First of all thank you to all the kind Grateful Dead fans that came to see us our first three nights. And thank you to Madison Square Garden. It was great to see all my Allman Brothers Band Beacon Theater family. What a magic time it has been. I’ll never forget this. New York sure lived up to it’s reputation. Wow.
Ok, about Estimated Prophet –
How could I have ever guessed in ten million years that Bob Weir would help me prove something I’ve said about funk for decades? I’ve long said that if you have the perfect funk bass line, the groove could even be in odd time signatures and people would still be able to dance to it.
When we did soundcheck at Madison Square Garden, Bob asked me to learn this bass line that he’s wanted to try on Estimated Prophet for a long time. Since the rhythm of the song is in 7 instead of 4/4, I knew it might be hard to remember but he told me he would play it again later that night with me to help me out. This is one of the Dead’s most complex tunes and one of the hardest to jam over and not lose your place.
I never knew that Bob Weir writes such funky bass lines! You can groove to it all night long. And we did for a good long time in this video. Notice the 1:40 mark where I finally get the bass line right! I’m playing it wrong up until that point! 10 seconds later “hook is set” and the groove is officially fat and happy. You can tell by the way Mayer and I are bobbing up and down.
At the 9:20 mark I try to give it more of a reggae feel because I think that is the root of idea Bob heard in his head. I go back to the original bass line that Phil played at the 10:40 mark because I love that line and haven’t got to actually play it yet.
18,000 Deadheads dancing away to a 13 minute song in an odd time signature. Thank you Mr. Weir. The defense rests.
Bob showed me another really cool bass line for The Other One. I can’t wait to see what others he has tucked away!