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Published: 2014/01/03

Stephen Malkmus Talks Grateful Dead, Lynyrd Skynyrd in New Interview

Stephen Malkmus had a couple of things to say about the Grateful Dead, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more in a new interview with Rolling Stone. The former Pavement frontman—who currently leads his band Stephen Malkmys & The Jicks—talks about the Grateful Dead references in his new song, Lariat, saying:

Back then, the Grateful Dead was a fratboy stand-in for alternative. If you were into the Dead, for a frat boy, that was like being into Faust or something. So the St. Elmo’s rich guys at UVA would play it on the lawn and throw some Frisbees.

Malkmus also talked about Southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd. When asked about the classic Pavement lyric, “Good night to the rock & roll era” (from the Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain track “Fillmore Jive”), Malkmus responded:

Yeah that was. . . [laughs maniacally] I guess I was just being provocative there. You know, the Fillmore and the long jam and the fadeout of “Free Bird.” Just last night I was watching this Muscle Shoals documentary. I’m here at the house with the kids, and my wife’s out of town, so when they go to bed, I just search the net for shit to watch and drink beer. I totally understand the alcoholic housewife thing, when I’m by myself with the kids. Like “the bottle is my friend” or whatever.

But I was watching this documentary and Lynyrd Skynyrd were there at Muscle Shoals, talking about the “Free Bird” solo and how the label tried to make them cut it down to three minutes. And they say their big break was the Who tour. When did opening for a headliner propel you to stardom? I always thought that was a myth. Whoever the fuck is opening for Nine Inch Nails, no one gives a fuck, they’re just there to see Nine Inch Nails. Also, how do you blow away the Who? I think that’d be pretty hard to do.

As previously reported, Malkmus and The Jicks recently released a music video for their single “Cinnamon & Lesbians.” The video contains references to the Grateful Dead, while the song shares some melodic similarities with “St. Stephen.”

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