Bob Weir’s Gnarly Border Crossing: Fact and Fiction
Photo by Norman Sands
As a report in the Ottawa Citizen indicates, Furthur’s show at the Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest on Wednesday was briefly jeopardized when Canadian officials looked at Bob Weir’s arrest record. The story indicates that Weir had been arrested three times (the last time was 30 years ago) but is slightly inaccurate as to the details. Weir’s 1967 West Virginia arrest and 1970 New Orleans arrest (“Busted down on Bourbon Street” as reflected in the lyrics to “Truckin’”) were for marijuana possession, while in 1980 Weir was nabbed along with Mickey Hart for “resisting arrest” in San Diego during a riot following a Grateful Dead show. Weir had performed in Canada numerous occasions since then, however on Tuesday night immigration authorities did not immediately allow him to enter the country until a series of calls from Ottawa Border Services to a San Diego courthouse confirmed that the 1980 conviction had been expunged from the records. The show did indeed take place although the band responded with a fitting setlist that included “Truckin’” as as well as Don’t Ease Me In (“She brings me about every damn thing except the jailhouse key”), Mama Tried (“I turned 21 in prison doing life without parole, no one could raise me right but mama tried”), Bertha (“Test me test me, why don’t you arrest me? throw me into the jailhouse, ‘til the sun go down”), Wharf Rat (“Half of my life, I spent doin’ time for some other fucker’s crime..”), Liberty (“Ooh! Freedom!”) and “I Fought the Law.”
One other clarification to the Citizen article: while the report states that one of the band’s drivers was turned away due to “an undeclared conviction for something unpleasant involving juveniles,” the individual in question was a car service driver assigned to shuttle Furthur production manager back and not one of the group’s bus drivers.
Tonight Furthur will perform at the All Good Music Festival.