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Bob Weir in Toronto, May 15


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I saw a mailout that says Bob will be playing a 45 minute to one hour set "with accompanying musicians" so there ya go.  

$200 is too much for me.  That said I am quite happily surprised that Bobby has decided to cross the border again after his Ottawa Bluesfest fiasco.  Hope to see him (w/ Mayer or Phil?) in Canada again some time, at a reasonable price.

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7 hours ago, Velvet said:

I saw a mailout that says Bob will be playing a 45 minute to one hour set "with accompanying musicians" so there ya go.  

$200 is too much for me.  That said I am quite happily surprised that Bobby has decided to cross the border again after his Ottawa Bluesfest fiasco.  Hope to see him (w/ Mayer or Phil?) in Canada again some time, at a reasonable price.

Fiasco? Details? I vaguely recall hearing something at the time, and the setlist is heavy on getting it from the man, but I can't remember what the issue was.

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He was held at the border for something like 20 hrs (not sure if that number is accurate but i remember hearing something like that) due to his arrests that happened over 30 years prior!

I found this old article about it

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/Bo ... story.html

Border woes almost killed ex-Dead’s show

Old drug conviction came close to keeping guitarist out of country

By Chris Cobb, The Ottawa Citizen July 8, 2010

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/Bo ... z0tJaPJgzn

When legendary Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir arrived at the Canadian border crossing at the Thousand Islands early Tuesday, the computer didn’t lie.

Weir, a venerable icon of the 1960s tie-dyed, free love hippy generation, has three drug convictions.

“Only three?” Deadheads might exclaim in surprise.

His late much-revered partner Jerry Garcia had lost count.

The Grateful Dead and their legions of faithful Deadheads practically invented the hand-rolled joint.

It mattered not to the Canadian border authorities that Weir is an icon of a generation or that his third and last conviction, in San Diego, California, was 30 years ago.

And the first was in West Virginia in the 1960s and the second in the 1970s in New Orleans.

He might now be into yoga and yogurt, but they wouldn’t let him in.

Enter Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest executive director Mark Monahan, who had booked Weir and his bass-playing buddy Phil Lesh to play the main stage Wednesday.

While Weir and Lesh retreated to a Holiday Inn near the border to let their people sort things out, Monahan began a day of frenetic telephone negotiations between immigration authorities in Ottawa, Border Services at the Thousand Islands and a

courthouse in San Diego.

Canadian authorities wanted details of the three convictions.

“The guy is 66 years old and his last conviction was 30 years ago,” said Monahan Thursday. “It’s not like he’s a threat to Canadian security or was planning to become a fugitive and stay in Canada.”

Monahan pleaded the case to border security but they wouldn’t budge.

“It wasn’t good enough for them,” he said. “They wanted details.”

Getting those details wasn’t going to be easy.

“There is no existing record of the West Virginia conviction,” added Monahan, “and the New Orleans conviction was swept away by Hurricane Katrina. So San Diego was the only hope.”

The San Diego courthouse records people came through and, after a search, found the conviction along with the added good news that it had long been expunged.

After more back-and-forth that lasted well into Tuesday night, Weir was given the green light to cross the border.

“But then,” added Monahan, “I thought ‘what about Phil?’ How many convictions does he have?”

The border authorities assured Monahan that Lesh, who had a liver transplant several years ago, was good to go.

And anyway, the bassist’s convictions were alcohol-related, which are not so frowned upon.

The two musicians, their road manager, chef and American driver headed back to the border and were stopped again.

The driver had an undeclared conviction for something unpleasant involving juveniles. No way was he getting in under any circumstances — and certainly not in time to get the boys in the band to the gig on time.

“So they had to toss him back,” said Monahan.

The road manager rustled up another driver and the entourage headed to Ottawa, a day later than they had intended.

After 17 years in the Bluesfest business, Monahan is used to running interference with immigration authorities.

The Weir affair, seemingly exacerbated by a zealous stickler-for-the-rules border guard, might have not worked out as well had it not been for a Border Services bureaucrat in Ottawa who is dedicated to Bluesfest for its two-week run.

That measure was introduced two years ago to give Monahan a go-to person and avoid the protracted hassles he has had over the likes of legendary performers such as the late James Brown, who had weapons convictions, and Wilson Pickett, who had no convictions but they strip-searched him anyway. (Pickett, now dead, played Bluesfest but swore he would never come back to Canada).

“Quite often the reality of the situation conflicts with the rules,” said Monahan. “These people are no threat and any of the problems we have aren’t with the high-profile headliners, like Weir and Lesh, but with smaller acts.

“A lot of these people are not in the mainstream of society,” he said, “and often they have nobody working for them, perhaps an agent on the fringes who isn’t prepared to deal with this sort of stuff.”

Border problems are often the fault of previously-convicted musicians who arrive in the hope that the computer won’t notice.

“If you are up front and lay it all out, the border people are pretty reasonable,” he said.

Monahan met Weir and Lesh briefly backstage but said they did not mention the border difficulties


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Weir's personal manager told me the story isn't exactly about the drug convictions.

He said the last show Weir did in Toronto was at the DOCKs, and the owners failed to pay their international performer withholding fees to the Government.  Although this fee was taken off the band take of the show, Revenue Canada had flagged Weir as those fees were not paid.  The Docks ended up under new management and the business entity "The Docks" dissolved.

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