Circumnavigating the University of Alaska Anchorage campus in his green and gold shuttle is Nicholas Weaver. You may have seen Weaver driving your shuttle around campus; tall and topped with a black beanie, his long hair flows far past his shoulders.
Stepping onto the West shuttle in the afternoon one will be introduced to a large variety of new music that Weaver plays. With the sounds of local Alaskan folk to parody star “Weird Al” Yankovic streaming from the loud speakers.
“Over the sound system on the bus I usually play quite a variety of stuff. Which includes my own music, also other musicians in Alaska, other indie artists from around the world, classic rock, classic country, everything. Lots of Weird Al!” said Weaver.
Weaver, who’s stage name is Nick “The Dream” Weaver, has been writing and performing his own original music on guitar and ukulele for over 30 years. Weaver acquired this stage name in his time in the Navy during the late seventies.
“When Gary Wright came out with the song “Dreamweaver” and my last name is Weaver, and I was a natural space cadet. So everybody started calling me Dreamweaver. Later on when I started getting more serious about playing music I decided to adopt it as a stage name.” said Weaver.
Performing at the Anchorage Folk Festival for the past decade, Weaver usually performs solo with one of his many guitars or his ukulele.
“My first performance there was around 2005, so I’ve been doing it for 10 years now. There have been a couple of times at Folk Fest where I perform with my friend Rita we called ourselves The Good Cheese. We do covers and originals. I drove a party bus in Anchorage for a while, and I wrote a song about it called ‘Bachelorette Party,’” said Weaver.
While he has yet to write a song about it, Weaver has been driving the UAA shuttle for over 10 years now. In this job, Weaver has had the opportunity to go beyond the main campus and take the shuttle on special chartered trips, his favorite part of the job.
“The University chartered the shuttle for the first two or three years I drove. I got to go on a few glacier cruises out of Whittier, but one of the neatest things that happen every year is one charter that comes up for the Geology department. We take them out to Sutton and they go out and look for fossils. That’s always a fun trip. I like that one a lot.”
When Weaver isn’t driving the shuttle or performing his original music, you can probably find him driving around Anchorage in his ever-so compact smart car.
“I saw one on campus, and I fell in love with it when I saw it. I checked on the prices for it and saw I could get one for under $13,000, brand new,” Weaver said. “When I bought mine I hadn’t even test drove it or even sat in one. I bought it in Seattle and had it shipped up. I love my little smart car. I drove it down to the lower 48. I drove it all the way to just outside Denver, Colorado and back.”
Even though you may not be able to ride in Weaver’s smart car you can catch this shuttle anytime.
You can always find Nick “The Dream” Weaver driving a UAA shuttle near you, but to catch him in his musical element find him performing at the Wendy Williamson auditorium as part of the Anchorage Folk Festival on Sunday, Jan. 31 at 3 p.m.