It's been a long strange trip for guitarist Bob Weir, who still finds joy in strummin' his way around the globe.
As one of the last surviving members of the original Grateful Dead lineup, the 65-year-old singer/songwriter responsible for helping color the group's classic rhythmic jam style stops by the Fox for a solo acoustic show on Sunday, complete with all the spirits of his past, as a holiday present for fans.
Weir's latest trek is another in a string of projects keeping him busy between collaborating with remaining Dead alums and those from the younger set. Weir has also developed a solid online presence through his official website bobweir.net. Once you're there, you can find links to his Tamalpais Research Institute (TRI Studios,) the state-of-the-art video-streaming venue and recording facility created by Weir. It follows in the tradition of the numerous Dead resources for fans to be consumed with for hours.
After a few attempts to reach Weir for a phone interview, the busy guitarist took a few minutes to answer some of our email questions before his show Sunday at the Fox, with special guest Jackie Greene.
Do you enjoy performing as a soloist rather than with a band?
The solo show has been a work in progress all year. Playing with Jackie Greene is more fun that a frog in a glass of milk, so we'll be playing a bunch together each night for sure.
Who are some of the young acts out there that catch your ear?
I had a blast doing a Headcount (voter registration drive) benefit from TRI Studios this past spring with The National and have also really enjoyed playing with Jonathan Wilson and Lukas Nelson this past year.
One of your TRI Studios video features a performance with reggae/rock act Slightly Stoopid. How did that come about?
They were one of the first acts to come into my TRI Studios for a live webcast last year and as with most bands that perform there. If I'm around and they want me, I'll be there.
What do you think about the Grateful Dead's lasting impact on music and pop culture?
People like adventure in life and in their music and I think that's what we provide.
What other projects do you have lined up next year?
More touring with Phil Lesh and our main band, Furthur, solo acoustic shows, working on another symphonic collaboration as I did last year with Marin Symphony Orchestra, hopefully with an East Coast orchestra this time. In the Bay Area, more unique projects out of TRI Studios and fun at Sweetwater Music Hall.
You've always been an activist for a variety of social and environmental causes. What are your thoughts on budget cuts in music and arts happening in public schools?
Music and the arts are a very important part of education. It's a terrible shame.
What range of material will you be covering for this show?
Every night is different.