If you like the sound of shuffling feet…

Two degrees in bebop, a PhD in swing, he’s a master of rhythm, he’s a rock n roll king!

I declare Open Thread. Also, this, from the Harper’s magazine I picked up at the Providence train station:

A letter from Ronald Reagan to Michael Jackson, dated 1 February, 1984, five days after the singer’s hair was set afire by pyrotechnics during the filming of a Pepsi commercial…

Dear Michael,

I was pleased to learn that you were not seriously hurt in your recent accident. I know from experience that these things can happen on the set – no matter how much caution is exercised. All over America, millions of people look up to you as an example. Your deep faith in God and adherence to traditional values are an inspiration to all of us, especially young people searching fro something real to believe in. You’ve gained quite a number of fans along the road since “I Want You Back”, and Nancy and I are among them. Keep up the good work, Michael. We’re very happy for you.

Ronald Reagan

I thought that was funny in and of itself, but then I discovered that not everybody in the Reagan White House was on board with writing letters to the king of pop.  Charlie Savage highlights some correspondence from Chief Justice Roberts, then a 29 year old peon associate White House counsel arguing against such “obsequious” letters.

I hate to sound like one of Mr. Jackson’s records, constantly repeating the same refrain, but I recommend that we not approve this letter. Sometimes people need to be reminded of the obvious: whatever its status as a cultural phenomenon, the Jackson concert tour is a massive commercial undertaking. The tour will do quite well financially by coming to Washington, and there is no need for the President to applaud such enlightened self-interest. Frankly, I find the obsequious attitude of some members of the White House staff toward Mr. Jackson’s attendants, and the fawning posture they would have the President of the United States adopt, more than a little embarrassing.

It is also important to consider the precedent that would be set by such a letter. In today’s Post there were already reports that some youngsters were turning away from Mr. Jackson in favor of a newcomer who goes by the name “Prince,” and is apparently planning a Washington concert. Will he receive a Presidential letter? How will we decide which performers do and which do not?

Ah yes, those fickle youngsters!  Roberts is basically arguing against letting Ronnie sign a ghostwritten letter to Jacko, by ghostwriting a letter for his boss to sign saying as much.  And on and on.  Your government in action!  All the while Ollie North is busy running a drug-and-weapons-smuggling ring out of the basement.  Good times!


  • Pinko

    Since it’s an open thread I’d like to take a minute to bitch. I don’t know about where you are but here in Boston we have been bending over, taking it up the ass from the weather all June. Here is a nice chart you can peruse and let “soak in”. July has brought thunderstorms and flash floods so fah. WICKED FAUHCKIN’ PISSAH!!! Here is some vintage Dead (11-2-69), which appropriately opens with Cold Rain and Snow, to help pull us out of the funk. I asked Dicky V, with all his free time, to find this one but apparently bidness is picking up again. The Dark Star rivals Live Dead with a Chicago tease (speaking of yacht rock!) and the Eleven is groovin’. Plenty of Pigpen featured as well. Here’s to a sunny 4th!

  • M.Uila


    Loving it. I am currently sitting in the back seat of my truck outside the public library streaming Cold Rain & Snow featuring Chewbacca (@ 1:43). I’ve been trying to figure out if there is a good way to put a dedicated Dead stream somewhere on the margins of the page. Problem is, everytime you click a link it refreshes the page and you lose the feed. Maybe we can rig up some AJAX enabled content or something? I will consult with our Chief Information Officer. Tucker, you still out there?

  • M.Uila

    P.S. weather in MD has been supah nice. Perhaps the family Pink would like to travel out of its New England bubble for a change of pace?

  • Jimmy Reefercake

    no joke about the weather. nice chart pinko. if anyting even less sun up here. its totally freaky and people are losing their minds.

  • Dick Vinegar

    god i love the eleven. this version has some serious pop on the drums. im not sure if its just the mixing or billy/mickey are just heavy on the snare, but i love it. especially prior to the words. i wont say exactly what effect it had on me, but suffice it to say i had to stand up and take my pants off…

  • Pinko

    Air it out, baby!

    Have you tried listening to this show in your waquoit snuggy?

  • Sunscreen

    Only 70 degrees @ my ol’ Kentucky home. Gracias for the tune, Pinko. A few other gems for your pleasure before everybody heads out for the weekend. Bring the noise: