Weir decided the time was right to go ahead and record his own album, Ace. The first step towards the making of the album was for Weir, who is admittedly something less than a prolific composer, a retirement to the obscure Wyoming cabin of a close friend, John Barlow. “Nobody was around,” insists Weir, “except a ghost, and I didn’t care.”
“Did you get any songs from him?” asks wide-eyed Warner/Reprise press representative Garry George. “Not from the ghost, no, but from Barlow, yeah. No, the ghost and I worked something out,” says Bob quite seriously. “I don’t know if you need to print this, but anyway, I learned a real simple, temporary exorcism ceremony … which I had to perform twice a day in order to keep him out for twenty four hours. Once around sunrise, and once around sunset.
“He’d been scaring my dog, and dogs don’t like ghosts, so the dog had shit all over the place. The ghost tried to get into my head once around the time I was waking up, and that was a real touchy scene. I don’t know if you’ve ever had an experience with a ghost, but it’s awful, ’cause ghosts aren’t the best things to deal with. They try to get into people, and it’s not very hard to get them to leave a man alone, but they scare the shit out of animals. Particularly dogs, and so my dog got the shit scared out of him … literally. I was up in the middle of the night cleaning that up, with the dog completely out of his mind berserk. The first time the ghost did that, I tried to reason with him saying, ‘Now listen, you don’t go weirding out my dog and I won’t do anything, but if you do it again, I’ll have to take steps.’ Well, he did it another night and got me weird another night to boot. So, I started throwing him out at night by using that exorcism ceremony. That worked.
“Then I felt that he might be able to see his way towards being a little more civil, so I started letting him stay in during the day. He lived in the water heater and used to make all kinds of noises…he would hoot and screech and all kinds of that stuff. He had learned to operate the water heater over the years so that he could make it sound any way he wished. I would sit in the living room playing my songs, and as long as I was playing my songs he’d be quiet, but when I stopped, he’d start working the heater again. It was really strange.” — (Rock, 6/30/73)
The album art for Bobby’s first solo album, by Kelley & Mouse would look great as a Playboy photo with a live blond beauty as Lady Luck. -Jerilyn
Photo Credits: Unknown