Bob Weir And John Mayer Talk Dead & Co’s Beginnings And The Legacy Of The Dead In New Interview

first_imgAhead of Dead & Company’s two-night stand at Fenway Park this Saturday and Sunday, The Boston Globe has just released a new interview with Bob Weir and John Mayer. In this latest article, both Mayer and Weir talk about Dead & Company and what it means to be a part of the act. For Mayer, he speaks on the honor of being in such an act whereas Weir speaks more holistically about the group as part of the Grateful Dead’s legacy.Notably, Mayer describes himself as a “fan boy . . . obsessed” with the Grateful Dead and that his participation in the group is “an honor beyond. It’s knighthood.” While initially, Deadheads may have skeptical when the Grammy winner was tapped for Dead & Co, particularly considering how dialed-in the group was during this past week’s string of shows in Boulder, Colorado, and Atlanta, Georgia, Mayer has more or less assuaged these fears for many. Still, the lead guitarist addresses this fact, saying, “I knew it would draw skepticism from anyone who heard about it without hearing us. . . . 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.”Dead & Co Impress With Silky Segues, Miles Davis Jam, Lively “Terrapin” In ATL [Photos/Full Video]Bob Weir, as an insider from the Grateful Dead’s onset, talks about what it was like to be a part of the Grateful Dead. He focuses on the more free-spirited, companionable focus across the members of the group and particularly of his connection with Jerry Garcia, “We got along real well. We amused each other musically and otherwise. We just had fun together. That turned into a career.” He later goes on to state that the success of the group lay in the members’ ability to “[keep] ourselves amused. It’s that simple. . . . On and off stage. Really nothing much more to it.”Though Mayer references the “distance to see the beauty,” Weir has no such distance though is equally poised to see the beauty of the group, particularly when contrasted with the Grateful Dead’s time together and the band’s legacy. Despite a number of various spin-offs, he notes that among them Dead & Company “has a lot of promise.” Weir reiterates Mayer’s abilities and the ability of Dead & Company as a unit moving forward, stating that the group is “becoming its own thing” and that they’re in “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.”Dead & Company Sets The Bar High For The Final Night Of Their Stellar Boulder Run [Full Audio/Videos]Both Mayer and Weir offer their perspectives on how the group came together, initially during a 2015 segment on the “The Late Late Show.” It seems as though the two’s chemistry was immense from the get-go. As Weir retells, “[Mayer] invited me as a musical guest, and we did a sound check. We were supposed to do two songs, and after two hours they unplugged us. . . One thing led to another.” However, Mayer’s retelling similarly describes it as a “confluence of events,” though he makes the events seem more intentional, stating, “I’m capable of inducing my own obsession. That’s what happened with the Grateful Dead.” As Weir and Mayer began more formally meeting, Mayer states that after he “explained to them what their music meant to me,” Weir invited him on, most likely due to the larger ethos of the Dead that “If you think you can do the job, come help out. This is not music you want to listen to, but participate in.”Though rumors have circulated about Bob Weir’s health as he rounds toward his 70th birthday, the founding Grateful Dead member assuages the fears of fans whose minds may drift toward the idea of his retirement. “I wouldn’t last long in retirement. . . . I love to play, always have.”You can read the full Boston Globe article here, which goes more in-depth into Dead & Company’s beginnings and sees Bob Weir speak briefly on the Grateful Dead’s fan base, Woodstock, his dreamlike songwriting techinque, and more.[Photo: Erik Kabik]last_img read more