Happy Birthday Les Claypool: Watch Bob Weir Join Primus At Summer Camp 2012

Watch the acclaimed bassist play the signature “The Other One” bassline with the Grateful Dead co-founder.

By Andy Kahn Sep 29, 2022 6:08 am PDT

Acclaimed bassist Les Claypool was born on this date 59 years ago today. Claypool is among a rare class of musicians with an instantly recognizable sound and style that continues to set him apart as an elite bassist.

Claypool gained notoriety in the 1990s with his eclectic band Primus and their popular songs such as “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver,” “My Name Is Mud” and “Mr. Krinkle.” Their accompanying surrealistic music videos, directed by Mark Kohr, and the equally visually-stimulating videos for “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver” and “Southbound Pachyderm” directed by Claypool, helped drive home a psychedelic aesthetic embraced by Claypool and his various Primus bandmates.

“I hate having to try to describe Primus,” Claypool told Kerrang! in 1991. “But now I always say — and it’s in the new bio now — ‘psychedelic polka.’ But then everybody thinks I’m being a smartass again.”

Call it psychedelic polka or any other apt moniker that blends the hallucinatory with the auditory, the music of Primus both in the studio and from the live stage has broken open the minds of many listeners who have been mesmerized by Claypool’s enthralling bass playing.

Grateful Dead/Dead & Company guitarist Bob Weir shares several connections with Claypool, beyond co-founding seminal California rock bands decades apart. The two musicians currently reside in the Bay Area and have collaborated on a few occasions over the years. Early (and later) Primus drummer Jay Lane has been a member of Weir’s project, is currently a member of Bobby Weir and Wolf Bros, and has recently appeared with Dead & Company while filling in for Bill Kreutzmann.

In 2000, Claypool, Lane and RatDog/Dead & Co keyboardist Jeff Chimenti formed the supergroup The Rat Brigade, with Weir sitting in with them at their debut at the Gathering Of The Vibes festival that year. Weir would also sit in with the Rat Brigade at the 2007 GOTV fest.

More recently, Claypool and Weir have shared the stage with Billy Strings at Sweetwater Music Hall and The Ryman Auditorium. Another instance of Weir and Claypool collaborating took place at the 2012 Summer Camp Music Festival held over Memorial Day weekend in Central Illinois.

Weir was at the festival performing as an acoustic trio with Jackie Greene and Chris Robinson. While at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, Bobby came out toward the end of Primus’ set, which earlier saw members of Gogol Bordello emerge for “Over The Falls.”

At that time, Lane was in the midst of his second stint with Primus whose lineup was rounded out by guitarist Larry “Ler” LaLonde. As Lane began to pound a familiar beat, Claypool preceded Weir’s emergence with a fitting introduction of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer.

“I’m a fellow who resides in Northern California,” Claypool stated. “And there’s a legend around Northern California and the Pacific Northwest of the infamous Sasquatch. Now, I’ve not seen him – I’ve not seen evidence of him or her. But I have seen evidence of another legendary creature that resides in Northern California and we’re lucky to have him here tonight with us. He’s a fellow by the name of Bob Weir and I’ll take Bob over Sasquatch anytime.

Claypool, LaLonde, Lane and Weir then joined forces on Bobby’s Grateful Dead classic “The Other One.” The song’s signature Phil Lesh bass line was well executed by Claypool, bounced along while Weir played guitar and handled lead vocals. Before delivering the second verse, an excited Claypool prompted his guest by shouting “Bob Weir!”

Below watch footage of Bob Weir joining Les Claypool and Primus at Summer Camp 2022 below:

Primus (See 83 videos) and Bob Weir (See 172 videos)

SummerCampFest (See 112 videos)
Primus (See 83 videos) and Bob Weir (See 172 videos)

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