Do you remember your first record? Your first concert? Your favorite artist from when you were that pizza face in sixth grade? Well this isn’t about that. This Long and Winding Road is about three (or four) artists/records that influenced you over the years –- you as a musician, Furthur singer-guitarist (and Grateful Dead founding member) Bob Weir. So let’s talk about your road.
“I loved the early Beatles records. The ‘Rubber Soul’ record was informative to me in terms of what a quartet can do musically.”
18 years old
“Not long after that, there was a classical record on CBS with Pierre Boulez conducting ‘Le sacre du printemps’ –- or ‘The Rite of Spring.’ If you ask me who the father of rock ’n’ roll is, I’ll tell you Igor Stravinsky. He wrote that in 1913, I think, and people were leaving the theater when they first performed it –- the old guys were leaving saying, ‘Stop this noise!’ But it was a ballet, and it was spectacular. It was dance music. And that rearranged my thinking, and a lot of what I wrote when I was working on the tune ‘The Other One’ I gleaned from listening to that record.”
19 years old
“The John Coltrane record that had ‘Tunji’ on it, ‘Coltrane,’ had me hugely enamored with his rhythm section –- Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison –- and the way they worked together. It was great the way they played off McCoy Tyner. Whereas a lot of guitarists cite other guitarists as primary influences, I listened to a lot of McCoy Tyner and what he had to say. It was Phil (Lesh) who turned me onto Coltrane.”
21 years old
“ ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’ was the first one of his I’d heard –- the one with ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ on it. That really turned my head, and it made me aware of something I had not been aware of previously – that one guy with a guitar can frame together music and poetry and present art that amounts to that.”