Bob Weir Biography

Bob Weir was born on in San Francisco in 1947 and raised in the suburb of Atherton, California. Kicked out of school at an early age, Weir took to learning the guitar and hanging out at the local folk scene that centered on a Palo Alto, California, club called the Tangent, where he met up with musicians such as Jerry Garcia, David Nelson (Riders of the Purple Sage), and Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane). By the summer of '64 Bob Weir, Jerry Garcia and keyboardist "Pigpen" McKernan, were doing numerous gigs there as the Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions.

"It was in the back of Dana Morgan's music shop and Jerry had come to teach guitar lessons and it was New Year's Eve and nobody was interested in going getting guitar lessons. Myself and a friend of mine dropped by and we just sat and rapped and decided that we had enough talent amongst us, or questionable talent amongst us, to start a jug band. And the jug band got rolling very shortly thereafter. And I, of course, played hyperventilated jug and wash tub bass."--B.Weir

The band was short lived. By 1965 they had added a drummer and bass guitar and moved from bluegrass/folk to electric Rock and Roll and called themselves "The Warlocks", soon to be renamed, "The Grateful Dead."

"The step was really a lot like what, the way the changes really happened in the blues, like when they went from acoustical instruments to electric instruments. Ya know, and then blue records like, long about the forties, all those blues records started having electric instruments, ya know. And, you know, it's just like we went through that same change, from a jug band, which is like a really early trip, into, like, the next step, which is like a sort of early, a sort of primitive blues 'cause that's all we could play, right?"--J.Garcia

As the health of the Dead's frontman McKernan deteriorated Weir taking on more of the singing/songwriting duties, penning and singing many of the bands more popular songs: Truckin', Sugar Magnolia, etc. He would later on take on much of the leadership of the group as well, as Jerry Garcia 's drug dependancy grew. While remaining forever a "Deadhead", Weir also took to performing solo, and with other bands, such as; Kingfish, Bobby and the Midnites and his current band, RatDog, and still occasionally tours with the surviving members of the Grateful Dead, renamed as "The Others."

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