Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Now on Netflix: The Other One: The Long Strange Trip of Bob Weir (2015)

The Other One: The Long Strange Trip of Bob Weir (2015) - Directed by Mike Fleiss

By Kenny Howell

The Grateful Dead has always been one of those bands that I appreciate, but don't really like.

I have never heard a song I really like, though the one I am most familiar with is Touch of Gray, which came much later in their career. So I am not the authority on the band. It's just not my sound.

For someone who is, The Other One: The Long Strange Trip of Bob Weir is probably a lot better experience than the one I had. However, not knowing anything about Bob Weir other than his name, it was a pretty interesting trip for me through his life.

Jerry Garcia was the most visible member of the band, partially because when they hit a mainstream audience, it was with a song he sang. However, a lot of the band's material came from Weir. It's surprising that Garcia was the draw for people, though I get the big happy teddy bear appeal. Weir was a handsome man, virtuoso talent, and a seemingly all around nice guy.

Director Mike Fleiss takes you from Weir's birth where he was adopted from birth to his current career of still playing music in his autumn years. He was a high school dropout that left to play rock and roll. From there he met the likes of Neil Cassady and Ken Kesey, and started playing music at parties where everyone took acid. The legend grew and grew, and soon The Grateful Dead was bringing in huge crowds and developing a cult following.

Bob Weir is obviously a talented guy, but the movie really works because of how pleasant he is to spend time with. He doesn't really have a fall from grace or anything, he just seems like a good dude that has been on a crazy ride, and as an audience it is one worth taking.

The Other One: The Long Strange Trip of Bob Weir is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: ***

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