Grateful Dead is not dead after all. Though their summer concert series was called Fare Thee Well, the group isn't leaving, just adding some new members, notably John Mayer.
The new band, called Dead & Company, has three core "Dead" members, guitarist Bob Weir and drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. Only Phil Lesh, the bass player, won't be part of the new group.John Mayer isn't the only new recruit. Allman Brothers Ban bassist Oteil Burbridge and RatDog keyboard player Jeff Chimenti have become members.
Dead & Company's first performance will be held at Madison Square Garden on Halloween. Tickets go on sale August 14th at 10 a.m. for the general public, costing less than $100 dollars for top-tier tickets, according to Billboard.
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Apparently, Mayer has been practicing Jerry Garcia's guitar parts since March. He fell in love with the song "Althea" back in 2011. "Now four years later, it's what I call shaking the big Polaroid: really taking in and learning all that music," Mayer told Billboard.
All three "Dead" members commented on the new band to Billboard, offering some explanation for the new makeup, especially Mayer.
"Those songs weren't done with us," Weir explained. "It was a matter of who wanted to get back out on the road and keep doing it." He added that Mayer's enthusiasm "was the cherry on the sundae that made this project look like a good idea."
Hart said, "all the pieces just fell together magically.There was a kind of serendipity there."
"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," explained Kreutzmann.