The Grateful Dead’s “Fare Thee Well” tour had Phish’s Trey Anastasio taking the place of Jerry Garcia, and those five shows were supposed to be it. Of course, we all know the shows were hugely successful, the most-watched music PPV event ever, and it now looks like the boys aren’t done yet. Back in April, rumors began to swirl around that John Mayer would be sitting in with the Dead for a select few shows, and those rumors are becoming a reality.
On Halloween night (October 31), three of the Dead’s main players – Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann – will reunite once more, this time with John Mayer as Dead & Company, at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Bob Weir tells Billboard, “These songs weren’t done with us, it was a matter of who wanted to get back on the road and keep doing it.” The guitarist then went on to add that Mayer’s enthusiasm was a major factor, as well, telling the magazine that it was “the cherry on the sundae that made this project look like a good idea.”
Mayer is a recently new Dead Head after discovering the band’s song “Althea” on Pandora back in 2011. Telling Billboard, “I just love that riff. There’s always that moment when something grabs you, and you have a point of reference — that was mine. Now, four years later, it’s what I call shaking the big Polaroid: Really taking in and learning all that music.” If you’re hoping to catch Dead & Company on tour, you might be in luck, as Weir says of future shows: “It’s kind of late in the year to put together a tour, but we’re gonna try.”