The Grateful Dead to Tour Again, This Time With John Mayer
It turns out that the Grateful Dead's Fare Thee Well farewell tour earlier this summer wasn't actually their final goodbye, as it was announced today (Aug. 5) that Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann will get back on the road as Dead & Company, and will be accompanied by noted Deadhead John Mayer — a YouTube search yields pages of videos of Mayer performing the band's songs.
Also joining the band will be Allman Brothers Band bassist Oteil Burbridge and Aquarium Rescue Unit and Ratdog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, the latter of whom played with the band on the recent run of farewell gigs.
Mayer, who attended every night of the Fare Thee Well tour, said of playing with the Grateful Dead members, "I went, ‘Oh, this has to happen.' They're too good still, they're too great to roll this back in the shop and call it a day." He also praised the performance of Phish frontman Trey Anastasio, who was part of the Fare Thee Well tour, saying, "Trey was such a tasteful player. He did something incredible to the legacy — and didn't leave it any easier for me to pick up the baton."
Kreutzmann said of Mayer's enthusiasm about the tour:
When we first started playing years ago, it was with Pig Pen, and he was nothing but a blues guy. We took that and made it into the Grateful Dead and we're doing that with John. And John gets to open up to many styles and doesn't have to be locked into any one genre. And I think that's why John is excited to play with us because we offer up a whole new cookie. He's told me that he’s been at home working on our material like crazy. He'll be one of us.
So far, only a Madison Square Garden performance on Oct. 31 has been announced, tickets for which will go on sale on Aug. 14, or Aug. 10 for American Express members. Keep an eye on the Dead & Company website for updates as they happen.
As a bit of a preview of what's to come, here's a video of Mayer performing the Grateful Dead's "Althea," with Weir on guitar and lead vocals, during his stint as guest host of The Late Late Show earlier this year: