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Published: 2014/01/30

Bob Weir Wants to Bury the Hatchet for The Grateful Dead’s 50th Anniversary, Reveals Details on Other Projects

Bob Weir spoke about the Grateful Dead’s upcoming 50th anniversary in a new interview with Rolling Stone’s Benjy Eisen. Speaking about the potential for honoring the year, Weir told 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.

Weir also spoke about some of the projects that he’s currently working on, including a collaboration with The Yellowbirds’ Josh Kaufman and singer-songwriter Josh Ritter:

I’ve got a project I’m working on 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.

He also spoke about some of his other endeavors, such as an opera he’s “sort of” producing with Miranda Jones and a symphony project that will be similar to his 2011 shows with the Marin Symphony Orchestra:

I’ve got my symphony project. 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.

[Another project is] an opera that I’m sort of producing. There’s a young lady by the name of Miranda Jones who has written what started off as a couple of tunes that she wanted to record, and it turned into a musical theater piece. I’ve been coaching her to think of it as an opera. In an opera, as you know, the entire story development is done through libretto. The staging as well. But the stuff that’s being sung is always moving the story forward. You have to do your plot development through the sung lines. So I was encouraging her to think of it as an opera and then it turned into an opera.

As previously reported, Weir will kick off his tour with a reunited RatDog at the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, PA on Friday, February 14.

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