The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir Not a Fan of Tie-Dye


Story by Anne Erickson

It would seem the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir would dig tie-dye, but not so much

The Grateful Dead and tie-die have always been almost synonymous, but if you ask Dead guitarist and co-founder Bob Weir, he’s actually not that into the colorful garments. He says the same is true for the Dead’s dancing bears theme.

Not into tie-die or dancing bears? That seems impossible.

“I don’t much relate to the dancing bears, for instance. And I’ve never been big into tie-dye, though I’m responsible for bringing it into the scene,” Weir told the Wall Street Journal.

So, how did the tie-die trend start? Weir says it dates back to picking up a hitchhiker in 1970 who asked if there was somewhere for him to stay.

“I told him he could if he chopped some wood and helped me load some hay into the barn,” Weir explained. “We let him stick around, and after a couple days, he asked if he could borrow some pots for tie-dying — I didn’t know what that was — and what he made was gorgeous and very different from what you see now.”

He added, “Well, guys in the band would come by and see this, and someone had the bright idea of doing our speaker grill cloths with these designs, and by God it stuck. But I quickly tired of it because it’s a little busy for my taste.”

Weir appears in the Mike Fleiss-directed documentary film “The Other One: The Long, Strange Trip of Bob Weir,” which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival. The movie arrive on Netflix on May 22.

In other news, the Grateful Dead is set to performs two nights at Levi’s Stadium in Santa, Clara, Calif., June 27 and 28, and then three nights of final concerts at Chicago’s Soldier Field over July 4th weekend. Phish’s Trey Anastasio and Bruce Hornsby will be on hand for those shows.