About Dead & Company
Dead & Company is a band consisting of former Grateful Dead members Bob Weir , Mickey Hart , and Bill Kreutzmann , along with John Mayer , Oteil Burbridge , and Jeff Chimenti .
Mayer recounts that in 2011 he was listening to Pandora and happened upon the song "Althea" by the Grateful Dead, and that soon Grateful Dead music was all he would listen to. In February 2015, while Mayer was guest hosting The Late Late Show, he invited Grateful Dead guitar player Bob Weir to join him in a studio performance. A bond developed between the two, and while Weir and the other three surviving core members of the Grateful Dead were preparing for their 50th anniversary shows, dubbed Fare Thee Well, Mayer began practicing the band's large catalog of songs. That August, Mayer and original Grateful Dead members Weir, Hart, and Kreutzmann formed the band, along with keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and bassist Oteil Burbridge. Mayer expressed a particularly strong enthusiasm toward playing with the new band.
Phil Lesh, the original bassist for the Grateful Dead, was not asked to join.Mike Gordon of Phish briefly auditioned for the bassist role but had to withdraw due to being too busy with other matters.
Dead & Company initially announced only one concert date on October 31, 2015, at Madison Square Garden in New York but announced a full tour shortly afterwards. The shows were called "magical" and the tour was very well received.
Following the band's final 2015 performance on December 31, 2015, Mayer told fans that they could expect more Dead & Company concerts in 2016 and this was confirmed by Weir when he was interviewed on Periscope. The band initially had one performance confirmed for 2016 at the Bonnaroo Music Festival but announced a full summer tour on February 8, 2016. On February 18, 2016, the band performed on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to promote the tour.
In 2016, Mayer and Weir expressed strong optimism about the band's future, including the possibility of new studio recordings. Mayer said he "will never close the door on Dead & Company, ever." Weir spoke of a "cosmic, out-of-body vision" he had, and a subsequent dream, of the band continuing for decades hence:
We were playing...and suddenly I was viewing this from about 20 feet behind my head, and I looked over at John from that point of view and it was 20 years later and John was almost fully gray. I looked over at Oteil and his hair was white. I looked over to my left and Jeff's hair was all gray." "it was new guys, younger guys holding forth, doing a great job...playing with fire and aplomb....It changed my whole view of what it is that we're up to. I find myself wondering, 'Well, what are they gonna be saying about this new approach or this honoring of this tradition? What are they gonna be saying about that in 200 or 300 years at the Berklee School of Music?' That's the kind of stuff that goes through my head now because this legacy here, there's a chance now that they'll be talking about us in years to come. So I find it incumbent on myself to think in those terms.
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