Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm getting ready for some Jamaica Ratdog!

Not sure how it is that we receive San Francisco Magazine, but we do.
The new issue arr4ived here about 5 minutes ago.
I opened it up and who should I see but Mr Bob Weir- right there on page 32!
Actually it's an illustration by Michael Byers'

Sunday, January 25, 2009

mmmmm, pizza!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Grateful Dead tunes make a long, strange trip to Bay Area symphony hall

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ever dream of seeing Bobby's bedspread?

Well, now you can!
Leaving no mind unblown
‘Revolutionary’ looks back at crochet’s rock ’n’ roll heyday

Birgitta Bjerke’s hand-chocheted “Pioneer,” also known as Bob Weir's bedspread, is the largest piece on display at the Center of Southwest Studies’ new show, “100 % Brigitta: The Fine Art of Revolutionary Crochet.”/Photo by Stephen Eginoire
by Jules Masterjohn

Random thoughts come easily while taking in a preview of the exhibition, “100% Birgitta: The Fine Art of Revolutionary Crochet.” For me, the new Center of Southwest Studies exhibit inspired tugs of nostalgia for the era of sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll, that short period between the late 1960s into the 70s. In my early teens at that time, and living in small towns in the Midwest, the “scene” merely wafted by me, like the ever-present smell of patchouli oil. My longing was not for the behaviors of this era, but for the openness of attitude that was present within society then, allowing one to explore, experiment with and challenge conventions.

Secondly, and equally as interruptive, were the flashbacks to the early ’70s and seeing the crocheted afghan that adorned my granny’s couch. She had made it, square-by-square, choosing earth tone colors to match her rural décor. Had I known back then that this traditional technique was being used to craft mind-blowing outfits for the rock idols of the day, that afghan might have been a bridge to our generation gap.

A photo of Roger Daltrey, founder and lead singer of The Who, wearing a floor-length crocheted jacket made by Birgitta Bjerke, hangs in the gallery beside the actual purple/blue/green-striped duster. In Birgitta’s hands, a conventional craft form became a popular rage and just about every rock musician and his girlfriend wanted one of her uniquely designed garments. Nearly all of them have a “stash pocket” hidden somewhere. Some even have a little “tit slit,” a peek-a-boo opening for an adventurous nipple. These garments look like granny’s afghan on acid.

Truly, the king-size crocheted bedspread, commissioned by the then-partner of the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir, is a testament to a psychedelic era. Birgitta titled it “Pioneer” due to its amorphous shape, which “wanders beyond its own borders,” she writes. The periwinkle blue background of the large crocheted “canvas” complements the floating, star-like spheres of yellow and orange. Perhaps picturing a landscape or maybe representing a colorful, pulsing energy field, Birgitta created it freehand. A nonconformist spirit is present, and the design looks like Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” hooked up with the Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour.”

The back-story to this piece is that Weir never got to see the bedspread, let alone sleep under it. Birgitta relays in words on the gallery wall, “Unfortunately, it took two years to complete … and by the time it was finished, they (Frankie and Bobby) had broken up.”

Every piece has a story, giving insight into the era, the wearers and the artist. Describing a jacket with a rainbow sunburst on its back panel, made for Susila, a Grateful Dead band member’s partner, Birgitta’s words read, “Like Susila, herself, absolutely fearless.” Other idols pictured wearing her creations include Jimmy Cliff and Eric Clapton. There are many photos of Birgitta as a young woman modeling her then-cutting edge outfits, one of which was the see-through crocheted dress. She is pictured in London, Paris, New York and California.

Bjerke, who later went on to work for Hollywood wardrobe sets, designe d this full-body ensemble for a trip home to visit her native Sweden. /Photo by Stephen Eginoire
Seeing the Center for Southwest Studies walls covered with wildly designed, fabulously colored, and intricately crocheted garments made for the most influential of international rock celebrities was refreshing - and perplexing. Making the connection between Birgitta and something Southwestern, Center Curator Jeanne Brako explained, “We wanted a vibrant textile show available for the biennial Intermountain Weavers Conference, which will be hosted at Fort Lewis in July. Birgitta came to our attention through a campus member who met her through the musician, Taj Mahal.”

Though no justification is needed for this “far out” show, Birgitta, originally from Sweden, does live in New Mexico and, over the last 25 years, has worked on costumes for many Hollywood films that were set in the Southwest.

As a costume designer, she has worked on 11 films and her credits include “Paris, Texas” (1984), “The Legend of O.B. Taggert” (1995), “The Tao of Steve”

(2000), and “Death Valley” (2004). Birgitta was the costumer supervisor for “Dances with Wolves” (1990) and the costumer on “Deadman” (1996). A costume called Desert Rose was also made for a 1996 film, the name she has forgotten due to her “nightmare” experience with it. In spite of her difficulties with the film, the ensemble of a crocheted skirt and jacket with a matching tie-dyed T-shirt, is gorgeous. Made of soft, multi-fiber yarns, it looks like it would be exquisite to wear. The colors and design combined – muted sages, turquoise, salmon and sandy tones – speak of the subtlety of the desert Southwest at its most feminine.

On the other end of the spectrum is High Flying Bird: The Eagle Coat. A powerful totem and bold garment, Birgitta sketched out only the eagle’s head, started with its piercing eye, and crocheted the entire full-length coat, free hand. Her fashions, crocheted textiles and drawings, shown all together, offer the exhibit a breadth and an intimacy that is informative and refreshing, and reveals the artist’s innovative spirit. •

“100% Birgitta: The Fine Art of Revolutionary Croquet” opens to the public on Sun., Feb. 8, from 1-4 p.m. Live music and refreshments will be served and the artist will be present. Gallery hours are Mon.-Fri., 1-4 p.m. and Thurs., 1-7 p.m. The exhibition will run through Aug. 2. The Center for Southwest Studies is located at Fort Lewis

College. Call 247-7456 for more information.
Found the following tidbit at

Rocking, marching and dancing

The Dead, which includes the surviving members of Grateful Dead and new friends, opened with four songs (''Dancing in the Streets,'' ''Uncle John's Band,'' ''Sugar Magnolia,'' and ''Eyes of the World'') before breaking around 10 p.m. ''There's a very important gentleman who has a schedule to keep,'' guitarist Bob Weir said, sending the crowd closer to the stage, video cameras cocked and ready. Then they sound system played Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever. Twice. Then two more Sousa marches. Chants of ''Obama'' went up but after 20 minutes, Vice President Joe Biden came out. ''Today you witnessed history,'' Biden said to loud cheers. ''And tomorrow, it's the intent of Barack and I to make history.'' After a short speech, he and wife Jill danced to Van Morrison's ''Have I Told You Lately That I Love You.'' Then they left the stage. And Sousa resumed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bobby mention in article @

"Normally Johnny Sanchez, owner of Rock 'N' Ride on Main Street, isn't the least bit interested in politics.

"I have not voted since (George) McGovern lost (the presidential election) in 1972," Sanchez said. "But this year, because the Grateful Dead were campaigning for Obama, I kept up."

Sanchez, a diehard Grateful Dead fan who has followed the band as a groupie on their tours through Europe and the U.S., incorporated the band's logo into a superhero-costumed character he called Obamaman and showed up at a Grateful Dead concert in Boca Raton with T-shirts.

"I took it where all the hippie vendors were -- to Shakedown Street. I sold more than 100 and gave stickers with each shirt," Sanchez said.

When band member Bob Weir saw Sanchez holding up a shirt in the crowd, he called him up on stage, which provided Sanchez with another product to sell -- framed numbered photos of himself with Weir. He had eight of them and sold most, for $75 each."

Monday, January 19, 2009

you'll get all the little details and inaugural gossip from Leah at

Leah's Dead related item for today-

"-- Location, location. Environmental activist Caryl Hart (whose husband, Mickey Hart, played with Bob Weir at an Al Franken event Sunday morning) was shocked when every two minutes or so, "a plane flew over, headed to Reagan Airport. Every single time, it freaked everyone out. They flew within a few hundred feet of the stage, where Obama was sitting."

Picture of Mickey and Bobby performing can be viewed at

Ineteresting blog article on Wolfgang's vault at

Sunday, January 18, 2009

You'll want to listen to KFOG Morning Show all this week!- they will be giving away Shoreline Dead Tickets!
You may listen online @

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bob Weir: The Music Never Stopped
Published: January 17, 2009

By Lloyd Peterson Discuss

This interview will appear in Lloyd Peterson's upcoming book

Wisdom Through Music.

It has been said before but there really has never been a group of musicians quite like the Grateful Dead. And as the years have passed on, I can no longer, as I did then, take their ability to turn sound into magic for granted. It didn't happen at every performance, but when the heavens opened, a perfect harmony existed between audience, band and sound that became a phenomenon beyond the written word. It was part of the elusiveness that was the Grateful Dead.

Musically, they might not have been the technicians found in jazz but their creative minds and spirit allowed them to improvise far beyond the boundaries of any artistic form and genre of traditional thinking. Where most improvisation takes place within a rhythm section, this was a band with a fierce disregard for convention, where each member would improvise independently against and with each other... all at the same time. And though effort could never influence the process of transcendence, it was part of the challenge of reaching this realm with every performance.

Bob Weir left High School and joined the Grateful Dead at the age of 17 and never looked back. He was able to develop a style of rhythm guitar playing that was unique in its time and was a significant part of what was to become one of the world's most creative but unorthodox bands. While the media focused on the drug culture, there was very little understanding and focus on the creative process, a process that was firm and confident in its direction, yet completely open to new realms and possibilities. They were and remain an exception in a world of increasing contradiction.

Lloyd Peterson: Ornette Coleman and Miles Davis developed a new found freedom for other musicians by breaking down the boundaries of jazz. Almost simultaneously, the Dead proceeded to open a new creative dimension and then invited everybody inside. Did you guys know you were expanding upon the musical universe and tearing down creative boundaries?

Bob Weir: We were well aware of it but there were others such as Big Brother and the Holding Company. We were all listening to the same music such as Coltrane but the Dead just stayed with it longer. With Janis's meteoric rise, things changed for Big Brother. Early on, Phil Lesh provided a lot of new information and by the age of seventeen, I was listening to Pendericki and Stockhausen. Further on, when we developed more facility with our instruments, it became possible for us to start exploring those new realms. So there was this overlay of modern classical along with the avant garde and though there are some classicalists that claim the avant garde isn't classical, they use the same instruments and sit in the same concert halls so it's all the same to me. It just comes down to how far you are willing to take it.

There was this soul romping of jazz in the 60s' and it was furious and cooking so we concentrated on that along with what Ornette was doing. In the early 70s,' Miles came out with Bitches Brew and Live Evil but we also listened to Return to Forever which was fusion that hadn't slipped into its dry and intellectual mode yet. Those fusion guys had monstrous facility which seemed unattainable but Bitches Brew was more groove oriented and a clear light post so we did that stuff in rehearsal all the time. We could also pull it off on stage from time to time.

LP: Did the audience always follow?

BW: We would take the temperature of the audience and though nobody ever discussed it, there was an understanding. An understanding that there is only so much of this that we are going to get away with because for the most part, the audience came to hear songs and of course we loved to deliver songs. We were story tellers and that's the whole secret of music as far as I'm concerned, actually of any art. You are telling a story. We used bridges from the developments of new jazz along with the modern classical influences of Penderecki, Stockhausen and ol' Uncle Igor Stravinsky. I also listened to a lot of Bela Bartok and wrote a tune based on a concerto of his that just floored me for at least a month. I listened to it every other night until it was coming out of my ears and fingers. It was a full Bartok progression with lots and lots of dissonance that worked well to my satisfaction. That kind of stuff was happening.

LP: The song," Let it Grow" seemed to develop into an arrangement with many of its harmonic relationships in fusion.

BW: Well, when you couch it like that but I tend to think of guys like Return to Forever as being a little more harmonically developed than we were. But thinking about it, I guess "Let it Grow" was harmonically developed and I wasn't really listening to anything at the time I wrote it. It just came out.

LP: Pablo Cassal's said that "The heart of a melody can never be put down on paper" and in a sense, that was the magic of the Grateful Dead in performance. At times, one couldn't help thinking that there was no other place in the world where you would rather be.

BW: The moment that the music kicked in and the heavens opened, you were in that moment and nowhere else, and there isn't anywhere else that anyone ought to be. (laughs) We were no longer in the physical realm anymore. We were far past that.

LP: There was also a transformative power with the Dead. When exactly did you guys know that the music you were creating had this kind of transformative or perhaps even spiritual power?

BW: Well it was undeniable the first time that it happened to us and that was all that we needed to know. Of course we could also feel that the audience was sharing in that. We knew we had a good thing going.

LP: Were you conscious of trying to get inside the center of the sound and were you aware of what you were creating?

BW: We were not consciously creating it, but we were conscious of finding it. And when we found it, we found it without looking. We were aware of it and it's like mantra. I hate to wax metaphysical on you but in the Vedic Tradition, sound perceives reality.

LP: The Dead's music was also completely committed in its vision. It was very, very sure of its direction, yet at the same time, it remained open to new possibilities. That in itself is a contradiction. Can you explain what made it work?

BW: We were just kids following our footsteps. That said, there were some interesting places where people would find contradiction but usually where we found none. If you are able to find that thread, the contradiction completely falls by the wayside and everything falls into place. We never had any idea what we were chasing but when we caught it, we knew it.

LP: Is there a separation between expressing love through music and where your soul or spirit begins to influence the creation?

BW: When we get to where we want to go, time evaporates and there is no sense of time. The only sense of time is the beat but that's different. It's not the clock ticking. That time is infinite and elastic. And given that we evolved to a timeless place, there is no act of creation. It just is. I'm not doing it, it's just there.

LP: The great innovators have always pushed on the boundaries of creativity. This was clearly the case of the Dead but towards the end that might not have always been the case. And as most musicians as they mature, they become more conservative with their creative approach. But with your more recent work with Ratdog, there seems to be more confidence and a desire to take more risks in your search for creative discoveries. You are pushing on those boundaries again. What drives you? What makes it work?

BW: I really cannot take all that much credit with Ratdog because all the band members have just as much influence with the writing as I do. But that's the way I wanted it because it brought the band together and with my experience of setting music and lyrics together, stories can merge out of that. But everybody was invested in the writing and it gave us a sense of what we could do and it worked very well for us.

LP: But you personally must have been very open to it.

BW: My responsibility on stage is to leave nobody in the audience behind. So once again, we read the audience and we try to develop our shows so that we are opening up ourselves every night and at the same time, try to gauge how open the audience is becoming.

LP: One of the areas that separate creative artists from most other musicians is that most are interested in the answers, but artists are more interested in the questions, in the search itself. This was clearly part of the foundation of the Dead but the chances of six like minds coming together (Weir laughs) searching within that same universe is quite extraordinary. Visionaries are rare and usually walk alone. When did you guys know that you had something special in a creative way?

BW: Well, the Beatles were notable for that.

Each one of us had our own particular pied-a-terre, nebulous amorphous pieta tear, and we kind of relied on each other to pursue our own direction. However, as soon as a melody or a harmonic progression started to emerge, everyone would ferociously kick in, trying to push and develop where they found it wanting to go. Everybody was different, so it developed in surprising ways.

LP: There is a quote from Dennis McNally's book (A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead) where a club manager states, "You guys will never make it, you're too weird!" (both laugh). But you guys always received criticism yet always followed your own creative vision. Did you consider the criticism validation of your work?

BW: For certain types of criticism but that statement was also a challenge to us, it was a challenge. If we are too weird, well that's just what we're going to hang with (laughs). We have to hang with it. We were born with it and it's also how we were made.

LP: But isn't that also a kind of validation that you are going down the right path, not just the traditional one?

BW: It was more of a challenge than a validation at that point. I had just turned 18 so I wasn't looking for validation (laughs) I was only looking for challenges and was looking to get into it. And at that time, Billy and Pigpen were a year and a half older than me and Jerry and Phil, not much older than that.

LP: What was it about the Dead's music that kept capturing the imagination of youth for several generations?

BW: It takes a great deal of luck to find what the Dead found in finding the right collection of guys who can keep cranking stuff out that relates to youth. Dylan and Neil Young are elemental writers who compose songs with infinitive eternal things who have the gift of the ears for eternal youth. That's wisdom and it's nothing less than that.

LP: There seems to be a correlation with artists and higher awareness levels. As an example, there are many that seem to have the ability to look past and beyond cultural differences. Have you noticed this and can it be attributed to the power of music or is it perhaps from a particular type of spiritual or cultural enlightenment?

BW: You know, artists are probably born and not made. It's the questing soul. But you can also be a questing soul and fall into science as well as engineering. But the questing soul who is born with artistic aesthetic sensibilities is probably going to fall into art. For me personally, I have never looked for answers, I have been looking for the burning questions that could beg answers and draw stuff out of the universe.

LP: There has always been a sense that the members of the Dead were driven by some other outside force or that somehow the stars lined up just perfectly. Did the band feel this power and did you feel a sense of responsibility to nurture it?

BW: I always felt that that was what we were here to do and I still do feel that way. I'm here to take that as far as I can.

LP: But is there pressure with that? Do you still feel that you have a responsibility to carry this on?

BW: You learn to live with pressure and I think all successful people have pressure. However, it needs to be balanced with the joy of discovery along with the ecstasy and elation of being able to deliver as well. And when you are delivering to an audience and they are getting it, it is a two way deal. They are working too. Everybody is. You know, many hands make light work.

LP: To jump off the cliff" during a performance requires a musician to let go of their ego and be extremely committed in their vision. Very few reach this level to that extent. Where did you guys get your collective commitment and passion to search and discover?

BW: I came around very slowly but it still came within the first few years and I think LSD probably had something to do with that. But for awhile now, my contention has been that it really wasn't the LSD so much. The LSD was sort of a sacrament to get everybody involved, such as with the acid tests. "We're going to step off a cliff here." So I guess that compulsion to go cliff jumping came relatively early on. Eventually, we became a little more intelligent about it and developed our sense of feel with regard to what we were going to use to fly and see if it kept us aloft. We had some miserable crashes but we also had some soaring experiences too.

LP: You are one of those rare musicians that brings it to the table every single night. From the moment you begin fine tuning your equipment until the end of the performance, your focus is completely in the moment. Why is music this important to you?

“When the music is happening and the song is being sung, whether by instrument or by voice, there is no place I would rather be.”
BW: You know, it always has been. When I was eight years old, my brother taught me how to tune a radio and I knew at that moment that it was music. I knew that that was what I was going to amount to. And by the time I was 15, I was already on my way and I met Jerry just after I had turned 16 and have been a professional musician ever since. Music has always been very good to me. There were a few lean years in the mid-sixties but those were the starving artist days and you don't want to skip that, you just don't want to skip that.

LP: You seem to be sensitive and passionate about everything that you get involved with and that's not only in music. Can you explain where these roots are from and what continues to drive you?

BW: If I'm going to get into something, I'm going to want to dive in. I want to feel it.

LP: Do you still have that same passion today?

BW: Claude Monet developed cataracts in his eyes and his color perception slowly changed over the years. For him, all of those fantastic colors were just natural, but to the rest of the world, they were super natural. And he had no idea what was happening to him but after he had cataract surgery, he wanted to destroy all of his paintings. So your perception changes over the years and though I feel passionate, there is nothing that I would rather do than catch that next wave on stage.

LP: There is now a younger generation coming to Ratdog performances. Do you sense the same vibe from this audience and the same search for wanting something more?

BW: It's still the same. It's the kindred spirits. It's a certain kind of person that requires a little bit of adventure in their lives and in their music. And we are more than happy to provide that because that's what has kept us going. We are all kindred spirits and actually, I'm just a professional adolescent anyway.

LP: Can this culture sustain itself for many more generations?

BW: I think it has been in our culture since the fusion of African and European music. By the time of the late 20s,' people were listening to Afro Euro music. That was open ended music and there was adventure there. There were jazz bands that were jammin' and the more rigid folks responded with, "Stop this noise! Stop this noise!" They couldn't relate. Look at what happened when Stravinsky debuted the "Right of Spring". People hooted, booed and stomped out but the younger folks got it. And Stravinsky was only about 21 at that time.

In our culture today, there is an understanding that art can be derived from a more elemental part of ones being and its there before one reaches adolescence. And just before early adulthood, the more intelligent ones start to develop enough appreciation for art and music that they can handle the complexity in art. They are going to go with this new creative form and it was proven again with the emergence of rock and roll. And when I talk about rock and roll, I am talking about a specific period and era, a specific kind of music. After the late 50s and very early 60s, it had already started to dissipate, turning into rock music, the heavily amplified electric bass and driving stuff. The lithe part of rock and roll was gone. I developed that awareness a little further on in my career and by the time I was in my mid to late 20s, I had realized that, "this isn't rock and roll," this is something else." It's good and I don't mean to devalue it, it's just that it's not rock and roll. If you are going to play rock and roll, it has to have the swamp factor with varying degrees of shuffle within straight rhythm, which is mathematically imprecise and necessarily so. And a certain kind of person can do that but you have to be free of neurosis; neurosis being the inability to accept ambiguity.

LP: The following quote is from the great classical violinist Yehudi Menuhin: Improvisation is not the expression of accident but rather of the accumulated yearning, dreams and wisdom of our very soul. Does that resonate with you?

BW: I agree with that to a certain point but accidents do happen. An intuitive improvisatory musician hears an accident and immediately makes that a positive development. But Yehudi Menuhin probably said that back before Bitches Brew. Today, if someone adds a note that doesn't necessarily work, somebody else in the band might hear it a little differently and compile something completely different where that mistake now works and it's all because of the collaborative experience. And suddenly, "Oh, there's a new harmonic territory here that we are going to overlay and then find meaning in the juxtaposition."

LP: There is an argument that can be made that perhaps no other time in history did music have such a profound affect on society and politics than the 60s. It was a time when music actually did make a difference in society and in a positive way. Did you know at that time that music was having this type of influence?

BW: We were pretty aware of that, yeah. But I think you can attribute that to the baby boomer demographics. There were a lot of kids listening to youth oriented music and from that; anthems emerged that shaped the culture of youth. We were a part of that. We were generating that kind of stuff but also appreciating that kind of stuff. We were embodying it and commenting on it. Everyone was doing that.

LP: The band never stood on a pedestal and made political statements yet you supported causes that you believed in. Your actions spoke louder than words. Is it still that way for you?

BW: Yes. After a show is over, I work with an organization called "Headcount" which is trying to register young voters at concerts. My feeling is that we need to get kids interested in voting now because it's their future that is being decided and I think that the direction of government is becoming more far sighted. When people start to get older, they start to lose that thousand yard stare that a child is sort of born with. We need the youth of our country to right the ship.

LP: Is it a case of kids feeling overwhelmed and too insignificant to make a difference?

BW: And that's what I'm trying to influence, that they can make a difference.

LP: We are now at a place where questioning one's government is perceived as questioning one's love of country. How did we get to this place?

BW: My understanding is that that's wrong! It's straight up nationalism, unquestioning nationalism. The whole idea of democracy, especially as embodied by the founding fathers was to take nationalism out of government and put pragmatism in, pragmatism in the highest possible sense. That's a reversion to the more basal instincts in human nature and it's horrendously shortsighted. It's fascism, pure and simple. Because the people who decide that the questioning of government is the questioning of ones national identity... I mean come on. That just gives the leaders all the rope they need to hang our entire culture. And as we have seen in recent years, that's what they will try to do, such as stacking the Supreme Court and politicizing the justice department. The intent is to try and hold their power with no intention of governing for the better good of all, which is way down on their list of priorities. The first priority is consolidating your power and marginalizing your enemies, your perceived enemies and that is unbelievably short sighted. And I hate to use words like wrong but if I'm going to use one, that whole notion that questioning your government is unpatriotic is pure unadulterated horseshit and is not what our founding fathers would have told us.

LP: When you think about it, it's really quite incredible to think that a group of people were able to come together and find a way to agree on the form of government that we still have today...

BW: Well interestingly, that was accomplished by a collection of young people that were involved in that movement, people that had retained their spirit of youth and had acquired some wisdom. But again, it's that questing spirit of youth and they were able to retain that and acquired wisdom and acumen and came up with the constitution of this country. And it has lasted into our 3rd century. I think what happened in the mid 60s' and up to the very early 70s' will be culturally retained for the next few hundred years. It was another step forward for our culture where we found a newer and fresher well to draw our art from, a newer, deeper and fresher well.

LP: The events of 911 influenced compassionate and sensitive feelings towards the U.S. in a positive way for the first time since the Vietnam War. Now we have lost that. Does that concern you?

BW: Greatly.

LP: Do you see the difference when you travel, do you sense that or see it?

BW: Looking the way that I look, it couldn't be more obvious to most people that, "there is one of those American's that doesn't really buy into what is going on in Washington." So I don't get flack for it. People are sympathetic to me and they can see on my face that I'm embarrassed by our government and I'm embarrassed by this war like nationalism.

LP: Why did things change for the worse after the 60s? Why did we fail at the most opportune time to make and sustain a difference with our sense of ideals and values?

BW: I think that as the bulk of the people got older, real life concerns such as making a living, started inserting itself into our reality and that reality was basically a bubble. I have never left that but when we were living in Haight Asbury, I was only 18, 19 and it was quite easy to be idealistic at that age. But as you gain more experience, a conscious reality starts to creep in and not just our little havens reality, but with the rest of the world as well. And if you are an open minded person, you are going to take that into consideration and put it into balance. And if you are not, then maybe you can stay with that earlier subjective reality but you are going to lose touch with a whole lot of folks. I'd rather be in touch.

LP: The politician has to sometimes compromise their own beliefs but the artist will not compromise his or her art form which usually doesn't reflect the compromised vision of leadership. That in itself is a clash of values and seems to be part of the challenge for what is at stake for our future. How can we get them to work together?

BW: Every now and again, a politician comes along that is actually artful. We had that in John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy. They were eloquent and there was art to what they were doing and from what I can see, the same with Barack Obama who is also a rare transcendent politician. And most politicians are just technicians, they are engineers. It's apparent to me that not everyone can be an artist who is born with those sensibilities. God I wish it were possible. My hope is that in some age, we will find that everyone is an artist. Perhaps at the end of the year 2012 in the Mayan calendar and at the end of the Kaliyuga... the end of time as we know it, which is predicted to occur and at that point, everybody wakes up and they discover that they are foremost an artist. I'm going to go on that hope for a few years.

LP: Hazrat Inayat Khan who was from India wrote a book titled, The Mysticism of Sound and Music and stated that, "Someday music will be the means of expressing universal religion. Time is wanted for this but there will be a day when music and philosophy will become the religion of humanity." Do you think music has this kind of power?

BW: It's done that for me. When I'm on stage and the bond is strong between the band and audience, a higher truth becomes injected into that bond and the commonality that everybody in the assemblage shares. There is a higher humanity that is brought into play and it cannot be done without all those folks. I suppose it could be done but I'm not doing it. But I do manage to get there with the help of the audience and with the guys in the band.

LP: There has been an imbalance in the world for a long time now. Can music be the liberator?

BW: When the music is happening and the song is being sung, whether by instrument or by voice, there is no place I would rather be.

LP: BW: As human beings we need love, we need compassion and we need peace yet we don't seem to have the desire or sense of necessity to make that a priority. What are we missing? Why is it not a priority for us today?

BW: I think you are going to have to go to India or Tibet or the mountains of Mexico or South America. I'm not entirely equipped to answer that but I do know that we have our best guys on it.

LP: The great artists do not separate life and music, they bring it together and you cannot tell where one ends or one begins. The love and commitment is always there. Can you explain what has influenced you to this degree?

BW: That's the whole point of art. For me, any artist is a story teller and a story teller brings the listener and the story together until they are all one so everyone is living in the same place and that's really living, in capital letters. That's true living and people are really alive at that point.

LP: Do you miss Garcia; do you still feel his presence?

BW: Sure, I miss the warmth and brotherhood that we had and the music was a just a part of our relationship. We spent a lot of time traveling together, entertained each other and there were always a lot of laughs. And having a guy live in your head for thirty years is not going to go away right away but then I don't suspect that it ever will.

When we played together, I would start hearing what he was doing from the downbeat and I could feel his directives. "Don't go there, but go here." There were some nights where I felt like I was in conflict with him and some where I was in complete harmony with him but Garcia wasn't looking for slavish emulation. And if I was playing something and being completely hard headed about it, just maybe there was a reason for it. With some of those conflicts, sometimes there would be a breakthrough where that conflict would result with great things happening. In the realm of intuitive music, that's where it really gets interesting. A lot of great art is born from tension and we had total respect for that. The harmony that happens from the downbeat can make for a wonderful night but the ones where there is conflict are probably the more interesting nights, especially if there is a resolution found.

LP: If you could move forward 200 years from now and people were interested in knowing what your fondest memories were, what would you tell them?

BW: Well, when we were playing in Egypt and let me first say that we really didn't play that well, which was a result of being jet lagged along with other numerous difficulties. The electricity was hit and miss and was very disruptive to our flow. And the first night that we went on stage, we sound checked and tried to get everything as right as we possibly could but the electricity was on and off. We were playing at the Salumina Theater which is at the foot of the Sphinx, which in turn is at the foot of the great pyramid with two other pyramids behind it. They were all lit up spectacularly. But the problem was that we were also close to the Nile River and there were lots and lots of these big mosquitoes. After the stage lights came on, I saw this cloud of mosquitoes and I was getting bit and my immediate thought was, "welcome to hell." And just as I came to that conclusion, something flew by my head, and then another and then another. I looked across the stage and there were these big bats, a foot across feasting on all of these mosquitoes. And they saved our asses, and this happened every night.

On the third night, there was an eclipse with a full moon that lit up everything. I looked out across the moonscape along with the silhouette and there were two ridges that were lined up with Bedouins on their horses and camels, guns slung over their backs. And at that moment I thought, OK here are the Bedouins on the bluffs, silhouetted under a full moon and then in the backdrop is the great pyramid and the Sphinx. And then there is this thousand year old stage and on that stage is a rock and roll band surrounded by a cloud of bats. It was then that I had one of those moments where I thought, "Take me now lord, just take me now. I want to remember it just like this."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I am super busy lately so I apologize for just dropping links on ya - Here's a new one!

And another
Franken planning fundraiser in Washington
By Cynthia Dizikes | Published Thu, Jan 15 2009 8:41 pm
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- When Al Franken travels to Washington, D.C., for Barack Obama's inauguration, he'll be making the most of his trip to the nation's Capitol.
The comedian, turned Democratic pundit, turned politician will be throwing a fundraiser at the luxury Willard InterContinental Hotel this weekend to help pay for his campaign and recount costs before ringing in the new administration on Tuesday.
A guest list to the exclusive event was unavailable, but at least one famous attendee could be confirmed: Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead.
Weir is not scheduled to perform, but who knows, Franken is reportedly a very big Grateful Dead fan.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Dear Friends,

Greetings as we begin a new year.

The Rex Foundation is pleased and appreciative that the upcoming tour of
The Dead will include a charitable component. A limited number of quality, center floor seats at each venue are being made available for sale, with the proceeds being contributed equally to the Furthur Foundation, Rex Foundation and Unbroken Chain Foundation. We will send an update within the next week to provide the details of the pricing, as well as how to order and obtain these tickets. We look forward to being part of this exciting and momentous tour.
Please join us on Saturday, January 24th at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco for a night with Melvin Seals and JGB band . In addition to the donation of $1 for every ticket purchased, a Silent Auction will be held to benefit the Rex Foundation. Come show your support and bid on priceless memorabilia and special items to add to your collection while enjoying a great night of music.

The Rex Foundation is grateful to everyone that helped make the recent fall events successful. Check out the Programs for the September 27th, November 29th and December 13th events to see the acknowledgements of the contributors. You can also see each event's photo albums on our Facebook page.

If you attended one of our recent events, please post your comments on our Blog.

With high hopes as the new administration begins for a better economy and world peace, the Rex Foundation looks forward to the good results from our continuing support of grassroots non-profit programs. All that we are doing is captured by the Rex Community Caravan , our virtual vehicle for traveling together to connect the arts, community and grassroots philanthropy. Your contributions and participation in our events make all the difference! Help us celebrate 2009 by showing how contributions of $5 or more add up quickly and how we can, together, further what the Grateful Dead started for another 25 years.

Thank you!

Sandy Sohcot - Executive Director &
Theresa Reed-Hayle - Associate Director

Monday, January 12, 2009

Touring in stryle!
Keller talks to Bobby for Relix

A snippet that pleases me from the interview !

Keller: Do you ever get to Europe anymore?

Bobby Weir: RatDog was over in Europe, I think, about four or five years ago. And we may go again. It’s actually starting to look kind of attractive, given the exchange rate.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

GDTS Information for Dead Tour is up @

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Friday, January 09, 2009

Check out the latest merch at

A Special Evening With Jackie Greene
Fans will now be able to get a double-dose of Jackie on two consecutive nights!

Jackie Greene will perform two very special shows on Wednesday, February 18th AND Thursday, February 19th at The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Jackie will perform two sets each night with his band and both evenings will include a special "middle set" featuring Jackie and his friends Phil Lesh and Bob Weir.

Tickets are available at, at The GAMH box office and by fax (see for info)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

SF Weekly presents All Shook Down!

While mentioning All shook down, I remember a particular birthday boy singing about getting all shook up!
(((ELVIS Presley))) Have I ever written about when I was a kid and went to an Elvis show? I was around 12 and all the women were crying. Elvis let little girls come up to the stage and be sung to. My parents had me drag my beautiful 4 year old sister to the stage - the security/stagehands put her up on the stage , Elvis kissed her on her cheek! The audience cheered! The following Summer, we attended a Tom Jones show and it happened again! Alexis got a kiss which Tom played on by asking her after the kiss "So, Where's Mommy?!" The place went wild and I was surprised my mom didn't run down to the rail and throw herself at him!
I'm getting off track-
Another favorite Capricorn, having a posthumous birthday today is BILL GRAHAM!
What good times and crazy memories we all have thanks to him.

One of my favorite message boarders also a Birthday today - Happy Birthday FLJen!

My review/ramble about the Civic Center shows in still a work in progress- with any luck, I'll have some account up before the Jamaica Ratdog daze!!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Deadheads are being easked to show themselves over at CNN!
Check it ouuut!
January 6, 2009 -- Updated 2033 GMT (0433 HKT)

Dead's Lesh: 'We've got some unfinished music'

By Denise Quan

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Phil Lesh is on the phone.

Bob Weir and Phil Lesh will be taking part in The Dead's April-May tour.
1 of 2

"I wish I could say I once quit my job to follow the Grateful Dead in my VW bus," I tell him. "But honestly, I'm just not that cool."

The bass player chuckles. "It's mostly trust-fund kids," he confides. "They're the only ones who are able to do that."

I guess you could say I'm a wannabe Deadhead. Like many Americans, I'm fascinated by tales of the Grateful Dead's improvisational live shows and colorful sense of community.

Some 40-odd years after the group rose out of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury scene of the mid-1960s, there's even a popular Sirius Satellite Radio channel devoted solely to the legendary jam band.

A few days ago, the four surviving members of the Grateful Dead dropped a sweet New Year's gift on fans -- they'll reunite for their first concert tour in five years. Just as they did on their last outing, Lesh, guitarist Bob Weir and drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann will perform under the shortened moniker The Dead. It's a reverent nod to their iconic lead guitarist, Jerry Garcia, who died from a heart attack in 1995 after a long struggle with drug addiction.

Under the banner, "An Evening With," the trek will encompass 19 shows in 16 cities, kicking off April 12 in Greensboro, North Carolina, and wrapping up May 10 in Mountain View, California. The quartet will be joined by guitarist Warren Haynes and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti. Step back to the 1970s

The reunion is something that's been rumored since Lesh, Weir and Hart headlined a "Deadheads for Obama" concert in San Francisco last February. Kreutzmann was in Hawaii that night, but he was there in spirit. iReport: Are you grateful for a Dead tour?

"We've never, ever endorsed a candidate -- ever," Lesh states emphatically. "Not even Robert Kennedy. It was a big deal for all of us. But this was the time, and this was the man."

Don't Miss The day I met Bob Weir
Accompanied by his wife, Jill, and their youngest son, Brian, Lesh even traveled to Reno to knock on doors, in an effort to get out the vote in Nevada -- a battleground state that ultimately went to Barack Obama. Did anyone recognize him when they answered the door? "Not really. Reno is not really a stronghold of Dead-dom," he deadpans.

Lesh downplays the band's legacy as founding fathers of a jam band scene that now includes such free-form artists as Phish, the String Cheese Incident and Blues Traveler. "All we did was steal what jazz musicians did and apply it to rock 'n' roll. If we didn't do it, someone else would have," he says.

For the tour, look for The Dead to continue their trademark three-and-a-half to four-hour shows (because of their marathon set, there's no time for an opening act). "We've been accused of being under-arranged. We've also been accused of noodling," says Lesh. "We make it different, make it new every night. We never play the same licks or the same fills twice. There is a set list -- more or less -- but Bobby, in particular, likes to stick things in." Spending time with Bob Weir poolside

The upcoming tour will feature mostly "Grateful Dead classics -- the things people like to hear," he says, so expect performances of "Truckin'," "Casey Jones," perhaps the band's sole Top 10 hit, "Touch of Grey," and maybe even the Holy Grail of Dead jams, "Dark Star."

Presale tickets go on sale January 13 -- and even though sold-out shows have been a way of life for The Dead, Lesh isn't taking their fan base for granted. "It's rough times. Of course it's an object of concern," he says. "All you can do is play the best music you can, and hope people can get out to hear it." Colorful tie-dyes and painted buses are never out of style

All The Dead's members are in their 60s, with Lesh the elder statesman at 68. Two years ago, he underwent surgery for prostate cancer. "I'm pretty much recovered from that now. I eat right, exercise and work out with weights three days a week," he says.

He listens to jazz and classical music in his free time, and continues working on his side project, Phil Lesh and Friends. Two of his musical "friends" are his sons, Brian, a student at Princeton, and Grahame, who will be graduating from Stanford this year. Lesh hopes they'll make a guest appearance when The Dead hits their town -- if it doesn't interfere with their finals. Young fan sneaks out for rally show

When The Dead announced this tour, Bob Weir released a statement. "We've got some unfinished business," he said. Lesh goes a step further.

"We've got some unfinished music," Lesh clarifies. "We're all still evolving in our own ways. You can always improve your playing. Let's see what kind of a goulash we can make out of it. Besides," he adds, "I just got two new electric basses."
The Grateful Dead and .....ME!

Posted by: Craigger1 // 1 day ago // viewed 3,113 times
Cary, North Carolina // embed media

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet Bob Weir on numerous
occasions and each and every time he was most cordial. Whether it was
backstage or poolside, whenever I saw him, Bobby always took the time
with whoever came by, to talk, share a joke or sign an autograph.
The picture in this post is of Bobby, my daughter Laura and me poolside in Reno. The other picture is of my daughter and me at her first show! I sat way in the back of a general admission show to keep her from the crowd and the loud music. But we had a wonderful time nonetheless!
After nearly 200 Grateful Dead shows under my belt I got to go to a string of shows with backstage passes. I had dinner with the band, met them all, and got to spend some quality time with Phil Lesh and his wife.
I'm really looking forward to the upcoming tour and just hoping the tickets are obtainable.

Monday, January 05, 2009

HEY GIRL or guy, need to find some hippywear ?
I just stumbled onto a site that has a huge list of online shops-, man!
Book celebrates Warner Bros. 50th anniversary

Saturday, January 03, 2009

I LOVE THESE PIX- 12/31/2008

Fantastic 12/30 photos by Alan Hess may be viewed at!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Here's Zeus's awesome NYE Turtle followed by mine (his/hers is best!)
turn em all on at once!


A little clip of the audience on 12/30/2008
where are you?

Ringing it in!

The file is too huge- I'm working on it and will have it up in segments later!

The file was too big to put anywhere but at my iwebsite so to relive the dropping balloons and dancing girls check out!.html