In Defense of Bill Wyman,

I trust Bill Wyman isn’t losing any sleep over all those pathetics writing in defense of “poor old Jerry Garcia.” Brother, do they need a life! The only thing I ever found remotely interesting about the Dead was why they were associated with acid rock in the first place. The real acid rockers were Jefferson Airplane and Santana. Since they had that sound it made sense for their fans to drop acid and smoke weed.

The Grateful Dead’s first album was straight-ahead blues and rock. As I recall, on their second and third albums they did attempt to play acid rock, but they failed miserably. Those albums were simply atrocious. I may have kept Aoxomoxoa a week after I bought it. The Dead then drifted off into country rock, and I lost complete interest in them as early as 1970.

Maybe the reason people felt compelled to use so many drugs at their concerts was out of boredom. Being stoned was perhaps the only way any kind of excitement could be created as Garcia and his mates did indeed “noodle” their way through one boring hour after another. (I draw this conclusion after squirming through a video of theirs shown on WTTW recently.) Leave it to Americans, though, to raise such mediocrity to the highest heights.

I guess the best thing about the Dead was that they did a lot of free concerts in the early days when they were actually rocking out.

Somebody should tell Bear [Letters, September 8] that you can go to prison for threatening people with bodily harm. Bozo Bear couldn’t have that much respect for the dead–he doesn’t even have any respect for the living.

Take care,

Evanston’s Psychedelic Tiger