Apr 102009

“I can’t play this music, it sucks!”

While cooking dinner I turned on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross in the middle of a discussion with some British musician tonight. Dave Davies (not that Dave Davies) was sitting in for Terry. He and his guest started talking about his being asked to join the Grateful Dead, and my ears perked up. Dave asked him why he didn’t accept, and I said aloud, to no one in particular, “Because they suck!” Well, it turns out he was talking to Ian McLagan, and Ian said it even better! Hear it for yourself and more good stuff! This magic moment occurs at the 18:20 mark of this clip: Ian McLagan on Fresh Air with Terry Gross

It turns out this interview was a rebroadcast from 2004, but whether you agree with his sentiments or not, I’m sure you’ll find the way he expresses them refreshing.


  5 Responses to “Ian McLagan Calls Bullshit On: The Grateful Dead”

  1. Hank Fan

    He takes a nice shot at Phish too.

  2. saturnismine

    i love the small faces, the faces, and the dead.

    is it fair to say that a paraphrase of McClaglan’s take on the dead is: “they suck because i like traditional song structure and the dead doesn’t do that”?

    as a song-o myself, i know where mcclaglan’s coming from.

    it’s kind of sad, but at the same time comforting, to hear such a great player admit his own limitations. he certainly has the chops to play for the dead, but he just can’t wrap his head around the idea. and yet, he’s not fool enough to try anyway.

  3. saturnismine

    one more thing: he’s painting with a really broad brush where the dead are concerned. they do alot more than just long form, disparate sounding wanks.

  4. saturnismine

    oh, and one more thing…

    howzabout that picture on the linked page of the ill-fated 1977-78 small faces “reunion” (without ronnie lane!)?

  5. saturnismine

    oh yes, and speaking of radio interviews and sucking and all that…would one of your rth’ers with more time than I have PLEASE get on this whole billy bob thornton thing? what a hoot!

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