Will "Bub" Weintraub
He lives on forever..
Ras Will I was a dear friend and brother who we knew as a scientist, prankster, rasta, dreamer, jammer, devoted Deadhead and keeper of the faith. Like my friend Kevin Deal who also died in 1995, Will died in the prime of his short life. He fell victim to a deadly inoperable brain cancer that took his life on December 3, 1995. He was 32 years old.
Will's life was filled with joy and celebration. It's those times that I cherish and remember most, and of those times I'm thankful and thoughtful. I had grown up with Will since I was in 7th and he was in 8th grade. My older brother Steve and Will grew very close in the following years after high school and journeyed to many Dead shows throughout the 80s and 90s. During that time, Will found the love of life in Emily Platt and they were together for more than 10 years. They were known as "the Bubs" (pronounced like "book" with a "b" at the end) and they lived many happy years together of which my wife Elaine and I were fortunate to share with them when we moved to the SF Bay Area.
Bub had a PhD in microbiology from UC Berkeley and spent much of his time studying the nature of liver cells. Bub's favorite member of the Dead was Phil, his favorite jazz musicians were Coltrane and Miles, he loved Dylan and the Beatles and the roots, rock, reggae sounds of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. You could hear all those influences in the music he played -- an inspiring improvisational keyboard style. Bub grew long dreadlocks and praised Jah every day. He became quite skilled in the botanical arts and was well known for his green thumb. At some point too, Bub got himself a melodica (a small keyboard wind instrument, like a harmonica with keys popularized by the also late reggae star Augustus Pablo) and he made the instrument his own. Bub was not just Will's persona... but a state of mind...
In early 1992, Bub was diagnosed with a Glioma, more specific a Glioblastoma Multiforme stage 4, an inoperable brain cancer that had infiltrated his healthy brain cells. He fought the good fight against those terrible odds for a few years but finally succumbed to the disease in December 3, 1995. Incidentally, the same day as many of his friends had gathered for a film show to pay tribute to another fallen friend, Kevin Deal who had died earlier that year in July.
1995 was a tough year. We had our joy with the birth of our darling middle son Mitch, and the pain of losing two dear friends we loved as brothers. It was also the year that the Grateful Dead died when Jerry Garcia passed away. Time moves on as it always has and the spirit lives on.. and on...
Long live Bub! Long live Ras Will I!
"We'll be forever praising Jah..."
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