Deadheads rejoice! Grateful Dead is not over after all. After bidding Fare Thee Well in Chicago just a month ago, it looks like the band is somewhat sticking together, until the very end.
In fact, Grateful Dead’s last three concerts were so successful that they’re adding a lineup of shows in New York City later this year. The Fare Thee Well concerts took place in both Chicago and Santa Clara back in June and July.
There is some unfortunate news for fans. First of all, Trey Anastasio, the Phish guitarist who filled in for the late Jerry Garcia, will not join the Dead in their later shows. Singer-songwriter John Mayer will be filling in his seat.
Another piece of news: the band will no longer be known as the Grateful Dead. Instead, they will be reintroduced as Dead & Company, according to a previous report via the Chicago Tribune. The Dead’s “Core Four” surviving members will be reincarnated as a new Dead band, featuring Mayer.
The Dead is expected to perform its first show on Oct. 31 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Mayer revealed to Billboard that he didn’t become a Deadhead until he discovered the band on Pandora back in 2011.
“I think Pandora was to thank. It was kind of a blind taste test — a station that wasn’t far genetically from the Dead played ‘Althea’ and I heard this riff and went, ‘What’s that?’ I actually came in from being outside in the pool, I was dripping wet and had to see what was on the iPod. From there, I went [on] to know a few songs and started recognizing pieces of songs … I feel like my generation also has SiriusXM to thank.”
And previously in his 2013 interview with Rolling Stone, John confessed that he believed the Grateful Dead will make a comeback in the near future.
“I’ve been listening to the Grateful Dead nonstop. Mark my words: the Grateful Dead are gonna make a comeback, because of how that music cleanses your palate.”
The musician was previously spotted at Grateful Dead’s Fare Thee Well tour in Chicago with his on-again, off-again girlfriend Katy Perry. Not only was he seeing how the band performs live, but he was probably preparing himself to fill in for Anastasio. It’s obvious that Mayer has some big shoes to fill.
John explained how he got around to speaking to the Dead about jamming with them. He recalls Bob Weir asking him, “What are you doing first week of March?” and the rest was history.
Mayer has been hard at work, preparing for his new venture with the band. The Dead also agrees that the “Continuum” singer brings some much-needed freshness to their music.
“I think that’s the way music stays alive — young artists come in and reinterpret it a bit. […] The catalog might be the most diverse, hard-hitting, powerful and important collection in the history of any band. As a fan, and being a musicologist in my own stupid little way, if you really look at it, it’s a Library of Congress of great songs. It’s a universe of great songs.”
Tickets for the Grateful Dead’s Halloween concert will go on sale on Aug. 14 on the American Express website. Tickets will sell for $50, in honor of the Dead’s 50th anniversary. Meanwhile, top-tier tickets will sell for a little under $100. The band has already launched the bare bones Dead & Company official website, although no more tour dates have been announced as of yet.
[Image: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images]