Dead & Company are about halfway through a tour that will keep them on the road through the first day of July. This weekend, the six-piece featuring Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann joined by John Mayer, Jeff Chimenti and Oteil Burbridge return to Boston’s famed Fenway Park for a pair of shows at the ballpark. Weir and Mayer discussed the band in a preview just posted by the Boston Globe.
The shows at Fenway have extra importance to Mayer, who attended Berklee College Of Music. “I’d have my guitar on my back, looking at that Citgo sign, wondering if this is all just a pipe dream,” John recalled. “Everyone wants to ‘make it’ in the place they dreamed about making it. So, this is almost a sumptuous — and I’ve never said that word in an interview — a sumptuous experience.” He went on to talk about how much Dead & Company means to him. “I’ll never be able to express how much I appreciate Billy and Bob and Mickey letting me have a home in this music,” Mayer said. “I don’t go around saying things are honors when they’re not — but this is an honor beyond. It’s knighthood.”
John Mayer realizes there are some Deadheads who might have a hard time accepting his presence. “I knew it would draw skepticism from anyone who heard about it without hearing us,” Mayer noted. “I’m not afraid of it — that’s what made me work so hard. I know I’m under scrutiny. But I have a distance to see the beauty. I’m coming in as a guy with no umbilical tie to it. I enjoy every last second. I cannot believe that I am, in some way, vestigially a part of this band.”
Bob Weir talked about the current status of Dead & Company. “It’s full-on Grateful Dead operational mode, we plug in and take it for a little walk in the woods. And [Mayer] is more than capable of doing that.” He said the band’s gameplan continues where the Grateful Dead left off, “The contour of the show, more or less, that got formalized with the Dead; that much we inherited from the Dead” yet recognizes the group is “becoming it’s own thing.” Weir called Dead & Company his favorite of the post-Jerry bands with the exception of RatDog. As for the future, Bobby recognizes “this one has a lot of promise” and may go on for years to come.
Head to the Boston Globe for more from John and Bobby including Weir’s thoughts on retirement, the night he met Jerry Garcia and the Dead’s performance at Woodstock.
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