Gentlemen, I realize the songs all want to be twenty minutes long. But you don’t have to let them. Do you fuckers know you once played El Paso for over 8 minutes? And those minutes were in a row, mind you. It wasn’t like they hid El Paso in a sandwich of other stuff and kinda broke up the El Paso: it was 8 straight minutes of Bobby pretending to be a cowboy. Again. As always.
The only person I can think of that pretends to be a cowboy as much as Bobby is George W. Bush. The whole band went through a cowboy phase, but Bobby just Philip K. Dick’ed his cowboy persona and by this point, if you woke Bobby up in the middle of the night by screaming, “Stampede on the brazoes!” he would grab his hat and jump on his lovely steed and ride off into the purple skies of justice. Bobby stopped pretending he was a cowboy at some point and, in his mind, became a Rider of the Prairies.
What I am trying to get to is that Bobby Weir was a raving goddam lunatic. This is the only possible explanation for some of his choices.
There is only one documented instance of someone treating Bobby in the manner you would treat anyone who behaved in this manner, but–and here’s the important part–was not a rock star. In Sam Cutler’s entirely fallacious and therefore delightful book about road managing the band in the 70’s, Bobby liked to sneak up on people sleeping on planes and fuck with them. This was, obviously, back in the days when wild-eyed lunatics were allowed to wander around planes giggling to themselves. So Cutler pops him in the nose. Like you would if you were dead-asleep because this plane ride was the only 90 minutes in the day you weren’t dealing with the promoter, the union, the crew (we’ll get to them), or the 7 sweaty gibbering drugsuckers whose every whim needs to be catered to, because if they’re not happy, then how do you expect them to play Sugaree for 22 minutes?
So this is pre-cell phone or obviously, wi-fi, on planes. There are no phones. There is no problem that can be settled now; we are en route and incommunicado until Des Moines. You have just gone through the maddening ritual of getting these hairy morons through an airport and now all you want to do is catch a quick nap before you have to check them into the hotel. Which, if anything can be learned from every single other time you have attempted to check these baboons into a hotel, will go poorly at best.
And now Bobby wants to lurk up from behind you and grab your face.
P.S. And you know he wouldn’t pull that shit on Jerry.