John Mayer Wants Phil Lesh To Guest With Dead & Company And Talks Trey Anastasio
In a just-published interview with David Fricke of Rolling Stone, Dead & Company guitarist John Mayer talks extensively about the band including a dream he has for Summer Tour, a meeting he had with Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio and many other topics.
John Mayer’s first full concerts with a member of the Dead came just over a year ago, when he sat-in for two entire shows with Phil Lesh & Friends at the Grateful Dead bassist’s Terrapin Crossroads outpost in San Rafael, California. Phil is the only member of the Dead’s “core four” who isn’t participating in Dead & Company, but that hasn’t stopped Mayer from pining for a Lesh guest spot. “I’m a masochistic optimist,” Mayer told Fricke while laughing. “I hope one night Phil comes down and grabs the bass. No disrespect to Fare Thee Well but that would be fun, wouldn’t it?” the guitarist said in reference to claims last summer’s Fare Thee Well shows would be the last time the “core four” of Phil, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann would share the stage.
John also spoke about Dead & Company performing “Box Of Rain,” a song co-written and sung by Phil Lesh. “Do I need to reach out to Phil, get his blessing?” Mayer asked Weir who said, “Absolutely not. Phil would love it.” The guitarist said of the song, “The great thing is that its one of those rock-solid core songs that happens to be in my range vocally – but also in my range metaphysically.” Dead & Company debuted “Box Of Rain” on Friday night in Cincinnati, watch:
Mayer discussed how he splits songs with Weir for Dead & Company live shows:
The delegating of songs falls into two rules. If Bobby sang it originally, Bobby is still singing it. If Jerry sang it, if my vocal range can get it, I usually go for that song. And it’s really sweet. There are a couple of songs Bob wants to hold on to half of the blanket with, so there are some songs that we share.
David Fricke asked Mayer what he spoke with Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio about during the Fare Thee Well shows and John relayed an interesting anecdote, “[Trey said] ‘This doesn’t belong to anybody. It doesn’t belong to you or me or anyone else.’ It was loud backstage. There was a drum solo happening [laughs]. But what a sweet guy, who in the middle of his break during one of the most intensive concerts anyone has played, when I asked him about his guitar, he takes it off, puts it around my neck and says, ‘Check it out.'” The guitarist went on to say, “It’s the pay-it-forward thing. Someone instilled that in him. He helped instill that in me. And when there’s another guy coming up, I’ll be putting the guitar around his neck.”
In other John Mayer news we recently reported, the guitarist and Bob Weir will appear on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live next week. Head to Rolling Stone for more of John Mayer’s chat with David Fricke.