Grateful Dead’s epic “Fare Thee Well” reunion concerts may have come to an end, but three of the band’s members plan to continue onward as part of a new project called Dead & Company. And, yes, as past reports suggested, John Mayer is involved.
Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mayer will make their debut as Dead & Company with a concert at Madison Square Garden on Halloween night, October 31st. More live performances will be announced in the near future.
Grateful Dead’s two other core members, Phil Lesh and Bruce Hornsby, are not involved in the project. Instead, the lineup is rounded out by Oteil Burbridge of the Allman Brothers and Aquarium Rescue Unit and Ratdog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti. Phish’s Mike Gordon was originally part of the rehearsal lineup, but was forced to bow out due to other commitments.
In an interview with Billboard, Weir was asked if he anticipates any backlash from fans who purchased tickets to the “Fare Thee Well” concerts under the belief they were the Dead’s final go-around. He responded, “None of us ever said we didn’t want to play anymore. We’re gonna kick it around and see where it takes us. That’s what we’ve always done and making plans is something we found out over the years is kind of a waste of time. The music tells us what it wants, where it wants to go, what it wants to do.”
According to Mayer, who only began listening to the Dead in 2011, the prospects of teaming up with Weir, Hart, and Kreutzmann led him to put the recording of a new solo album on hold.