Born on October 16, 1947, guitarist Bob Weir celebrates his 70th birthday. A co-founding member of the legendary Grateful Dead, Weir’s idiosyncratic approach to rhythm guitar paired with Jerry Garcia’s impressive lead work was a foundation of the band’s groundbreaking sound. Bobby was a teenager when the band started in 1965, and in subsequent years he matured into an accomplished bandleader as he branched out into other projects beyond the Grateful Dead.
In celebration of Weir’s 70th birthday today, below is a retrospective collection of videos of the guitarist performing in each decade from the 1960s to the present. The first clip is from a 1968 Grateful Dead performance of “Cryptical Envelopment” > “The Other One” followed by video footage from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s of Bobby live in concert with a different project.
Weir can be seen at the Winterland in San Francisco on February 2, 1976 with his group Kingfish. The lineup of bassist Dave Torbert, guitarists Matt Kelly and Robbie Hoddinott and drummer Chris Herold work through Dead staples such as “New Minglewood Blues,” “Next Time You See Me” and “Around And Around” as well as their “Asia Minor,” “Hypnotize” and others.
Weir’s longtime collaborator and friend, the late Rob Wasserman is featured playing bass alongside Bobby on acoustic from a September 30, 1989 set in Golden Gate Park. The duo cover favorites by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Little Feat and others in the 50-minute set. Wasserman also appears with Weir in footage of RatDog from the 1996 Furthur Festival. With Bruce Hornsby on keys the band plays the Dead’s “Throwing Stones” and the ‘90s clip also showcases Bobby leading a finale collaborative jam with members of Hot Tuna and Los Lobos on “Truckin,” “Little Wing” and “Not Fade Away.”
One of the first post-Dead groups to form after Garcia died in 1995 was The Other Ones that saw a lineup that at a time featured Weir with Grateful Dead drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart and bassist Phil Lesh, along with others. They were joined by keyboardists Jeff Chimenti and Rob Barraco and guitarist Jimmy Herring while appearing as guests on a 2002 episode of Late Night With Conan O’Brien in which they played “The Wheel.”
Weir’s two most recent projects close out the series of videos with clips of his solo group dubbed The Campfire Band as well as Dead & Company. The former was formed to tour the songs recorded for Weir’s 2016 solo album Blue Mountain. The lineup of Bryan Devendorf and Scott Devendorf of The National along with Jon Shaw, Josh Kaufman and Steve Kimock can be watched in action from exactly one year ago on Weir’s 69th birthday at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York.
Finally, Weir, Kreutzmann and Hart and their Dead & Co. band mates, guitarist John Mayer, bassist Oteil Burbridge and Chimenti close things out with a rendition of “Sugar Magnolia” from this past summer at Wrigley Field.