Last year, Bob Weir told Rolling Stone why Grateful Dead drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann weren’t part of the new Dead offshoot band Furthur. “Phil [Lesh] and I were boldly pursuing new musical directions onstage, and some of the guys weren’t picking up on it,” Weir said. “Phil and I are way more current.”
Hart and Kreutzmann declined to comment at the time, but when Hart stopped by Rolling Stone last week to discuss his new band, we reminded him what Weir had said. “I don’t really have any comment on that,” said Hart – who proceeded to spend the next three minutes commenting on it. “You shouldn’t read too far into that. It’s really hard to say who is current and who is not. I mean, it’s a very weak argument. I would just think that would be a slip of the tongue on Bob’s part. If he were here right now, we’d probably be laughing about it,” Hart said – laughing.
Hart continued: “It doesn’t really make sense. I mean, it’s almost ludicrous. I’d like to say, ‘Bob, are you more current than I am? Tell me more about it! I’d really like to know how current you really are.’ Anyway, I don’t really go there. It’s not a place that’s beneficial to anyone. In the past I’ve said things that I’ve wished I could have taken back. Besides, I just saw Bob and Phil at [San Francisco’s] AT&T Park when they had Grateful Dead day. It was really nice hanging out.”
The Dead last toured in 2009. “There was certainly personal tension on that tour,” said Hart. “I mean, there were people that didn’t get along. And there were musical differences. But nothing that couldn’t be negotiated. I mean, there are differences in any family. But I didn’t skip a beat. I’ve been in very interesting projects over the past few years and I have absolutely no inclination to join Furthur. Bob’s doing just what he wants to do and so am I.”
Hart refuses to rule out the possibility of another Dead tour, though. “I would never say never,” he says. “As long as we’re above ground, there’s always a possibility. I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t do more shows someday, but right now isn’t the right time.”
When the interview ended, Hart took his his cellphone and began scrolling through his contacts until he landed on the name Bob Weir. “Hey, Mr. Current,” Hart said into the phone as he walked away. “I’m looking for a Mr. Current! [Hysterical laughter]. I challenge you to a zucchini war!”