Grateful Dead Bandmates Return For New Tour With John Mayer

By Casey Moffitt in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 5, 2015 8:40PM

It's a story we've heard a thousand times before—a band plays its "last shows" only to be resurrected a short while later to do it all over again. This time, it's the Grateful Dead.

The body is barely cold after the surviving "Core Four" of the Grateful Dead performed three Fare Thee Well shows during the Independence Day weekend at Soldier Field. It's been buried long enough for you to buy the complete experience on DVD, of course, but Billboard magazine reports today that another incarnation of the legendary jam band will begin a tour Halloween night at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart and Bob Weir will be joined by John Mayer for the fall tour as Dead & Company. Jeff Chimenti will join them on keyboard as he did for the Fare Thee Well performances with Oteil Burbridge on bass guitar. Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh is sitting this one out. So we'll call this the "Core Three," then?

Billboard magazine reported back in April that Mayer and Grateful Dead members were rehearsing for a fall tour. We contacted Dead publicist Jon Bleicher at the time who told us definitively that the Fare Thee Well shows were going to be last time the Core Four performed together. He also said he had no knowledge of whether a few Grateful Dead members were planning anything with Mayer.

Technically, Bleicher was telling the truth. Still, this announcement is a rather tacky move after all the hype and hoopla surrounding the Fare Thee Well shows. And we're curious to hear reaction from the Dead faithful, especially those who dropped a substantial amount of money to catch even just one of the shows last month.

Yes, the Dead have come and gone under different variations and with a changing roster of team members since Jerry Garcia passed away in 1995. But never had the band put an absolute on their career like they did for the Fare Thee Well shows, and that's what makes this tour a little bit more egregious.

No other tour dates have been announced. We're wondering if Dead & Company has the stones to stop in Chicago.