Guitarist and lyricist best known for his longtime collaboration with jam band The Grateful Dead. Though he does not normally perform live with the band, he has co-written many of their most famous songs, including "Dark Star".
He was a voluntary "guinea pig" for the testing of psychedelic drugs at Stanford University in the early 60's.
He has also worked closely with Bob Dylan, co-writing every song but one on the folk legend's 2009 album 'Together Through Life'.
His birth name is Robert Burns.
He is a childhood friend of Greatful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia.