Bob Weir (born Robert Hall Weir, October 16, 1947) is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist, most recognized as a founding member of the Grateful Dead. After the Grateful Dead disbanded, Weir performed with The Other Ones, later known as The Dead, together with other former members of the Grateful Dead. Weir also founded and played in several other bands during and after his career with the Grateful Dead, including Kingfish, the Bob Weir Band, Bobby and the Midnites, RatDog, and his newest band Furthur.
Weir played mostly rhythm guitar during his career with the Grateful Dead. He is known for his unique style of complex voiceleading, bringing unusual depth and a new approach to the role of rhythm guitar expression.
Weir was born in San Francisco, California and raised by his adoptive parents in the suburb of Atherton. He began playing guitar at age thirteen after less successful experimentation with the piano and the trumpet. He had trouble in school because of undiagnosed dyslexia and he was expelled from nearly every school he attended, including Menlo Atherton High School in Atherton. One of these was the Fountain Valley School in Colorado, where, during the ’63 Spring term, he was trained for a career in music by his headmaster-assigned guidance counselor and roommate Chalmers “Chip” Wood, who later deeded him John Perry Barlow as a stop-gap mentor. John Perry Barlow, along with Robert Hunter, would in time become the two main lyricists for the Grateful Dead. On New Year's Eve, 1963, 16-year-old Weir and another underage friend were wandering the back alleys of Palo Alto, looking for a club that would admit them, when they heard banjo music. They followed the music to its source, Dana Morgan's Music Store. Here, a young Jerry Garcia, oblivious to the date, was waiting for his students to arrive. Weir and Garcia spent the night playing music together and then decided to form a band. The Beatles significantly influenced their musical direction. "The Beatles were why we turned from a jug band into a rock 'n' roll band," said Bob Weir. "What we saw them doing was impossibly attractive. I couldn't think of anything else more worth doing" Originally called Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions, the band was later renamed The Warlocks and eventually the Grateful Dead.