Saturday, December 30, 2006

Has this ever happened to you?12/30/1989

I love this guy's videos- It's another JDarks YouTube videos! And!!! JDarks has a

Okay the countdown to kids coming home & everything returning to normal craziness is on!!!!!!
I have made a short list of things I WANT (not need to or should be doing) to do during the rest of my week.
I've been limited in my mobility due to a bone spur .. Stretching the ligament and otherwise resting my foot has been a big help. I got a few sedentary things from my list done. crocheted a scarf, got some of my wedding pictures into an online album. Actually dug through the iTunes store and found some songs I've been wanting to get. And as usual spent too much time on the internet!
The foot is feeling better and so I'm going to see about moving on down that list! There is too much I want to do!
I'll check back in a few days! I'm leaving old Buster here to watch the place til I'm back.


This is my all time favorite holiday card!
It's from Lyn, Leif & their doggy, Vito!
Every year they scan themselves (Vito included!) into a scene.
Lyn's the hippie chick in the cool shades, Leif 's got the curly do (not his usual style). Vito's just hangin with them hippies!

The inside reads "Peace, Love & Happy Holidays!"

Listen here for a coooool Monkey & Engineer!!!!!!!!!!!!


..........December 26th.................................

Do you like these Bobbydoggy pix?
I took them ! Actually, I videotaped a show (years ago) and these are stills from that video.
How long ago?
There's a young Sasha on the rail!
It's 1999!

I did figure out how to find Blogger help- not as easy at it seems since I had to open a Google account and continue on from there . It appears Weir Freaking isnt the only Blog unable to create new posts. Hopefully, whatever the problems are, they will be solved shortly.

Merry Christmas!
Musicians ask Santa about Holiday Dreams

"BOB WEIR, RatDog/The Grateful Dead: I‘d like my band RatDog to record with the Kronos Quartet. We‘d spend a couple of days in rehearsal to kick ideas around, and then a couple of days recording in the Fillmore, all of both bands on stage, although from time to time breaking it down into different configurations. No tunes in mind — maybe an old chestnut or two, a new tune or two, whatever they‘d want to bring to the party, and then the "1-2-3-Go" approach. Find a pulse, and then people start playing, and see if that suggests a key or a mode, and if that suggests a harmonic development of some sort. Secondly, our sound mixer Mike McGinn wants us to bring in Dolly Parton , specifically to sing "Ripple," which seems to me to be an inspired notion."

Dear Santa, Could you just tell me when Ratdog's next SF gig is???????

Hey gifting Slackers!
Make your own Lot shirt gift!
Last minute idea- You can send this now:
GoodStorm, has just launched theT-Shirt Wizard Gift Package which will allow your friends and family to create a unique t-shirts online.
Purchasing a themed holiday eCard sent directly to your friend's email address. The eCard includes a button leading to GoodStorm’s T-shirt Wizard, a hands-on interface your gift recipients will use to artistically create their very own t-shirt.
By putting the power of design in the hands of the giftee, you can rest assured: they’re gonna love it! Whether it’s an original design, provided clip art, or an uploaded jpeg, recipients of your gift will have a wide variety of choice, including a palette of colors, text tools and a selection of great-looking shirts in multiple shades and sizes.
This open-ended gift is perfect for kids, teens, musicians, artists and anyone with a flare for the creative!

The T-Shirt Wizard Gift Package includes:
A holiday-themed eCard sent to the recipient (their choice of Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or Holiday)
Access to the T-Shirt Wizard page, where the designing takes place
A colorful, digitally printed t-shirt
All taxes, shipping & handling
The eCards are an instant gift, easily sent for last-minute Christmas delivery. Your friends can redeem their gifts at leisure, and once they design a shirt, they will receive it within 10 -12 business days.
click here to check it out

Yet another NEW Bob interview!

Weir Without Agendas
Taylor Hill
Bob Weir needs no introduction.

I left it at that, and Dean, our glorious editor, tactfully said "why don't you give it another try?"

I still don't know how to introduce Bob Weir, and to sum up the Grateful Dead, who created this type of music, and created the magazine whose website I write for, is impossible. So I'll say this: Bob Weir, his bandmates, Robert Hunter, John Perry Barlow, along with Bob Dylan and a few others wrote the soundtrack to my adolescence. I grew up with a more open mind, and I grew up more comforted, because I had the music of the Grateful Dead. Jerry Garcia died when I was twelve years old, and I'm one of the first members of the generation that knows the Grateful Dead only through audio. Plato once said that "when the mode of the music changes, the walls of the city shake." In the city of San Francisco, in the culture which Bobby and his band defined (with the help of a few Pranksters), and in the walls we all build in our own minds, there was a whole 'lotta shakin' goin' on.

Even without the concert experience, it is still some of the most powerful, moving, and joyful music I have ever heard.

I spoke with Bobby briefly in Atlanta before the interview proper took place after the tour, and he said, "I don't care what you ask me. I'm not pushing any agenda, but I really like questions I've never been asked before." So I tried to ask him questions he'd never been asked, and, when asking one that's probably in every interview, I tried to phrase it differently than anyone else would.

Thanks to Ann C, Dean Budnick, Mike Greenhaus, Randy Ray, Annie Bond, and everyone on I really appreciate your help in coming up with questions.

Taylor Hill: Tell me about your parents. Were they permissive, strict?

Bobby Weir: In the middle, I’d have to say. They sent me to private schools and stuff like that. I wouldn’t call them permissive and I wouldn’t call them real strict. Probably a little more on the strict side. They read Dr. Spock for instance. Dr. Spock in that day was sort of an authority on raising kids. And he was kind of on the permissive side, that was what he kind of preached. He loosened them a little bit.

TH: Were they Grateful Dead fans?

BW: Well, not at first. They wanted me to stay in school. I grew up in the shadow of Hoover Tower at Stanford University, and that was more or less what they had in mind for me, but, you know, the music was giving me the come hither and that’s where I went. And they weren’t all that thrilled with it at first, but when I started bringing home gold records they started to see the sense in it.

TH: So it’s New Years Eve, 1963. You’re sixteen, Kennedy was shot five weeks ago, and you’re walking by Dana Morgan’s music store in Palo Alto and hear a banjo playing. What happens then?

BW: I was with a couple friends I think. We knew who it was, we knew it was Jerry. We just dropped in to hang. We’d all sat plenty of times in his bluegrass ensemble, I think it was Black Mountain Boys – that outfit. We just dropped by and he was there practicing his banjo, and we asked “Can we listen?” or whatever and he said “Sure.” And then it came out that he was waiting for his students, apart from the fact that it was 7:30 on New Year’s Eve.I said, “I don’t think you’re gonna see many of your students tonight.” And he said, “you’re right.”

He suggested that we break into the front of the store ‘cause he had the keys, and break out some instruments and jam a little bit. We did, and it was fun. We started doing jugband stuff. I had picked up a lot, was sort of into that kind of stuff. We started playing that, and we had enough fun that we figured, “Let’s get together.” I think it was on a Tuesday night, and a couple rehearsals, and let’s get a band, and get some bookings, and make some dough. We did. Jerry brought in Pigpen and Billy Kreutzmann and the son of the guy who owned the music store that we were working at was willing to supply us with electric instruments if we let him play bass. So, that’s how it got started. But he couldn’t keep up with us and we had to … this is after the jugband.

We worked for about a year and became real popular in the San Francisco area. Jerry went away that summer for a few weeks. He wanted to do a little tour of bluegrass festivals back east. So, I took over his beginning and intermediate students. I played a little banjo back then, kind of like my French is gone now. By the time he got back from his bluegrass pilgrimage, the Beatles were big and the electric instruments – the Beatles and the Rolling Stones – the electric instruments in front of the store were starting to look attractive to us. So we added Billy, who Jerry had done some basic rock ‘n’ roll frat parties with, and the jug band turned into the Warlocks.

It was just in the air. All the folkies were starting to – there was a wide range of stuff you could do on the electric instrument and they were popular. Our jug band was pretty popular, but we knew we’d be able to make more money and have a lot of fun with the electric instruments. And if we wanted to, we could always play the acoustic instruments for fun. Which we pretty much did all along, just for our own amusement. Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty have a lot of acoustic instruments. Not so much after that, but when we were out on the road somewhere we’d pack acoustic instruments and play them for fun.

TH: Regarding Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty, what led y’all to start sending psychedelia back down traditional roads?

BW: Well, we started playing psychedelia when we started taking acid and playing the acid tests. After a while, we gained enough facility on our electric instruments so that we could. We started mixing the songs, and we also got better at writing them. We started writing more songs that tended to be a little traditionally-oriented. I haven’t thought about that, but we just started playing traditional songs.

The [acid tests] were all a lot of fun. A couple that stand out were the Fillmore acid tests before Bill Graham locked up the Fillmore.

TH: Did you ever meet Igor Stravinsky?

BW: Sure would have loved to but no. I have listened to a lot of Stravinsky. In fact, of the classical composers, he and Bela Bartok have most influenced my playing. I just love what they’re up to.

TH: A lot of people were shocked to find out about all the conservative Deadheads. What about the Grateful Dead do you think appeals to them?

BW: It’s Americana, and conservatives are drawn to Americana. It’s pan-partisan Americana. What we did was real, there was real interaction going on onstage and a sense of adventure about it. A certain kind of person requires a little adventure in their lives and likes adventure in their music. In the old days, it would end up being a jazz fest. But that improvisational, experimental music, at least with us, came out in a rock ‘n’ roll form people could dance to. And everyone found that attractive.

TH: What’s your favorite bumper sticker? What’s your favorite button?

BW: I always liked what we called the lightning chap, what most people called “Steal Your Face.” That pretty much said it all.

TH: Did the Laurel Canyon artists like David Crosby have any influence on Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty?

BW: Well we were hanging with those guys. They moved up to Northern California for a while. They’d come up to our river studios and hang out. Mickey had a little ranch and in the barn he had a recording studio. We kicked a lot of stuff around, and their style of harmony sort of rubbed off on us. We learned how to do it.

TH: When did the big touring machine start to get scary?

BW: A couple of times. We had that huge experimental P.A. (the Wall of Sound), that was a monster with a thousand screaming eyes. We had a huge crew that was required to sit it up. We’d go to a hockey rink for instance, and fill it out, but we couldn’t make enough on tour to support that beast. It sounded great, but it took two days to set up, so we had to rent the hockey hall or basketball arena. That was really extensive, and real difficult to maintain.

TH: Did you realize that your business model was a genius business model, or were y’all just thinking “These are our values. Let’s share the music”?

BW: Well, it was working for us. We were sort of backed into that position early. We didn’t see that hurting our record sales, because our record sales were expanding all the while. At the same time, we didn’t want to be cops. We didn’t want to have to be telling folks “No, you can’t.” We didn’t want to be busting people out in the audience saying “This is not legal, you know.” We had enough of a job just playing the music. So it was a conscious decision of ours to do it, but we weren’t doing it for promotional purposes, it was just the easiest thing to do, to let them tape.

TH: Are you saying the Grateful Dead weren’t ideal law enforcement officers?

BW: (Laughs.) We didn’t want to have to carry around folks whose job it was to go out and basically bust the kids in the audience, take their tape recorders and then give them back on their way out the door. It wasn’t what we were up to.

TH: You spent an entire weekend at Bonnaroo 2005. What do you like about Bonnaroo? Does it remind you of earlier times?

BW: Bonnaroo’s a fun festival. They’ve got quite an array of different kinds of music. They’re pretty good about putting that together, and they’ve been pretty good about putting that together. It was fun going around and catching – I almost never get the chance to go hear live music – maybe in a couple of years. Bonnaroo is a great chance for me to get out and about and hear a lot of stuff that I’ve been curious about.

TH: How do you keep songs fresh after almost forty years, other than never playing them the same way twice?

BW: At this point we have a repertoire that’s been growing for a number of years, and so really, it’s unlikely that on a given tour we’ll play a given song more than two or three times, unless it’s a new song and really want to work on it. That’s the way we keep it fresh – just having a big repertoire and so when I give a shot, it’s going to be my last crack at it for a while and I put whatever I have into it.

TH: Do you have a favorite Grateful Dead song? Do you think any Grateful Dead songs really suck?

BW: Both. A couple of the songs that I’ve written, the lyrics don’t get me that much, don’t work for me now, where they might have back in the 70’s. So I just dropped those songs from the repertoire. “Lazy Lightning” for instance. The lyrics, I just can’t get with. That’s one where I’m either going to have to rewrite the lyrics so I can sing them or just let that one live.

Favorites? They’re all favorites. I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite out of that because I love them all. We get out there and we make it work.

TH: I’m sure you and Phil love each other and are family, but you haven’t played onstage with him in over two years. What is the block that keeps the two of you from being able to play onstage with each other?

BW: We all have our – I just played with Billy and Mickey’s band, but we all have our current hot hands. I’ve been coming on 12 years with RatDog, and Phil’s been working on his book. RatDog, for instance, plays much quieter onstage than the Dead does. I like that dynamic – it’s much easier to sing that way and I’ve got a real good working rapport with the guys in the band.
There is also a nice Jambands interview with DJ Logic- nice things to say about Bobstar in it- Clicky here

............................Dec. 22nd....................
.This is my new format until Blogger or I figure out why I can only update old posts but not create new ones.

A hearty hurrah to fellow Dot orger, PurplyBob on the creation of his sparkly new website! Go check it out!
Purply's Grotto, A playground for the mind!

.Still wondering what to get for your favorite pint sized rock star?
Here's something new from Little Kids Rock

I might have to treat myself to a Bobby Dazzler! from one of my favorite shops in London (located in right Covent Gardens)
David Gans has posted some unseen pictures on Flicker Gallery.
Some upcoming dates to see David perform in the Bay Area are:

TONIGHT---> Friday, December 22, 7-9:30pm: DG, Mario deSio, and Mokai at the Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave (at 65th Street), Oakland CA. Admission is free, but you have to buy a coffee and/or some food.

Thursday, January 4, 8:30pm: Henfling's Tavern, 9450 Hwy 9, Ben Lomond CA. FREE! 831-336-9318

Saturday, January 6, 9: 30 am to 1:30 pm: Grand Lake Farmers' Market, at Grand and Lake Park Avenues in Oakland CA (across from the Grand Lake Theater). FREE! Great produce, bread, baked goods, prepared food, and crafts.


....................December 21st...............................................................................
Bobby fans coming to SF for the Mac Conference take note:
— Book Signing on Tuesday, January 9th, 3:45 - 4:30 p.m. with Bob Weir (Grateful Dead). The legendary singer, songwriter and guitarist will be on hand to sign copies of the newly released book, Come Together: The Official John Lennon Educational Tour Bus Guide to Music and Video. The book and accompanying DVD feature the products and solutions found on the Lennon Bus, chronicles audio and video sessions recorded on board with students of all ages, and includes interviews with celebrated musicians like Bob who have worked on board. Pick up a copy and get it signed!
Check out the "Come Together" book !
A lil NYE fun coming up!
Check out for yummy info.

View from the kitchen- Rainy day in Belmont, Ca.


This was cute- Nancy Pelosi is the new Bill Graham!

Just found this sparkling new fine Bobby interview Downloading with Bob Weir on Jambase!

By Andrew Wetzler

JamBase: Just out of curiosity, what kind of time do you spend on the internet these days?

Bob Weir: I'm something of a news junkie. So, out here on the [West] Coast I get the New York Times online every night. I spend 9:00 to 10:00, generally after the kids are down, reading the news and stuff like that. I do a fair amount of shopping, as much as I have a stomach for. I try to do that online. I spend a lot of time traveling, so when I'm home I like to stay home.

JamBase: Do you ever spend time online reading the reviews and message boards related to you?

Bob Weir: I used to but I don't have time for that anymore. I know what kind of show we had, and I can tell from the reaction of the audience what kind of show [they feel] we had.

Do you download music yourself?

Yes. I go to commercial sites you know, mostly [iTunes]. If I can't find something on Apple Music then I start drifting around. It is all pretty much the same quality. Actually, Apple Music is pretty good. They have the FLAC stuff.

Are you able to perceive a big difference between MP3 and FLAC?

Yeah. [FLAC is] way, way more dynamic.

You need a much bigger hard drive though.

Yeah, actually I got a bigger hard drive.

What kind of stuff are you listening to these days?

I don't listen to much pop music. I listen to old R&B. I listen to modern classical. I listen to jazz, mostly older jazz. Some blues.

What about some of the bands that would be more on the jam side of the fence today?

Not a whole hell of a lot of it because I don't want that stuff in my head, what other people are doing in my ilk. It's bound to happen where if something catches my fancy it's going to come out through my hands. I would encourage jam bands not to listen to each other so that they continue to develop their individuality.

Where does covering the Dead fit into that mix in terms of stifling creativity for other bands?

Whatever floats their mullet as the saying goes. If they love a tune, they should play it. That's what brings a lot of the joy to the music.

I find that as my kids are getting older I'm losing some control over the music that's being played in my house. Who controls the music in your house and what's being played?

Well, my kids are young. My oldest is nine. We do a lot of the Nutcracker for instance these days. They listen to a lot of ballets because the oldest is a ballet student. I imagine the younger one just listens to mostly what the older ones play. I don't play a lot of my music in the house. I tend to play that out here in the studio.

When you're deciding what songs you're going to play for a given show, to what degree does it enter your mind, "Well gee, is this something that someone is going to want to buy later on as a download?"

No, not at all. When I'm creating a set list it's a matter of flow and a matter of the evening's entertainment.

As you're going from Orlando to Boca to Jacksonville or wherever, do you give thoughts to what you played one night versus the next, so that it keeps it fresh?

The way I create a set list is I have a database so that the songs I've done for the last two years - and the last couple of times we've been around a given town - are automatically out. Then, say the last week's worth of shows, those songs are more or less automatically out, unless the set really, really needs them.

What happens if you play two "One More Saturday Night" in Boca Raton two years in a row?

Well, then you are going to get two "Saturday Nights." We'll try to make them different.

We may have saved our democracy in this last election. The cards aren't all down yet but it was slipping away, getting beyond reach. It was becoming a democracy in name only. A lot will have to be done to remedy what has been done over the last few years in terms of gerrymandering the country, rigging voting systems, and stuff like that.
-Bob Weir

The situation a year ago caused a great deal of commotion with a lot of passionate feelings being expressed. Looking back on it, is there anything that you'd like to share about what happened? Would you have done anything differently?
I've learned a lot from that. For instance, I learned that if we're going to go to the effort and expense of making a record that we have to be able to market it some way. We haven't really figured it out yet, but we're going to have to do that soon. If we're going to go through the effort and expense of making a record, we're going to need to at least get our money back out of it.

Did you expect such a backlash when you guys went the route you did?

I think for the most part that was your stock standard typical, very vocal minority. People were just not content to deal with the fact that a musician needs to make a living...

...that what you have is proprietary at the end of the day.

Right. They had no respect for intellectual property whatsoever. The musicians' needs are not being met. There's this myth that information has to be free. That was the big rallying cry back a year ago, and I don't buy that. It doesn't make sense. There is no way you can make it make sense, and I debated this with people who are big time web/internet blowhards who claim to know the situation inside and out. But, they don't know the situation legally and they don't know the situation morally.

Take a company like Google who got to a point where they said free information is nice but now we need to monetize it.

Yeah or we can't do business.

For some of the diehards out there, does there appear to be a disconnect relative to the Dead's willingness to let people tape shows forever?

Something of that nature. We let them make digital copies of our archival stuff, which is a major technological step further forward. So, you can get a hundredth generation digital recording with file sharing and still have a pretty good recording. We've actually gone way further in that direction then the Dead ever did. That's simply because the technology has changed since the Dead were around.

Just a couple other questions for you. "Easy to Slip" has been in your repertoire for a very long time. Did you spend any time around Lowell George?

Hell, yeah. He produced a record for us. The night I met him I was sort of the band's envoy to the various producers we were interviewing, and I picked him up at the airport. He was hungry so we decided to stop in [San Francisco] for Chinese food. He wanted to go to Golden Dragon Restaurant - which is a good restaurant - because there was a very famous Chinese gangland shootout that happened there. The bullet holes were still there, and he had to go up to the wall and put his fingers in the bullet holes and stuff like that. We had a lot of times. He was a great guy, fabulous musician, a lot of fun to hang with. We did a little drinking together. I think the worst I ever felt in my life was the morning after I got the news he died. A bunch of us were up in Portland and there was a Trader Vic's at the bottom of our hotel. So, we figured we've got to raise a glass or two to Lowell. I didn't feel so good in the morning.

You've sat in with The Radiators a couple of times when they've been in the Bay Area. What's it like playing with those guys?
They're a lot of fun. Great groove.

One of my fondest memories was seeing Bobby and the Midnights on the Riverboat in New Orleans during college. Any plans for that to happen again?

You know, maybe in another five or ten years or something we'll get a little reunion tour together just for fun.

What's in the cards for you and for Ratdog in 2007?

Well, we're working on that right now. We'll be touring a fair bit, and I think we'll be recording a fair bit. I think we'll probably make some sort of deals with various online subscription and straight ahead commercial music [services].

Any parting words of wisdom?

Love what you do. Aside from that, register and vote. We may have saved our democracy in this last election. The cards aren't all down yet but it was slipping away, getting beyond reach. It was becoming a democracy in name only. A lot will have to be done to remedy what has been done over the last few years in terms of gerrymandering the country, rigging voting systems, and stuff like that. A lot of attention is going to have to go back to that because those folks aren't done trying to grab power.

JamBase | California
Go See Live Music!

What will Bobby remember about 2006???

Click Here! to find out!

Can you see me?
I just moved the blog to beta. I don't really know/understand what that is all about but am now able to open my archives which was a problem all week. No more excuses for not finishing my assorted show reviews!
Anyhow....carry on!

Looking into a Ratdog summer?
Start at 10 lakes
Then check out GOTV

The 2007 fun begins on Jan 4th. If youre going to be in DC to CELEBRATE click me to see who will be entertaining you!