Last night’s final Fare Thee Well show; the final joint appearance, ever, by the Grateful Dead’s "core four" of Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann—if you take them at their word—began and ended the same way: with a group bow and a huge roar from a giant crowd.
Jerry Garcia looked around the Grateful Dead’s rehearsal studio in San Rafael, California, and smiled. “It’s good to not die,” said Garcia, who suffered a nearly fatal diabetic coma in July of ’86. The legendary guitarist whose mercurial improvisations are the life’s blood of the Grateful Dead’s music has made a miraculous recovery from an illness that at first left him incapable of walking, speaking clearly or playing.
What a difference a year makes. In February 1969, the Grateful Dead recorded a series of shows at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom and Fillmore West in the hope of finally capturing on tape the psychedelic alchemy of their already legendary onstage interplay. The double album Live Dead, released in November that year, showcased the Dead at their adventurous and exploratory acid-peak best and cemented their reputation as the premier jamming band of the era.
This weekend, the Grateful Dead will reunite for what is being billed as their final concerts. From July 3 through 5, guitarists Bob Weir, bassist Phil Lesh, and drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart will reunite, along with Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio, for three shows at Chicago’s Soldier Field, the site of the band’s last concert with legendary Dead cofounder Jerry Garcia on July 9, 1995.
The Grateful Dead have announced Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead, a live box set that will be released in limited 12-CD/7-Blu-ray or 12-CD/7-DVD formats by Rhino/Grateful Dead November 20.
HeadCount, a non-partisan, non-profit organization with a mission to promote participation in democracy through the power of musicians and their music, and D’Angelico Guitars will auction off a one-of-a-kind D’Angelico guitar signed by original Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir at the upcoming "Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead" shows in Santa Clara, California, and Chicago.
The Grateful Dead played 2,318 live shows, more than any other band in the history of music. For 30 years, the band's live performances were constantly morphing and evolving, making every show a unique experience.
Alvarez, which has had a long-standing friendship with band members Bob Weir and the late Jerry Garcia, has commemorated the group's 50th anniversary by releasing its new Grateful Dead series of guitars—a stunning, limited-edition line.
Recently, Ceekars (pronounced “seekers”) developed what it's calling the world’s first 4D headphones, and the aural experience is trippy. The company reached out to Guitar World and asked us to suggest some music that would put their radically new concept to the test. We responded with the following five tracks.