Robert Hall Parber, better known as Bob Weir, was born on October 16, 1947. He started his musical career at 16 and went on to become one of the most iconic names in the rock music scene. He found initial success with his first band, Grateful Dead. Although he continued to perform with his band members for many decades, he found further success as a solo artist performing for many other bands across multiple subgenres of rock. He’s so successful that he’s won multiple awards honoring his career and music, and even has a movie about his life. Celebrate his birthday here with us!
Bob Weir is a name not particularly known to many but to fans of this musical rock powerhouse, he is a legend beyond description. Weir was born Robert Hall Parber on October 16, 1947, in San Francisco, California. He was raised by his adoptive parents, Frederic Utter and Eleanor Cramer Weir, in Atherton, California. He began to play guitar at 13. Despite being a musical prodigy, he struggled with dyslexia and was expelled from almost every school he attended.
On New Year’s Eve in 1963, he met the future fellow Grateful Dead band member, Jerry Garcia, while hanging out in a record store in Palo Alto, California. Over the next few years, the pair recruited band members and performed in many shows. Five years after the band was formed, in 1968, it kicked Weir out, saying he wasn’t pulling his weight in the band. However, the band took Weir back towards the end of the year after realizing he was an integral part of their success. In 1972, Weir released his first solo album titled “Ace.” Weir played with a slew of other bands (and solo musicians) throughout the 1980s, early 2000s, and 2010s.
In 1999, Weir married Natascha Munter. They have two daughters: Shala Monet and Chloe Kaelia. In 2011, he established his recording studio called Tamalpais Research Institute. Several years later, his life was turned into a film called “The Other One: The Long Strange Trip of Bob Weir.” In 2016, Weir became the first recipient of the Les Paul Spirit Award, an award created by the Les Paul Foundation for musicians. In the same year, he won the Lifetime Achievement Award from Americana Honors & Awards. He continues to make music and play with multiple bands.
Although the American rock band initially goes by many other names, the members eventually settle on “Grateful Dead.”
The singer is ousted but is invited back to the band within the space of one year.
His first solo album “Ace” is released and receives mixed reviews.
He names the label Tamalpais Research Institute, which is also a virtual music venue.
The biopic “The Other One: The Long Strange Trip of Bob Weir” premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival.
He is the first recipient of the Les Paul Spirit Award at the Bonnaroo Art and Music Festival and is awarded the Lifetime Achievement award from Americana Honors & Awards.
Why We Love Bob Weir
He cares for the environment
He’s an honorary member of the Rainforest Action Network board of directors alongside celebrities like Woody Harrelson. The group is dedicated to protecting forests by helping corporate organizations continually implement policies on sustainability.
He inspires young musicians
He is also an honorary member of the board of directors for Little Kids Rock. The organization works to enable young children to play music by providing them with free instruction and instruments.
He’s an advocate for democracy
He is on the board of directors for HeadCount. The organization works with musicians to promote American citizens’ participation in democratic processes like voting in national elections.
5 Surprising Facts
He is heavily influenced by the Beatles
The music of Grateful Dead has been inspired by many genres of music, but the pop-rock influence from John Lennon’s band is particularly noticeable.
His band had two other names
Before becoming Grateful Dead, the band also went by Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions and then The Warlocks.
Being kicked out improved his skills
Weir says the time he spent outside of Grateful Dead allowed him to immensely improve his guitar skills.
He loves science
He has spoken twice at the Einstein Gala in Toronto, Canada.
He uses multiple types of guitars
Most musicians stick to one or two preferred guitar brands and models but Weir has tried them all, from Gibson to Ibanez, from Fender to Martin, and more.
Bob Weir FAQs
Is Bob Weir a vegetarian?
Yes, the musician has avoided meat for most of his life.
Why does he wear short shorts?
He says he wears them as he can’t stand the heat of stage lights.
Why does he wear a kilt?
He says he wears the iconic garment because his adoptive parents are of Scottish descent.
Bob Weir’s birthday dates