In the spring of 1998, I was on vacation in Mexico with my former wife Jody, staying at a nondescript hotel and just kicking back with some piña coladas and good books. When I went to the front desk to get another room key, I recognized a familiar face: Bob Weir, guitarist and co-founder of the iconic rock group The Grateful Dead.
I remembered that the group was on Arista Records in the late ’80s, when I was writing songs for many of Arista’s artists. After introducing myself to Weir and mentioning a few probable common acquaintances, he said: “Why don’t you and your wife join me and my wife, Natascha, for dinner?”
After a great meal, I asked Bob if he wanted to jam. He said, “I’d love to” and that he’d meet me in my room a few minutes later.
I remember Jody being in bed just reading a book, when Bob walked in walked in with two guitar cases. When we got onto the balcony, he started opening the guitar cases and said, “I hope you don’t mind playing Jerry’s guitar,” referring to Jerry Garcia, the iconic “face” of The Grateful Dead. “He lent it to me for my trip down here.” I said, “uh, no, I, uh, I didn’t mind” (LOL).
We started playing and singing the classic Dead song, Truckin’ and then did Casey Jones as I thought ‘if all my Dead-crazy friends could see this now!’ And I must say, our harmonies sounded great! I was never particularly a “Dead” guy, but I liked many of their songs and I happened to love Bob’s 1978 solo album “Heaven Help The Fool”.
We jammed for about an hour more, playing the blues, even trying to write something new together but we had no tape recorder to remember it.
I must say, Bob was a terrific guy and jamming with him was something I’ll never forget.