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The Merits and Demerits of Robert Weir

 
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Kochman
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:23 pm    Post subject: The Merits and Demerits of Robert Weir Reply with quote

Incidentally, before we start, when I was working as a telemarketer in college, my phone name was... "Bob Weir".

Let's discuss the Boberino...

Merits, as I see it...
*When he came into his own... he played off Jerry better than anyone else could have.
*He often injected much needed energy
*Awesome during Space
*Often stayed out to jam after Jerry went to "refill"

Demerits...
*Dependent upon Jerry to play to his full potential
*Overly cheesy at times (as a cheese fan I say this)
*Often blew the lyrics to Truckin'! Come on!
*Looks Like Rain
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Grateful_nirvanA



Joined: 25 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like this thread Koch. I'll add some thoughts later. But for now...

Merits: 1) He usually was having fun, and fun people contagiously spread fun, a good trait to bring to any band. 2) he wrote some pretty interesting songs, such as Picasso Moon and Victim Or The Crime.

Demerit: Those damn short shorts he used to wear were enough to make straight men's stomachs turn.
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Kochman
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grateful_nirvanA wrote:
I like this thread Koch. I'll add some thoughts later. But for now...

It's a spin off thread from earlier... figured it was a good time!
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tizi



Joined: 07 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merits:

1. I love his baritone voice ... not kidding ... it gets kinda familiar very quickly!

2. I agree that he writtes good tunes;

3. shuu, shuo guitar riffs

4. I would like to hang out in his company in the early 70s for the chicks Very Happy

Downsides

1. One too many lyrics missed

2. One More Saturday Night / and the above mantioned songs by others and .... Lazy Lightning ... BLAH

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nickJ



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also will add to this as more comes to me, but...

merits:
* he's a fantastic rhythm guitarist! Easily one of the most underrated, imho. Phil gets all the credit for never playing a straight rhythm section role, but Bob's never just playing a regular old chord progression either. This really dawned on me when I was listening to the 1st set of 9/28/72 a long time ago -- Bob's way high in the mix so you can hear every little thing he's doing, and it's as consistently interesting as Phil's "lead bass" playing. I think he's a lot more responsible for moving their jams in different directions than he's ever given credit for; I grant you that maybe he was "dependent" on Jerry to an extent, but I feel that Jerry on his own was rarely as creative with his playing as he was with the Dead, and I think Bob played a major role in that.
* I feel like Bob's song choices often have more to do with the flow of a set than Jerry's. How many shows are there where all but one or two of Jerry's songs are all midtempo or slower, and Bob's the one who's either picking it up or slowing it down?
* the cheese. On his own, it's too much; next to Jerry, it's a good balance.
* the white Stayin' Alive suit he's wearing in some of those 77-78 pictures.
* the stage banter. There are a lot of classic Bobby moments that are deeply ingrained in deadhead lingo.

demerits:
* the slide. The less said the better.
* that thing he does when he always tosses his head back after every other line he sings.
* the cheese. Particularly when he was fishing for an easy crowd response. Exhibit A has to be the HA HA!s in Estimated.
* the constant futzing between songs with his own equipment.
* this is a fine time to dredge up this little pearl of suffering:
<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/dWscxdleZzI&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/dWscxdleZzI&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>


in his defense:
* the guy was like 16 when he joined the band and didn't start to come into his own as a musician until he was, what, like 20? What a huge dead weight for the band to carry... Confused
* dude was a total space cadet. The look in his eyes, the way he sounds in interviews... Jerry could be as high as a meteor and still seem totally lucid and cool, but, well, Bob not so much. The blown lyrics never bugged me.
* Bob said many times that he felt the need to step into the frontman role that Pigpen left vacant, since no one else was going to do it; from our vantage point, the band never needed a traditional rock & roll frontman, but I can understand why, from their point of view, that Bob might have felt like his role was to be Mr. Showbiz at times.

never been much of a Bob hater, though (or a Donna hater for that matter), so I'm just goofing around with these.
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fillmoreeast



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merits. The most creative rythym guitarist I have heard.
Demerits. Can't think of any

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Kochman
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing
You mean on top of the many we already listed?



Quote:
demerits:
* that thing he does when he always tosses his head back after every other line he sings.

Yes, totally uncalled for... it falls under the supercheesy part I would say.
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Grateful_nirvanA



Joined: 25 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, so a couple of further thoughts...

Merits: 1) Wherewithal. As we have discussed, Bob wasn't the most talented of players when he joined the band. He was allegedly kicked out once (with Pigpen), and Jerry was never really kind to Bob in any of the practice tapes I've heard. However, Bob stood there, between JG and Phil, and worked hard enough at it to get better. A lot of guys would not have had the desire, endurance, and will to do that. 2) As mentioned earlier, Bob was usually the guy who liked to do the rockers. Stranger, Bucket, OMSN, Around & Around, Truckin', we need those songs in the repertoire. JG wasn't choosing a lot of rockers, and I like to jam before I jaaaaaaaam!

Demerits: 1) Nights where he wasn't in sync with the others. More than once, Uncle Bob cut off jaaaaams with annoying tunes like Miracle. When the fat man's got that vibe, let him fly!! I promise, Watchtower will still be there when JG's steam runs out. 2) The wife beater tank tops and polo shirts need to go. I'm sorry, but those items should not be worn on stage by any band/musician. The '72 Elvis suits were better.
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Gopher



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bobby is probably the only member of the band that I don't have any complaints for.....although Bobby and the Midnites is a pretty sorry excuse for a band.

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cheesebeer



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes Bob blows the lyrics badly, but I am generally impressed with him actually remembering all the words to, say, El Paso, and longer Dylan songs.
I like the Bob freakouts at the end of some versions of Looks Like Rain, it is cool when it comes together.
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nickJ



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

merit: Bob's the guy everybody can dish out crap to. Every band needs a scapegoat, and Bobby's ours. I remember a stoner vision of ours in college was that Bob was this taskmaster, trying to rein in all the other troublemakers in the band, and in every song someone would play something a little out of whack to distract Bob so that Phil could drop some huge bomb or Jerry could whip out a cool little flourish. Smile

Just remembered this classic rehearsal moment:
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Listen to Bob and the drummers griping at each other on the Miracle false start (track 8) because one of them won't stop playing a reggae beat. Priceless! Laughing
I'm also thinking of that TMNS from April 78 (fox theatre?) where the drummers keep screwing with the beat and throwing Bob off, too.
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bzfgt



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He was a really inventive and creative rhythm guitar player but he was also pretty sloppy, without much of a touch on the guitar.

And anyone who could sing the words "Did you ever wake up to the sound of street cats making love?" with a straight face can't exactly be cool...
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Kochman
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bzfgt wrote:
And anyone who could sing the words "Did you ever wake up to the sound of street cats making love?" with a straight face can't exactly be cool...


He totally redeemed himself with the Hell in a Bucket video though.
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bzfgt



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't remember the video, but I assume you're being sarcastic. I just remember it had Jerry in a flannel shirt sitting at a bar playing guitar...videos sure are silly...
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Kochman
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I am serious actually... I think the video is ridiculous enough to be awesome.
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bzfgt



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK...I just watched it on youtube.
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bzfgt



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow...I just watched that 'I Want To Live in America' too. I had no idea such a thing existed. Best lyric: "They're just like you and me!"
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Kochman
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bzfgt wrote:
Best lyric: "They're just like you and me!"

"It's funny because it's racist." - Daniel Tosh
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bzfgt



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, when Garcia goes really high on the fretboard and Bobby tries to add to the excitement by climbing up there with him--and heaven forfend he have a slide in his hand--and scratching out some sloppy keening licks that distract the ear from the finely wrought brilliance of what Jerome is playing--sometimes even joined by whatever tasteless keyboard player is hanging around at the time--well, you can decide for yourself whether this is a "merit" or a "demerit."
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Kochman
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bzfgt wrote:
OK, when Garcia goes really high on the fretboard and Bobby tries to add to the excitement by climbing up there with him--and heaven forfend he have a slide in his hand--and scratching out some sloppy keening licks that distract the ear from the finely wrought brilliance of what Jerome is playing--sometimes even joined by whatever tasteless keyboard player is hanging around at the time--well, you can decide for yourself whether this is a "merit" or a "demerit."

Haha, I vote "merit".
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