CALLING ALL DEAD HEADS: Mr. Bob Weir is joining the road trip! Well, he’s the next stop on Sammy’s journey that is! Bob Weir has played with some of the greats, and this “Grateful” guitarist has a history as vast as the Deadheads that follow him.
Born on October 16, 1947, Weir was raised by his adoptive parents in Atherton, California. An undiagnosed case of dyslexia made school extremely challenging for young Bobby, so after years of poor academic performance, his parents sent him off to boarding school. After he was kicked out, Weir spent his time checking out the folk-rock scene in Palo Alto. He spent a lot of time at a local record store, where a young Jerry Garcia gave guitar and banjo lessons. Jerry convinced both Weir and Ron “Pigpen” McKernan to form a band, and after a couple of name changes, they settled on the name the Grateful Dead.
The band discovered they were more interested in playing in front of a live audience than recording in the studio. The Grateful Dead developed a massive following of fans who would often pack into vans and drive across the country following the band along each stop of their tour. The Dead did nothing to dissuade these die-hard fans from recording their live shows either, and it would be the live recordings that became the coveted collector items of Deadheads everywhere.
While Weir played in the shadow of the beloved Jerry Garcia, his impression on the band’s music cannot be understated. His rhythm guitar laid the foundation for many Grateful Dead tunes, and his songwriting repertoire includes such classics as “Sugar Magnolia,” and “Cassidy.” He’s produced solo material and worked with a wide range of musicians from Johnnie Johnson to Bobby and the Midnites. After Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995, many thought it signaled the end of the Grateful Dead. However, Weir and his fellow remaining bandmates have kept the Dead alive and flourishing with reunion tours, still embracing the spirit of improvisation and adventure the Grateful Dead is known for.
We’ve picked out some of our favorite Bob Weir bits. What are your favorite Bob Weir tunes? Let us know in the comments below!
We’ve even been lucky enough to have Bob Weir appear on The Big Interview!
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