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Talking With The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir

May 4, 2007 5:13 PM ET

For our fortieth anniversary, the editors of Rolling Stone have interviewed twenty artists and leaders who helped shape our time. Over the next four weeks, every day, we'll be debuting exclusive audio clips from the Q&As, giving you unparalleled access to some of the most important personalities in history.

Today we present the Grateful Dead guitarist and Haight-Ashbury homeowner Bob Weir. Besides being a key member of the greatest nomadic band ever, Weir and Co. forever changed how live music was experienced, thanks to their ever-changing jams and their insanely fervent fan base. Sitting down with Rolling Stone's David Fricke for our fortieth anniversary issue, Weir talks about the house at 710 Ashbury, protesting the Vietnam War and being friendly with Donald Trump and Ann Coulter. Listen to excerpts from that interview, and for the full Bob Weir profile, pick up your copy of our fortieth anniversary issue, on stands now.

Weir talks about why there aren't as many artistic epicenters as there were in the 60s: "Back then, when you made a long-distance call, it cost some change. You picked and chose your occasions. Now, information exchanges happen so fast and furious -- it's as if there were no locations anymore. So it's hard to get a sense of place anywhere...."

Weir argues that while San Francisco may be costlier, the ideology there hasn't changed much: "I was at a coffee place the other day and it was in the afternoon, and someone got a microphone and started reading. I went back to work later, but I felt kind of jazzed for the rest of the afternoon. I think that does still happen in San Francisco, and I'm not sure it happens everywhere else..."

Check back next week for another installment of our twenty-part audio interviews, featuring some of the most iconic and influential pop culture figures of the last 40 years. Want a hint at Monday's interviewee? What famed drummer told us this:
"I haven't been to a stadium gig in years, and I thank the Stones for that. I went to see them. Mick got us the tickets, and we had great seats, but we were watching the screens the whole time. I thought, "Well, I can watch this on TV.' "

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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