Officials at the Les Paul Foundation have announced plans to present the prize annually, from this year (16), to "an individual who exemplifies the spirit of the late, great Les Paul through innovation, engineering, technology and/or music".
The jam band icon has been named as the first recipient of the accolade, which comes with a grant made in the honouree's name to a charity of their choice.
Weir will be handed the award during a special fundraiser on Sunday (12Jun16). His prize money will benefit The Grammy Foundation, which promotes music and arts education.
"I cannot think of anyone more fitting to be honoured with the first annual Les Paul Spirit Award than Bob Weir," said Michael Braunstein, executive director of The Les Paul Foundation. "Not only is he an extraordinary talent who has given us an amazing array of legendary music, but he is an innovator who understands music, technologies and the spirit of Les Paul."
"If Les were still alive today, I have absolutely no doubt that he and Bob would be experimenting together at TRI Studios (Weir's recording venue) or at Les' house and the results would be extraordinary."
The award itself is a piece of memorabilia from the home studio of late guitarist and inventor Les Paul, hand carved from acoustic boards the musician built by himself. As a result, no two trophies will ever be exactly the same.
Weir and his former Grateful Dead bandmates, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, are among the headliners at the 2016 Tennessee festival, playing with singer/songwriter John Mayer in their new group Dead & Company.
Other top acts set to perform at Bonnaroo this year include Pearl Jam, the reunited LCD Soundsystem, Kendrick Lamar, and Ellie Goulding. The annual festival kicks off on Thursday (09Jun16) and runs until Sunday.
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