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Bob Weir sells out to the Elite

From Wall Street Journal July 16, 2004: MONTE RIO, Calif. ... Members are instructed not to talk about what goes on here....
Bob Weir, the former Grateful Dead rhythm guitarist, has become a Bohemian member and has played at Grove events the past six years. Joining him onstage at times is Steve Miller, the rocker known for such 1970s hits as "Jungle Love" and "The Joker."
As I'm sure most of you are familiar with Bohemian Grove and who meets up there every summer If you do not know of the Bohemian Grove, this is where the boys(Bush Sr., Rumsfeld, Kissinger, Bechtel, Cheney, and so many more),who bring us war for profit, frolic! here is a few links to learn more:

WSG.July 16, 2004, Friday

Bohemian rhapsody:
One thing in flux at the Grove is music
Aging rockers shake up secretive men's club

MONTE RIO, Calif. - What would Herbert Hoover think?

Since the late 19th century, tycoons, politicians and artistic performers have flocked to the Bohemian Grove, a private, 2,700-acre forest 60 miles north of San Francisco. Here, cronies party their way through the 17-day summer festivities, which begin today. They gab. They drink. They urinate on trees.

Hoover called these get-togethers "the greatest men's party on Earth," and older attendees aren't in any hurry to meddle with the secretive club's traditions. Women still aren't welcome as members. Overnight guests sleep in various lodges, or "camps," that look like relics of the railroad era. Newfangled gadgets such as cellphones are forbidden. And members are instructed not to talk about what goes on here.

But, oddly enough, musical tastes are in flux. In recent years, the Bohemians have been admitting a few aging rock 'n' rollers as members and tinkering with the Grove's concert program, trying to catch up with a new generation.

It isn't just time-honored performances of Chopin sonatas and swing-era standards that fill the air anymore. Bob Weir, the former Grateful Dead rhythm guitarist, has become a Bohemian member and has played at Grove events the past six years. Joining him onstage at times is Steve Miller, the rocker known for such 1970s hits as "Jungle Love" and "The Joker." Last year, local musicians slipped snippets of gospel, blues and Motown songs into the program.

The new sounds don't sit well with longtime Bohemians like 90-year-old Tro Harper, a retired broadcaster and bookstore owner. "How did music get to be so awful?" he asks.

To placate the old-timers, rockers confine themselves to a small clearing in the forest, away from the Grove's main stage. They forgo pulsating light shows and giant amplifiers.

A few hundred Bohemians usually huddle around and cheer at these performances, but most of the 2,000 to 3,000 men on hand for summer festivities keep their distance. "My generation is still locked in the days of big bands and decent music," explains Harper. He can't make it to the Grove anymore because of leg ailments, and he notes that a formal vote wasn't ever held on whether to let the rockers in. Had there been, Harper says, he would have signaled his discomfort.

"I would have sat on my hands," Harper says. "I wouldn't have censored it, but I wouldn't have endorsed it."

Long ago, the Grove boasted more of an avant-garde sensibility. The site, which sits largely vacant most of the year, is owned by San Francisco's Bohemian Club, which was formed in 1872 as a haven for writers, artists and musicians. Early members included left-leaning novelist Jack London and full-time hell raiser Ambrose Bierce.

Over time, the Grove became best known as a private retreat for a different breed of Bohemians: powerful politicians and executives. Members since World War II have included Dwight Eisenhower, David Rockefeller and scions of the Bechtel construction family. Increasingly, it is older men who find the Grove's all-male culture appealing. While Bohemian Club officials won't disclose members' average age, visitors estimate that it is 60 or higher.

As the Grove's membership got older and more establishmentarian in recent decades, the Bohemians became more set in their ways. Little things - like camp names from the 1920s, such as Cave Men, Sons of Toil and Aviary - became immutable. This month's festivities begin with a giant bonfire called the Cremation of Care, now in its 125th year.

The "Midsummer Encampment" last year included a talk on the evolution of classic jazz, a magic show, an organ concert, an evening salute to Burt Bacharach, an afternoon of quintet for clarinet and strings, a slide show about Gens. Grant and Lee, skeet shooting, a lecture by Clint Bolick about vouchers, a talk about horse racing by jockey Chris McCarron, a talk by George Shultz titled "A Changed World," talks by Charlie Rose and William Safire, a fly-fishing demonstration, and a horse-racing play involving horses named Rocket Boy, Wonder Bra and Attila the Horse.

Left-wing protesters in the 1970s began targeting the Grove as a supposed clustering point of the ruling class. Grove officials responded with guards and, later, barbed-wire fences. Secrecy about even the most routine aspects of Grove life became the norm. As a result, old-time pranks and playfulness continued, but the Grove became rather resistant to new ways of having fun.

In music, the Grove continued to recruit musicians as members, but looked mainly for men who could entertain their elite comrades by playing pieces that were popular a half century ago. Keyboardists perform on a giant outdoor organ that has been at the Grove since 1920s. A Dixieland jazz band has existed in one form or another since the 1950s. A full orchestra plays works by the likes of Ravel and Berlioz.

But the cherished old ways don't always entice the next generation of members, an awkward problem for the Grove. "They have an affirmative-action program to get younger people in," says Peter Phillips, a sociology professor at nearby Sonoma State University, who wrote his doctoral dissertation on the Grove and is a periodic visitor to its events. "They've been aware of the age issue for a while."

Bridging the gap is new member Zachariah Spellman, a 48-year-old tuba player for the San Francisco Opera. He was recruited to join the Grove's traditional band, where he plays Sousa marches and songs from "The King and I." That won him a sizable discount from annual dues that otherwise would top $ 10,000.

But Spellman says that one of his biggest thrills was a chance to perform with Steve Miller in a winter blues concert sponsored by the Bohemian Club in San Francisco. "We did a lot of standard blues," Spellman recalls. "We played St. Louis Blues. It was fantastic."

Through spokesmen, Miller and Weir declined to discuss their musical ties to the Bohemian Grove, citing the club's privacy rules. Club officials also declined to comment about their musical evolution. But Weir's spokesman did point out that the former Grateful Dead musician grew up in Atherton, Calif., one of the country's wealthiest communities. "Bob knows how to handle himself around fancy people," the spokesman said.

With the passing of time, of course, the young rebels of one era become the next generation's elder statesmen. Miller is now 61 - about the average age of his Bohemian Grove audience. Weir is 56.

So the Grove carries on with its own version of jam sessions - to the delight of visitors such as Alabama businessman Ted Hooks. In 2001, Hooks recalls, he wandered over to a clearing in the woods one evening to hear an impromptu performance by several Grateful Dead alumni. He could pick out the tunes with no trouble. But something was missing, and it didn't take him long to figure out what: There wasn't a trace of anyone smoking marijuana.

"Of course," says Hooks, "there might have been some people smoking Cuban cigars."

I see I'm not the only one who caught this 19.Jul.2004 11:04

Grateful Red


PS 19.Jul.2004 11:06

Grateful Red

Nice, concise headline.

no surprise with Weir 19.Jul.2004 12:48

music fan

Bob had the most affluent family background of any member of the band.

as the above article cites:

" . . . Weir's spokesman did point out that the former Grateful Dead musician grew up in Atherton, Calif., one of the country's wealthiest communities. "Bob knows how to handle himself around fancy people," the spokesman said."

Belly of the Beast 19.Jul.2004 15:07

Rest Stop

Ah, yes, and sometimes the best place to create an ulcer is in the belly of the beast. The heads have done more to infiltrate the establishment than any of the other so-called traditions - and did it by letting them think it was the other way around.

rest stop 19.Jul.2004 15:56

read again

the dead come from the establishment.

Knocking on 19.Jul.2004 17:41

Heaven's Door

Of course they arose out of the establishment - just as did many of the Deadheads. Why do you think it took so long for the establishment to get rid of them? Jerry Garcia never ceased reminding them that despite all the years upon his head, they still called him "child". "Oh ship of fools, sail away from me." And the Dylan cover "Take this gun off of me, I won't shoot it anymore."

Without Garcia, Bob Weir has seemed, at times, like a ship adrift without course or bearing. Then again, the Dead are now representatives of a past generation, when America was ostensibly a different place. Hopefully youth will be able to rise again and express their views through art, music, and literature. However, the world is a different place now, and the young might have to fight much harder to express themselves than did their parents.

get a clue! 19.Jul.2004 19:39


the Dead are multimillionaires. They've been better at sharing their $ than most of the elite but they're not exactly buying their clothes at goodwill

What Else Do You Expect? 19.Jul.2004 19:58

Antinomias Vermont

Weir's a sleazebag. I personally watched that asshole cross an IATSE picket line where the promoters were having an out-of-town road crew set up for Ratdog in Eugene. The scab crew's pay
was "experience."

But, hey, Gore did the same thing in Eugene in '96....

common sense 20.Jul.2004 01:06


isn't what weir is doing, just simple, practical networking?....

weir on both sides 20.Jul.2004 11:32

not waiting for 60s rocker heros

just a few weeks ago bob weir was on al fraken's radio show (the left's anwser to right-wing radio) to talk about efforts by the dead and other bands to register youth for the upcoming elections. weir was clear that he is a leftist, and that he finds the bush regime to be really disturbing. weir is doing some work, then, on behalf of democrats -- even if he is also partying with the republican dinosaurs.

the larger question here might be: what has happened to so many of those rockers of the 60s who expoused progressive postures, but are now silent as everything goes to hell? as a huge fan of bob dylan, for instance, I am quite disappointed that he has not been more outspoken against the war, greed, and dishonesty that has engulfed the us government. there are lots of other artists who have remained silent in this time of serious crisis too.

i guess we shouldn't wait for older rock and rollers to save the world. it's up to the next generation...

Dancing in the Fields of Eleusis 20.Jul.2004 14:52

Far Traveler

To the establishment the Grateful Dead, acid, sex, drugs and rock'n roll meant the dumbing down of an entire generation. To them a deadhead meant someone whose mind had been obliterated and thus no longer of concern to them. Yes, the establishment created the drugs, sex, and rock'n roll movement. And, yes, a far more ancient tradition found a way to shape and forge a movement started by the establishment.

Yes, there is another, vastly different view of the rock'n roll movement: the continuance of a very ancient tradition of ecstatic experience. For twenty five hundred years an ancient tradition survived in the fields of Eleusis. For twenty five hundred years Demeter forbid the fruit of the vine from being served in Her temple. Only the water of the Barley could be served in the temple of Demeter.

Pericles once fined an Athenian noble for serving the sacred drink of Demeter at a big party. Pericles said that he should have instead served Cannabis, which was the usual, secular substitute for the drink of Demeter. This event was highlighted by Robert Graves as evidence of ancient Greek usage of Cannabis.

Gordon Wasserman tells the story of the Temple of Demeter and the Eleusian Mysteries in his book "The Road to Eleusis". An excerpt is available in the Schaffer Drug Library at  http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/lsd/eleucont.htm. In the ancient tradition "Deadhead" may be taken as a metaphor for the journey of the soul to the underworld, in a spirit or shamanic sense. Literally, a "head" (or soul) that has made the journey to River Styx, paid the ferryman, and made the crossing to the land of the Dead. The traveler may then help the Dead and, in return, receive aid from the Dead, as in Homer.

The current ruling establishment, whose origins are ancient Rome, have been in existence for twenty five hundred years. The ancient tradition of ecstatic life has been in existence for tens of thousands of years. Which has the more experience?

necromancy 22.Jul.2004 11:56

another ancient tradition

the establishment has used this on the zombies they create. it is a nessasary conduit for their power. the walking dead, and to feel high and rebeleous, free, while under the illuminati control. the dead don't don't completely comprehend that they are indeed dead. a modern example is vortex 1, which spawned the stillbirth called "rainbow". the illusion of self empowerment and free will is a very important tool of the establishment. free will can never be realized by the dead, idol worship, and hierarchy along with the 'safty' in numbers of others who are under this spell, keep this from developing.this magic is ingrained, and this conscience is inherited throu generations, and triggered by media (1 ex.).mind control through torture and murder has poisoned {the collective conscience} of humans.for the illusion of diversity, which is another front for civil strife, another important tool for the ancient order, are their numerous cults. the vatican, mother of all whores, as their own (open) doctrine describes them, has many banners the dead can rally under, the protestants, baptist, ect.*%$&>$$$$$ "heroin, its my religion, its my wife and its my life."

Just maybe...... 06.Apr.2005 23:04


Well, upon reading the previous posts, and after reading the article from which we are all commenting; isn't it just also very possible that people just read Too Damned Much into things? I mean, so what that he was "caught partying with the enemy". Christ, not like he's out there trying to get them re-elected. Personally, I don't really think it's anything to get our undies all bunched up about.

For instance.. and i think at some point we can all relate to this, have you ever been to a party, or any type of gathering, where there are people that you normally wouldn't hang out with, or caught dead around, but all of your friends were there, and you figured you could handle putting up with some shit, for the sake of you having a good time?

Just a thought.

Kill Your Idols 15.Nov.2006 21:30

Sandy Fundation

First, there was the contesting of Jerry's will over his guitars. Jerry wanted all of them to go to Doug Irwin, the now parapalegic man who created them. The argument Weir put forth was that the guitars were not paid for with Jerry's personal money. His reasoning, they were paid for with Grateful Dead Production money and therefore, not truly Jerry's to give away in his will. How DARE you contest the will of Jerry Garcia and over-ride his wishes for his guitars! Taking two of them away from a parapalegic that could have really used the money? Who in the FUCK do you think you are? Like Jerry gave a shit if the things were sold to some rich fuck on ebay. He cared about Doug Irwin, not a bunch of Heads waiting in a line to see the damn things behind some bullet proof glass. Does this minorly talented bafoon realize he'd have been lucky to be a high school band teacher if it wasn't for Jerry? Jerry was the Grateful Dead, Bobby. I don't see Ratdog on the Forbes list year after year or you selling out Madison Square Garden like JGB did. You're a follower and make a real ass of yourself when you attempt in vain to take a lead. Kind of like your lousy solo's during Little Red Rooster.
Then there was the revoking of downloading sounboards from archive.org. How sweet of Bobby to put them back up for streaming only, and why? Because Heads all over the world bitched and threatened to boycott Grateful Dead Prouctions and Ratdog if he didn't. We should have done the same with Jerry's guitars, as we all should be doing with the recent knowledge of them joining the fucking Bohemian Club, for christ-sakes.
Rubbing elbows, (or to use the ludicrous euphemism someone above wrote, "networking"), with the scummiest elitist cunts of the Earth is unacceptable. If you disagree, you must have been a Touch of Greyer that never got it in the first place. No excuses, no justification, it's wrong, period. Jerry would spit in his face and kicked his lame showy ass out of the band if he were still here.
Whatever, I've been disgusted with him since the contesting of the will. He continues to prove himself a whore in contradictory positions of what the Grateful Dead once stood for. Somehow, he's got Mickey riding on his new tuxedo curtails too. He may have grown up wealthy, but he's trashier than the trash on Maury Povich. Why? Because he knows where the light is and consciously chooses the dark. You cannot seek out membership in The Bohemian Club, and claim to be a person of Light. Turn around, you piece of mediocrity that was over generously spared being fired from the band in the early 70's. You were a 30 year long Donna, and why, I'll never understand. You are sooooo lucky that Jerry hung onto faith that you might learn to play your guitar one day. You know he still laughed AT you till the last show.
Change your ways, find a good witch to break your spell, or you just might find us making jokes that we'll be grateful when YOU are fucking dead.

repulsive 04.Apr.2008 00:00

Goo Mama

I have toured
gottin free tix
spread the good energy
it's over now
I will let the junkies prevail & be warped by this fraud that is trying to kill the last bit of beautiful hippy mentality.
it saddens me to have to let go of my youth due to now knowing the truth
I won't be inside again Rat Dog & I know you liked to see me dance....