With contributions from Patrick Condon

WASHINGTON -- What a long strange trip ...

Self-avowed Grateful Dead fan Sen. Al Franken will host a fundraiser with one of the group's front men Bob Weir at the Northrop Auditorium on the University of Minnesota campus June 13.

"As you know, I really love the Grateful Dead. Really. I am very excited to invite you to a private sound check with the Grateful Dead's own Bob Weir & Ratdog. We will even have dinner with Bob after! You can also stick around and catch the show with me," an email sent out to Franken's donors this morning said.

Weir is playing a public concert that night at Northrop, but Franken's donors can drop $2,600 to listen to the sound check, have a private dinner with Weir and Franken, and then attend the show. Franken is asking for $1,000 for dinner and the show and $500 or $250 for just the show, according to a copy of the fundraiser e-mail.

(Maybe Franken's peeps have access to premier seats. Tickets for just the show are currently retailing at $143 on StubHub.)

Weir was only 17 when he started singing with the late Jerry Garcia and others in 1965. He wrote a number of the band's most famous pieces including "The Other One" and "Sugar Magnolia," according to Weir's website

Franken, a baby boomer who came of age in the late ‘60s, is a self-professed Deadhead who saw the jam band many times in concert and became friends with several of its members. During his 2008 race, as he traversed Minnesota by car, a Grateful Dead satellite radio station provided a constant soundtrack for the road. 

The junior senator reportedly even sometimes sang along.

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