Phil, my dog has no nose.

Phil: No Nose? 'ows 'ee smell?

Bob: Blummin' awful! [guffaws]

Phil: Sorry man, that goes for you too over here man. Hey, get back in. We don't want you fallin' on somebody else. You do with yourself what you want man.

---> Into Stagger Lee

1989 (?) Foxboro.

The fratheads were all pressing up into the front, things were mighty tight near the stage - dangerously so for anyone altering their blood pH. They went into this cute little riff, heavy on the rhythm, and

Phil(? May've been Bobby, memory's fuzzed) chanted "1...2...3, Take a Step Back. 1...2...3, Take a Step Back."

Some interesting Crowd Control:

Date/venue unknown; included as ~45 seconds of filler at the end of a Phish tape.

Bob: We were gonna wear our gorilla suits tonight, but we lost the keys to the wardrobe. Besides, there are enough gorillas in this world without us wearing our gorilla suits.

Jerry: So it's just the usual bozo masks. All you people who are thrown' joints up here on the stage, save it! Why don't you light 'em up and pass 'em around-

Phil? Pass it to your neighbor, man. we're already high, thank you. No, no, save it.

Jerry: We get high on you guys.

Bob: That ain't gonna do nobody no good, man. What a waste! I mean, dope is expensive, isn't it? And if you're gonna throw anything heavy out there, anything heavy that might hurt someone, make sure you're throwing it at somebody you don't like.

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