While the Grateful Dead may have reached their official end earlier this year, three of the band’s surviving core members have decided to continue on by forming a new supergroup with guitarist John Mayer, and they are planning their debut for this fall.
The Grateful Dead famously shuttered their career earlier this year with the “Fare Thee Well” shows, which took place in Chicago and featured Phish’s Trey Anastasio on guitar, as the Inquisitr previously reported. Any notion of retirement seems to have been short-lived, however, as three of the band’s “Core Four” members have now signed on to the new project, Dead & Company, which will feature Mayer taking on the late Jerry Garcia’s role.
— EntertainmentTonight (@etnow) August 6, 2015
While well-known for his guitar prowess, Mayer is an extremely recent fan of the band, first finding himself attracted to their music in 2011. As Billboard reports, it was the Dead’s classic Althea that caught the guitarist’s ear while he was listening on Pandora.
“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.”
— Stereogum (@stereogum) August 5, 2015
Dead & Company are scheduled to make their debut later this fall, on Halloween night at Madison Square Garden, as Rolling Stone reports. Guitarist Bob Weir and percussionists Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart are set to team with Mayer in the group, which will be rounded out by the Allman Brothers’ Oteil Burbridge on bass and Ratdog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti. Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh will not be a part of Dead & Company, preferring instead to focus on his own project, Phil Lesh and Friends.
— Relix Magazine (@RelixMag) August 5, 2015
Interestingly, the group originally approached Phish bassist Mike Gordon about potentially joining them, but according to Weir, Gordon’s schedule wouldn’t allow for him to take part.
“Mike has way more stuff on his plate than he can manage now,” he observed. “Oteil was a natural go-to and he’s more than up to the task.”
Though their first concerts are still months away, John Mayer also revealed that he has been practicing with the former Grateful Dead members since March in anticipation of the first Dead & Company shows.
[Photo by Jason Kempin / Getty Images]