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Published: 2015/01/23
by Deren Ney

10 Reasons Why Trey Anastasio is the "Worst" Choice for "Fare Thee Well"

Earlier this week over on, Hot Buttered Rum’s Aaron Redner shared “10 Reasons Why Trey Anastasio is the Perfect Choice for ‘Fare Thee Well.’” Today Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers guitarist Deren Ney offers his own thoughts.

As a dyed-in-the-wool Deadhead, I was shocked, shocked to see that Phish’s Trey Anastasio would be playing the 50th celebration shows in Chicago.

Here are ten reasons why this is the worst thing to ever happen:

10. TREY DOESN’T SOUND LIKE JERRY Every time I hear Trey Anastasio playing guitar I know instantly, “That’s Trey Anastasio.” Instead of doing it how Jerry would, it seems that Anastasio – selfishly – went and developed a unique style all his own. Blech.

9. PHISH FANS WILL RUIN IT Because of Trey now “those people” will be there: The smelly, drugged-out Phisheads. Us Deadheads, on the other hand, have the alluring smell of patchouli oil and freshly burned sage, and we only get high on MUSIC (which we occasionally enhance with NATURAL things like marijuana…occasionally mushrooms… but more the body high kind than visual…I would never seek out nitrous, but I won’t say no if I see it…acid ONLY if it’s a weekend…or very good acid…I’d do some MDMA if it’s pure…or cheap… I WILL NOT MESS WITH COCAINE. Why, you got some? Maybe just a bump at set break.)

8. AMATEUR DUDE Trey doesn’t have the experience. Jerry was 53 when he passed away. Trey is only 50.

7. __________ WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER It is so obvious that ________ is the only one capable of reaching across time and space and heaven and earth to play what Jerry would have played.

6. PHISH SONGS SUCK I’m not sure why this will affect Grateful Dead songs, but it will.

5. TREY IS ALL ABOUT GIMMICKS The Whammy loops, the octave dividers, etc. are so cheesy. If he wants to fill Jerry’s shoes he needs to add more subtle effects, like an auto-wah, or a Roland GK-2 hexaphonic guitar synthesizer pickup which Jerry used to flawlessly simulate the sound of saxophones and woodwinds on the guitar.

4. TREY CAN’T SING Jerry Garcia was nothing if not a precision singer, who never used cheap tricks like personality and heart that would have obscured his notoriously consistent singing.

3. TREY DOESN’T “GET” THE DEAD What Phish does is so silly. I’d like to see Trey step up and make some REAL music, like composing a rock opera about turtles who run a train station.

2. BECAUSE JERRY What would Jerry think of this decision? I have listened to the Dead enough to know what Jerry’s closest friends and bandmates apparently do not: If he saw this Trey guy come in and disrespect the Dead by taking their music and interpreting it in a new way, Jerry would surely go into a frenzied rage. Tables would likely be overturned and chairs would be thrown through windows. The Jer Bear I know would never be sitting back, listening along and grinning ear to ear about it.

1. THE FANS SHOULD DECIDE Who picked Trey anyway? Sigh…I wish that Phil, Bobby, Billy and Mickey – the guys who were there from the beginning and are the only ones who truly understand its meaning – would agree that the fans are the ones who should make this decision. The fans are the only people who know best which musicians the surviving members should have with them at the epic finale to the lengthy, peculiar excursion that is the Grateful Dead.

I think the case is pretty clear. In a sign of solidarity, we should boycott this event. If you have a ticket, please, for the love of God, give it to me. I will dispose of it for you.

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