Bob Weir Teams With Members Of Talking Heads, SCI, Primus & More At Barlow Benefit


Last night Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, California hosted an all-star concert to benefit Grateful Dead lyricist and political activist John Perry Barlow. A cast of 20 musicians including Bob Weir, Lukas Nelson, Steve Kimock, Les Claypool, Jerry Harrison, Sean Lennon, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Rob Eaton and Michael Kang came together to raise funds for Barlow, who has spent the last 18 months in “medical incarceration” as he deals with one health issue after another.

As per a report from Deadheadland, the evening started with Weir, Nelson, Leslie Mendelson and Wally Ingram performing a cover of “Blue Bayou.” The quartet also played one of Lukas’s songs and tackled The Temptations’ “Shaky Ground.” Bobby and Wally were then joined by Kimock, RatDog bassist Robin Sylvester and Dead & Company/RatDog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti for “Hell In A Bucket” and “I Need A Miracle,” two Grateful Dead songs Weir wrote with Barlow.

The stage was then turned over to Lennon, Claypool and Sean’s girlfriend/Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger collaborator Charlotte Kemp Muhl for a set that included GOASTT’s “The World Was Made For Men,” the Claypool Lennon Delirium’s “Boomerang Baby” and a cover of The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows” featuring Wally Ingram on drums and percussion. Up next was a performance from Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads, his daughter Aishlin Harrison, vocalist Tracy Blackman, Mendelson, Kimock, Sylvester and Ingram. They started with Aishlin singing the Talking Heads classic “Heaven” ahead of a riveting “Take Me To The River” featuring guests Bob Weir and Jason Hann, a version of Modern Lovers’ “She Cracked” and a cover of Velvet Underground’s “White Light/White Heat.”

Weir returned to the stage to sing “Desolation Row” along with John “Stewball” Stewart of Jelly, Chimenti, Sylvester, Kimock and Ingram. John Perry Barlow’s daughters then came out to thank everyone and discuss an auction to raise funds for their dad. Next, Bobby teamed with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott on “Mean Old Bed Bug Blues” and “Me & Bobby McGee.” The evening moved on with Dark Star Orchestra’s Rob Eaton and Rob Barraco pairing up with Kimock, Sylvester and Ingram on “Mexicali Blues” and “Jack Straw.” SCI members Michael Kang, Jason Hann and Michael Travis were up next as they brought along Kimock, Chimenti and Sylvester a set focused on Cheese songs co-written by Barlow. The evening came to a close with Bob Weir, Steve Kimock, Jeff Chimenti, Leslie Mendelson, Lukas Nelson, Robin Sylvester and Wally Ingram presenting one of JPB’s most famous co-writes, “Cassidy.”

For those who couldn’t make it, donations are being accepted through the John Perry Barlow Wellness Trust.

Videos (Captured by Rod Giffen)

[White Light/White Heat]

[Ramblin’ Jack Elliott]

[Claypool, Lennon & Muhl]

[Take Me To The River]

Setlist (Compiled by Rob Scalcione for Deadheadland)

20 Musicians in order of appearance:

  • Bob Weir – acoustic & electric guitars, vocals
  • Lukas Nelson – acoustic guitar, vocals
  • Leslie Mendelson – vocals
  • Wally Ingram – drums & percussion
  • Steve Kimock – electric guitars, lap steel
  • Robin Sylvester – bass
  • Jeff Chimenti – keyboards, vocals
  • Sean Lennon – acoustic guitar, vocals
  • Charlotte Kemp Muhl – acoustic guitar, vocals & percussion
  • Les Claypool – acoustic bass
  • Jerry Harrison – electric piano, vocals, electric guitar
  • Aishlin Harrison – vocals
  • Tracy Blackman – vocals
  • Jason Hann – percussion & drums
  • John “Stewball” Stewart – electric guitar, vocals
  • Ramblin’ Jack Elliott – acoustic guitar, vocals
  • Rob Eaton – electric guitar, vocals
  • Rob Barraco – electric piano, vocals
  • Michael Kang – electric guitar, vocals
  • Michael Travis – percussion, vocals

7:35 p.m. – 7:55 p.m. – Bob, Lukas, Leslie, Wally

  • Blue Bayou (Bob, Leslie, Lukas)
  • ? (Lukas)
  • Shaky Ground (Bob)

8:20 p.m. – 8:35 p.m. – Bob, Steve, Jeff, Robin, Wally

  • Hell In a Bucket (Bob)
  • I Need a Miracle (Bob) w/Leslie

8:45 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Sean, Charlotte, Les

  • The World Was Made For Men (Sean & Charlotte)
  • Boomerang Baby (Sean)
  • Tomorrow Never Knows (Sean) w/Wally on drums & percussion

9:05 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. – Jerry, Aishlin, Tracy, Leslie, Steve, Robin, Wally

  • Heaven (Aishlin)
  • Take Me To The River (Aishlin) w/Bob on guitar & Jason on percussion
  • She Cracked (Jerry vocals & guitar)
  • White Light/White Heat (Jerry vocals & guitar)

9:30 p.m. – 9:45 p.m. – Bob, Jeff, Robin, Steve, Wally, John

  • Desolation Row (Bob & John)

9:45 p.m. – 10:10 p.m.

  • Words from John Barlow’s three daughters & honoring of family, friends & supporters. Auction items.

10:20 p.m. – 10:40 p.m. – Ramblin’ Jack Elliott

  • Mean Old Bed Bug Blues (Jack) w/Bob on acoustic guitar
  • (Bob admonishes audience to STFU)
  • Me & Bobby McGee (Jack & Bob)

10:40 p.m. – 10:50 p.m. – Rob Barraco, Rob Eaton, Steve, Robin, Wally

  • Mexicali Blues (Eaton)
  • Jack Straw (Eaton & Barraco) w/Jeff on keyboards

10:55 p.m. – 11:25 p.m. – Michael Kang, Jason, Michael Travis, Steve, Jeff, Robin

  • These Waves (Kang)
  • Give Me The Love (Kang) w/Leslie & Tracy on backing vocals
  • Just One Story (Kang) joined halfway w/Bob & Lukas on guitars

11:25 p.m. – 11:40 p.m. – Bob, Steve, Jeff, Leslie, Lukas, Robin, Wally

  • Cassidy (Bob & Leslie)