Words and Music with Bob Weir

One of the great pleasures and honors of working with HeadCount is getting to know Bob Weir. Generous with his time and spirit, Bobby has been active as both a board member and a spokesperson. Even as we add more Indy rock bands and young artists to our roster, Bobby remains the soul of the HeadCount organization.

He is also kind enough to help us pay the bills by being a featured guest at fundraisers a couple times a year. Last Saturday, Bob met with a few dozen of our donors before the Furthur show in Coney Island. Of all the events we’ve done with Bob, this ranked as one of the best in terms of pure fun. A great crew of people were on hand, including many of our longtime donors, our blog editor-at-large Richard Gehr, board member and Sirius satellite radio DJ Jon Schwartz, and our co-chair Marc Brownstein. We had a great view of the show, and there was good food too. Very special thanks to AEG Live!, Matt Busch, CID Entertainment, Magic Hat and everyone who helped make it happen. Check out the photos here.

Bob also had some inspirational words, captured on video by a guest’s iPhone and transcribed below:

There are crazy people out there who are fixated on really strange stuff. And they all vote. And they put crazy people in office.

What we need to do is get people voting, particularly younger people because it’s their future. These older folks - old, crazy burdened people - they will all be at the polls and they have very limited interest in the next generation’s future. So those kids in the next generation have got to get the poll. So, you folks just tell them that, okay? You got to get to the polls, you got to vote, it’s your future or it will be voted away from you.

Our next event with Bob will be held at Gathering of the Vibes on July 30th. There are only five tickets left, so if you are interested in attending please visit the Vibes web page.

On a personal note, I want to say what a pleasure it was to experience Furthur outdoors. I hadn’t planned on it, but on Sunday I hopped on the Subway and headed back to Coney Island for the second show: Pure musical bliss.

Ever since Jerry Garcia’s passing, Bob and Phil have been joined on stage by some of the greatest guitar players on earth. Each, to their credit, set out to “honor Jerry but not try to be Jerry.” They all served that role well.

But musically, nothing quite pleases the ear as much as the sweet sounds of Jerry’s voice and signature guitar style. As I once said to a friend after a Dead show in 2003 “Seeing the Grateful Dead without Jerry Garcia is like… seeing the Grateful Dead without Jerry Garcia.”

This time, Bob and Phil Lesh clearly aimed to replicate the true sound and spirit of the Grateful Dead as closely as possible. With Dark Star Orchestra’s John Kadlecik on lead guitar and vocals, Sir Joe Russo on drums and Jeff Chimenti on keys, no post-Jerry combination has ever done so with the accuracy and acumen of Furthur.

It reminded me how I fell into this gig in the first place. Politics, voting and HeadCount aside, there’s nothing I’d rather do on a summer evening than sing “Fire on the Mountain” with 10,000 people.

Thanks Bob. May the music never stop.