John Mayer Talks Dead & Company In New Interviews
Guitarist John Mayer is currently hard at work prepping for a lengthy Dead & Company Tour that starts in Albany on October 29. Mayer spoke with both the Associated Press and Mashable about the project which features Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann along with with bassist Oteil Burbridge and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti.
One of the more intriguing parts of the new features comes within the AP’s piece. Phil Lesh is the one “Core Four” GD member who isn’t participating in the project. Weir told the Associated Press he “did not rule out the possibility of Lesh joining an upcoming show.” You may recall that the Chicago Fare Thee Well shows were billed as the last time Lesh, Hart, Weir and Kreutzmann would all share the stage together. Mayer addressed the situation by telling the AP, “I don’t know of any Deadhead in the world who said, ‘When I paid my money, I paid to see these guys finish this,'” in reference to whether any fans would be upset to see the “Core Four” or even the threesome perform together again.
John Mayer went into more detail about his Grateful Dead background and the rehearsals in a chat with Mashable. “I heard the opening riff to ‘Althea,’ and it was just directly injected into my vein, and from that moment on I had this thing in my blood. … I just went down the wormhole,” said about hearing the Garcia/Hunter late ’70s rocker on Pandora in 2011. The guitarist is not only studying the basics of each song Dead & Company plans to play but also “what he calls the ‘ergonomics’ of Garcia’s stylings, from the fat, wet, slappy low-end foundations to the shimmering, warp-speed jazz-charged solos … and all points between.”
Bob Weir talked to Mashable about what Mayer brings to the table, “We struck a vein in there somewhere that we can draw endlessly off of. Everything’s good. We’re not concentrating on when he’s soloing; concentrate on when nobody’s soloing. That’s where you’re gonna hear where he fits in this little assemblage.” Bobby also addressed whether Dead & Company will compose original material, “It’ll happen. Right now, our call of duty is to learn the book. New songs and stuff like that will emerge from jams, whether during the rehearsals or the shows.”
Dead & Company hit the road on the 29th and have 22 shows scheduled through the end of 2015.