When the Grateful Dead’s surviving members announced a trio of farewell shows in Chicago over July 4 weekend, the process was so fraught with complications — scalpers buying up tickets and hawking them for insane prices, camping permits denied — that they added some extra gigs in California the weekend before. That seemed like a reasonable thing to do: More fans can get in on the fun this way, and those who bought tickets for Chicago are still getting to see the final shows. Or are they? Billboard reports that the Dead are planning a fall tour with John Mayer, which would certainly undercut their repeated assertion that the Fare Thee Well shows would “mark the original members’ last-ever performance together.”
According to insiders, the trek is due to kick off in October, with the Grammy-winning singer and guitarist having already begun to jam in a rehearsal-like setting with select members of the group, chief among them Weir. Observers say he’s ecstatic about the prospect.
A rep for the band says the report is “premature,” but that phrasing sure seems to indicate that talks are happening. If the Mayer tour plans are real, even though they wouldn’t necessarily be touring under the Grateful Dead name, it certainly would put a different spin on the Fare Thee Well shows, wouldn’t it?
Below you can watch Weir and Mayer play “Truckin'” on the Late Late Show from earlier this year.