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Bob Weir on Economics and the End of Time

08/11/2010

A few months ago I wrote about the business of the Grateful Dead as inspired by my visit to the NY Historical Society’s Dead exhibit. Today I stumbled upon two interviews with Bob Weir from different economic resources that discuss everything from his personal finances and business decisions to the 2012 prophecy of the end of the world and dreamlike “realities”. These of course were my day’s delight as they soothed my curiosity about the Grateful Dead and fed into my dream vs. reality Inception-obsession.

After reading the interview at bankrate.com (click here) it became clearer to me that Weir is someone who follows his instincts and simply does what he thinks is right. He invested in water that he thought was good water. He wrote children books and never thought to look at the profits they made. I think what really gets me is that he’s just so damned modest about it all. We see public figures being real stand-up characters all the time, but, in some cases, when they talk about all the great things they do there’s a hint of arrogance and pride in their words. Or, they turn around and do something totally contradictory to the rubbish they spewed the week before. It’s hard to find anyone, public figure or not, who is humbly consistent in their views and actions. It appears to me that in his 45 year career, Weir is one of these rare people.

A CNBC interview with economic reporter Steve Liesman is full of Weir’s modesty and of course, a few… unorthodox views of reality. Click here to watch.

In my recent journeys, I’ve learned a lot about the Dead’s dedication to their fans and how they’ve catered to them so, lowering ticket prices to a reasonable $40 wasn’t all too surprising. What was news to me is the fact that they don’t spend any money in advertising nor do they rely on sponsors. I don’t think this is a stand against big corporation as much as it is the nature of the community the Dead has built over the past 45 years. Like Weir says, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Why spend millions of dollars in advertising when you have the strongest example of viral marketing and community in the history of music? The Dead doesn’t need modern day marketing, they pioneered modern day marketing!

In regards to the Dead’s effect on the baby boom generation, I think Weir means to say that the 1960’s were a dreamlike state that tapped into the unconscious collective. This same state is what other cultures, like the Inuit, believe to be the “true reality”. Jump ahead to 2012 and what we may have is not the end of the world, but the beginning of said “true reality” where time does not exist. Strangely enough, I think I get it. One (of about one million) ideas that the movie Inception brought to my attention was that reality is a dream and dream is a reality and they are one in the same and does it really matter anyway? I don’t have the answer to that, but the idea is there for you to chew on.

If you’re new to the world of the Dead, I hope these interviews show you just how expansive their influence was and still is. The “still is” part is what really amazes me.

Hope everyone’s still enjoyin’ the ride…

“You imagine sipping champagne from your boot
For a taste of your elegant pride
I may be going to hell in a bucket
But at least I’m enjoying the ride
At least I’m enjoying the ride
Yeah at least I’m enjoying the ride”

Hell in a Bucket

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