Monday, June 4, 2007

In Praise(And Perhaps Defense) Of Brent Mydland

Hi, I'm Paticus , and I'm a Brent Mydland fan.

Phew. I said it.

And you k now what ? I feel better. It's like a great weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.


The sky didn't tumble, the seas didn't boil...The disembodied ghosts of PigPen and Keith did not tear me limb from limb.

Okay, I'm being a bit over dramatic, but in some circles, I definitely got the vibe that I was breaking some sort of unspoken rule, Thou shalt not appreciate Brent- for he certainly is no PigPen.

Well of course he's not, nobody is. Pig was a great bluesman, great singer, great keyboard player. But I submit that Brent was a great singer/keyboard player as well. Maybe not better than Pig, but perhaps in the different but equal category ?

I think part of my affinity for Brent is that he was behind the keys when I got into the band. So he was part of the Grateful Dead that I "knew" so to speak. Sure, I heard Pig and Keith and TC, but I got to "see" Brent. It makes a difference.

Of course, I got to see Vince as well, but I never really connected to Vince. and I didn't care for Vince's tunes, either, I hate to say.

I love most of Brent's tunes. Especially "Don't Need Love" and "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines". I know the latter is a song that a lot of Heads don't like. Apparently, it is too dark. It's dark, but I don't see anything wrong with dark. "New Speedway Boogie" is dark, that's a great tune, too. I also just love Barlow's explanation of "Gentlemen", I am paraphrasing, but he essentially talks of that point in a night of drinking, when most people will say"I've had enough, time to go home", but there a some folks who say "gentlemen, start your engines". I guess that is kinda dark.

I can even say that I don't hate "Tons Of Steel". I know that that one ranks up there with "Keep You day Job" and "Money Money" for the most hated Dead tunes of all time.

Okay, I think I have said my piece.


Jennifer said...

Good one.

You know the problem with many a deadhead, too much dwelling. I'm sorry but things change. Sounds that deviate from the original can still be true to the original vibe. But here's the rub -- I've met folks who would disagree with your post; I've met folks who don't like Grisman and Garcia together (I love them) because it's different from Garcia in the original Dead but then these same folks are like, "Cool Phish!" (ug)Sometimes you can't win.

I agree with the whole post except I can't stand New Speedway Boogie - why, not sure, just don't like it. I think it is as bad as Money Money. Although I really like Touch of Gray, so maybe I'm just loony.

Paticus said...

Jennifer- Very true on the dwelling, and I am probably guilty of it as well, perhaps with this very post.:) I have just always felt sort of protective of Brent. I felt bad for how he was treated for so long.
But wait, how can you say you like the Dead and not like "New Speedway Boogie "? Kidding !! Kidding !!
I like "Touch Of Grey" as well. I think it's a catchy little tune. Always have.
I think part of what I love about them so much is just how different so many of the songs were. Even some of the ones I don't particularly like. I just love that they were doing what they were doing. And I am "grateful"(groan) that they did it.
And for the record, I call "ugh" on Phish as well.

Mark said...

Well, I like Donna, so there!


Paticus said...

What ? How can you like Donna ? Oh my lord !!!
Kidding !! Kidding !!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Hey Hey, come on now. Im not saying anyone is in the right or wrong here but why is everyone pickin' on phish? :P
I listened to phish before I ever listened to the dead and if it wasnt for one I wouldn't have heard the other. I like them both equally but apparently not everyone is a phan.

Anonymous said...

Brent saved the band from obscurity,which maybe was a bad thing but the band would disagree, if you could ever get them to acknowledge Brent saved them. Brent was the greatest, I took his death harder than my own mother's, if you care. Really, I'm just beginning to get into the acceptance stage of grieving for him.
With regard to other matters, as the shirt says "Phish Phucking Sucks" and Vince was a big mistake. Period.
Hey, this blogging is fun. Its like purposely calling a friend when you know they ain't home so you can leave a message and don't have to talk to them.

Anonymous said...

PS: Victim or the Crime AND Throwing Stones are the absolute worst Dead songs.

R0ger said...

PSS: I almost forgot Easy Answers and Waving to the Wind. ANd it goes without saying, so why say it, any Vince song or Vince cover song (remember BaBa O'Reily?).

R0ger said...

PSS: (edited) I almost forgot Easy Answers and Waving to the Wind are also among the absolute worse songs. And it goes without saying, so why say it, any Vince song or Vince cover song (remember BaBa O'Reily?).

I'm formerly annonymous and in my head my earlier comment made sense but it was attributed to my new nickname and that could have been confusing.

Now I'll take my ego and go home.

harmony koruption said...

I love Brent Mydland! I appreciate Tom,Pigpen,Vince,Keith...
I love tons of Steel...and um...throwing stones is a great song in my opinion...I'm not sure the Dead had any songs that I didnt like...some maybe less than others but...all good. I can agree with the "victim or the crime" being in the lower rung of faves.I am NOT a Phish hater...I just never gave them a chance I guess! I was too busy slangin' pizza in the lots. They do,however,Impress me as musicians...No body can really say they suck. But, I connected with the dead at a very early age...its a part of my life...Its my RELIGON! PHUCK all the bellyachin' negatives...Brent was a phenominal player!!! PigPen had a broader spectrum in the blues genre...but all in all...GOD BLESS THE GOOD OLE GRATEFUL DEAD!!!