June 20, 2018 / 3:17 PM

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John Mayer, Grateful Dead Members Unite as Dead & Company



Iconic folk-rockers the Grateful Dead wrapped up its extensive and mystifying career over the Fourth of July weekend with its Soldier Field "Fare Thee Well" gigs, but Eastcoasters have been eager to bring the Dead across country. Although the "Core Four" took their final bow, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir have decided to join forces with musician John Mayer, Allman Brothers bassist Oteil Burbridge and Ratdog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti to invent Dead & Company.

The latest supergroup will make its live debut in New York City with a Halloween gig at Madison Square Garden. Although the Dead performed what seems to be its last collective gig, Weir told Billboard "Those songs weren't done with us. It was a matter of who wanted to get back out on the road and keep doing it." Weir continued to explain that Mayer's enthusiasm to perform Dead songs "was the cherry on the sundae that made this project look like a good idea."

Rumors have bounced off the walls concerning Mayer's future involvement with the remaining members of the Dead, comparing him to Phish's Trey Anastasio, who stepped in for the late Jerry Garcia during the "Fare Thee Well" gigs. Phil Lesh and Friends had previously exchanged riffs with Mayer for a couple of California gigs in June. As Jambase notes, Lesh will remain on the outskirts of the Dead & Co. Halloween gig due to a previous Phil and Friends gig booked in Port Chester, NY.

Weir also detailed to Billboard that they tried to acquire Phish bassist Mike Gordon to join the latest project but after having auditioned, Gordon pulled himself from the running. "Mike has way more stuff on his plate than he can manage now," Weir said. "Oteil was a natural go-to and he's more than up to the task."

"I'm honored and excited to share that I'll be joining Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, and Jeff Chimenti of the Grateful Dead and John Mayer for a new venture—Dead & Company," Oteil said in a statement. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to try to help take the members of this iconic band to new places."

Tickets for the Madison Square Garden gig go on pre-sale for American Express cardholders on August 10 while tickets for the general public go on sale on August 14 via Ticketmaster. Ticket prices are sold for either $50 or $100, following in the footsteps of the Dead's 50th anniversary premise. The band hasn't released any future tour dates but they've begun to put some work into crafting the foundation of their official website.

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