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Philly teams are Dead

Posted by Eric Fisher On June 30

Fisher column logo2The Grateful Dead and their fans are celebrating the band’s 50th anniversary by having the four surviving core members (Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart) play together for the final time during three concerts this weekend at Soldier Field in Chicago.

But what if they played one additional show? What if that show were in Philadelphia?

To take this fantasy one step further – or Furthur, if you prefer – what if the theme of the show was the Philadelphia sports scene?

Given the band’s lack of interest in sports, with Weir being the only dedicated athlete or sports fan, this is a highly improbable hypothetical situation. Just in case, though, I’ve constructed a Philly sports-themed set list – and it will be a long show – for one final Grateful Dead concert in Philadelphia.


Goin’ Down the Road Feeling Bad Deadicated (yes, that’s how I’m spelling that word in this column) to the awful road records of Philadelphia teams. The Phillies’ road record stands at a putrid 9-29. The Sixers’ 6-35 road record this past season was the worst in the NBA. The Flyers were far worse on the road (10-20-11) this past season than they were at home (23-11-7).

Feel Like a Stranger How Sixers head coach Brett Brown must have felt this past season with 25 players passing through the revolving door that doubles as the Sixers’ roster.

Friend of the Devil For Sixers owner Joshua Harris, who also owns the New Jersey Devils.

Dire Wolf The title describes the precarious roster situation of often-injured safety Earl Wolff, who couldn’t get on the field during the Eagles’ recent OTAs and mini-camp, let along during games.

Loser Like the lyrics to many Grateful Dead songs, there are numerous interpretations and possibilities for this selection.

Big Boss Man This blues song, first recorded by Jimmy Reed and performed by acts ranging from Elvis Presley to the Dead, is deadicated to Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, who has complete control of personnel.

Cosmic Charlie Deadicated to former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, whose aw-shucks, folksy outlook is sort of cosmic in its own way.

Believe it or Not The Dead surprise us with this song, which they’ve only been performed live seven times, in honor of the Andrew Bynum fiasco, Cary Williams’ excuses for missing OTAs in 2014 and Ruben Amaro Jr. still being employed as the Phillies’ general manager.

Built to Last A second straight song off the Grateful Dead’s final studio album is deadicated to Flyers general manager Ron Hextall’s long-term plans for building a contender.

Easy Answers Something that is in short supply for Philly’s sports teams.

Eternity Played during the Grateful Dead’s final few years, this song, co-written by Bob Weir, Rob Wasserman and blues legend Willie Dixon (who wrote the lyrics), recognizes the eternity since the Sixers (1983), Flyers (1975) and Eagles (1960) have won championships.

The Music Never Stopped A commentary on the music constantly piped into arenas at maximum volume during breaks in games – and sometimes during games.

Blow Away The Dead dust off this energetic song by the late Brent Mydland in commemoration of what opposing teams often do to the Phillies and Sixers.


Help on the Way Deadicated to Aaron Nola, J.P. Crawford, Nelson Agholor, Jahlil Okafor, Dario Saric, Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny, Shayne Gostisbehere, Samuel Morin and Travis Sanheim.

Slipknot Because it belongs between Help on the Way and Franklin’s Tower.

Franklin’s Tower A whimsical nod to the Sixers’ new mascot: Franklin the dog.

It Hurts Me Too Written by blues legend Elmore James, the Grateful Dead play this song for the first time since 1972 (Rod “Pigpen” McKernan, who sang the song, died in 1973), in honor of Joel Embiid and, possibly – although we hope not – Sam Bradford.

Stealin’ The Dead reach back to their first official release for this song, which is a mock tribute to the $17.5 million Andrew Bynum made for not playing for the Sixers, as well as to former Channel 6 sports anchor Don Tollefson.

Ship of Fools For all the fans and media members who have bought into Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie’s rebuilding plan.

Heaven Help the Fool In case you didn’t get the message from the previous song.

He’s Gone For Ryne Sandberg, Craig Berube, Jimmy Rollins, LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, Evan Mathis, Michael Carter-Williams and all the others who have left town during the past year.

Reuben and Cherise Well, we know who Reuben is – no, not csnphilly.com’s Reuben Frank – but Cherise is a mystery in this Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter song that was played frequently by the Jerry Garcia Band but rarely by the Grateful Dead.

Bird Song It’s not quite “Fly, Eagles, Fly,” but the title works for Birds fans.

Terrapin Flyer It’s got “Flyer” in the title, so it has to be included.

Terrapin Station You can’t do Terrapin Flyer without Terrapin Station.

Black Peter I’m not exactly sure who Peter is supposed to be, but, according to LeSean McCoy, he probably won’t be playing for Chip Kelly and the Eagles.

Death Don’t Have No Mercy For Chuck Bednarik, Stan Hochman, Harvey Pollack, Pat Quinn and all the other Philadelphia sports legends who have died during the past year.

Deal What the Phillies should have done with their fading stars several years ago, and what they need to do during the next month with Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon and Ryan Howard – and a few more – so they can leave their past behind and move toward the future.


Box of Rain What the Phillies hope for when Cole Hamels isn’t the starting pitcher.

Dancing in the Street The Dead end the concert on a hopeful note, covering a song first recorded by Martha (Reeves) and the Vandellas, in anticipation of future championship parades down Broad Street.

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