Bob Weir Hints at Possible Painkiller Addiction
Back in August, RatDog cleared off its tour schedule for the foreseeable future. Although no reason was given for the cancellations, a new interview with Bob Weir suggests that it could be because he may been battling an addiction to painkilers.
JamBase points to an interview Weir did with Common Ground, and while Weir doesn't specify why RatDog pulled out of its tour, he notes, "I had to take painkillers for a shoulder issue for a number of years, and that’s something I’m still dealing with."
It's vague if the "something" he's "dealing with" is a reference to the shoulder issue or the painkillers, but he doesn't acknowledge a difference between prescription and illegal drugs when he later says, "Bottom line: you’re better off straight. Stay the hell away from heroin; it’ll take you out. It’ll ruin your life. Meth, the same thing. Cocaine—stay away from cocaine and any of the addictive drugs. Try not to take sleeping pills in your life. If you have a chronic pain issue, better to figure out how to deal with it other than with pain medication."
Throughout the interview, Weir is rather candid about his history with drugs, including being responsible for doling out portions of heroin to Jerry Garcia when they were in the Grateful Dead.
In April 2013, Weir collapsed in mid-song during a Furthur concert, with bassist Phil Lesh telling the crowd that Weir had suffered an exercise-related shoulder injury that day. A few days later, Furthur canceled their next concert due to Weir being "unable to perform in any capacity for the next several weeks.”
Watch Bob Weir & Ratdog Perform ‘Me and My Uncle’ at Mountain Jam X