When Dead & Company returns to the road this summer for the band’s final tour, it will be without original Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzman.
Dead & Co., which sprang from the ashes of psychedelic rock legends the Grateful Dead, has been one of the most successful touring acts of the past few years, featuring Kreutzman alongside original Dead members Bob Weir and Mickey Hart, with guitarist John Mayer taking over lead guitar and vocals that were originally contributed by Jerry Garcia, who died in 1995 at age 53.
On Saturday, April 22, the band issued a statement via social media to reveal that Kreutzman had dropped out of the tour.
“Every day, things change. After many long discussions and some good old-fashioned soul searching, we are letting you know that our brother Bill Kreutzmann will not be joining us on our final summer tour. Bill wants you to know that he is in good spirits, good health and he is not retiring,” the statement continued.
“This is the culmination of a shift in creative direction as we keep these songs alive and breathing in ways that we each feel is best to continue to honour the legacy of the Grateful Dead,” the statement added. “The final tour will go on as planned with Bill’s full endorsement and support.”
The message concluded with “See you at Jazz Fest,” referencing Dead & Co.’s headlining slot at the iconic New Orleans music festival next month, which will serve as the kickoff for their farewell tour.
Since forming in 2015, Dead & Company has been one of the most successful touring acts in music history.
Prior to the pandemic, the group had raked in an estimated $300 million in ticket sales from tour dates.
Meanwhile, the story of the Dead will be coming to the big screen, with Martin Scorsese in the midst of developing a biopic featuring Jonah Hill portraying Garcia.