After officially saying goodbye to the Grateful Dead with this summer’s Fare Thee Well shows, rumors have been confirmed that the music of the Grateful Dead will continue with a new touring group dubbed Dead & Company, including three of the “core four” surviving members. The group will consist of Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart and Bob Weir joined by bassist Oteil Burbridge, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and guitarist John Mayer. Dead & Company will make its live debut with a Halloween show October 31st at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
In an interview with Billboard, Weir stated in regard to the official goodbye to the Dead this summer, that “those songs weren’t done with us. It was a matter of who wanted to get back out on the road and keep doing it.” Bassist Phil Lesh will sit this one out as he continues to tour with his own gig, Phil Lesh & Friends.
Kruetzmann compares Mayer’s affinity for the blues to Pigpen’s style, noting that Mayer will compliment the earlier tunes of the Dead. Mayer, who reportedly fell in love with the Dead after listening to the song “Althea” on Pandora one day, has been practicing with the band members since March.
A website for the group appears to be underway, although no tour dates have been listed other than MSG on Halloween. Tickets will be sold at $50, keeping the 50th anniversary theme, with upscale seats costing $100 and are scheduled to go on sale August 14 with American Express card holders able to buy tickets starting August 10.