Next year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Grateful Dead and if it was up to Bob
Weir, the surviving members of The Dead would "do something commemorative." Weir waxes
on the upcoming anniversary and much more in a just-published interview with Rolling Stone's Benjy Eisen.
When asked if 2015 is a chance to "look back" and "get sentimental," Weir tells Eisen "Let
me start by saying that I'm already in my 50th year, so this is an ongoing process. We
have to do something commemorative. I think we owe it to the fans, we owe it to the songs,
we owe it to ourselves. If there are issues we have to get past, I think that we owe it to
ourselves to man up and get past them. If there are hatchets to be buried, then let's get
to work. Let's start digging. I'll just say, to my delicate sensibilities, that it would
be wrong to let that go by un-commemorated."
We certainly hope the Dead celebrates the occasion next year and we also hope Bruce
Hornsby is included in any reunion. Bobby also tells Benjy he's hoping to move along his
symphony project in 2014, "We've got some interest from some substantial symphonies. I'd
like to do it in San Francisco. We've re-orchestrated what we played last time, and we've
doubled the number of songs. With this project, one of the things we want to do is to
break new ground for orchestral music. The Dead canon is a perfect place for it. Classical
music has always been derived from folk music. The composers would go listen to the
gypsies or whoever and then extrapolate from there. This is that same process. We want to
keep it in the classical vein as opposed to in the pops vein where you just orchestrate a
song. We want to orchestrate and take it for a little walk in the woods. That's what we've
done with the project so far, but we're expanding the concept. Importantly, one of the
things we want to do is we're developing a couple of techniques with the notion that we
want to get a symphony orchestra to improvise."
Weir also reveals he's working on a project with Josh Kaufman [Yellowbirds] and Josh
Ritter, "We're going towards a real cowboy aesthetic and we're going to see where that
takes us. We've been writing songs, with the idea of making a record. There will be
cameras involved as well. It will be a TRI offering, with audio and video, because that's
where I live now. There's that." We can't wait to hear the fruits of this project.
Head over to Rolling Stone for more of
Benjy's chat with Ace including his take on performing with My Morning Jacket.