With the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead‘s formation coming up in 2015, Bob Weir is urging the group’s surviving founding members to put aside their differences for some sort of commemorative event.
The Grateful Dead were a stalwart presence on the concert trail for three decades until Jerry Garcia‘s death in 1995. Since then, the group has splintered into a series of smaller bands and, more recently, stopped playing together at all.
“If there are issues we have to get past, I think that we owe it to ourselves to man up and get past them,” Weir told Rolling Stone. “If there are hatchets to be buried, then let’s get to work. Let’s start digging.”
Weir, Garcia, Phil Lesh and Bill Kreutzmann — who formed the band in 1965 from the ashes of a Bay Area group called the Warlocks — made up the Grateful Dead’s core over their 30-year tenure. Mickey Hart joined in 1967 and, except for a hiatus from 1971-74, remained until Garcia’s death. Founding multi-instrumentalist Ron McKernan died in 1973. Later members Keith Godchaux, Brent Mydland and Vince Welnick have also passed away.
There have been partial reunions in the ensuing years. Weir, Lesh and Hart toured as the Other Ones beginning in 1998; Lesh subsequently left, and Kreutzmann then joined. The group later renamed itself as the Dead, but it hasn’t toured under that moniker since 2009. Since then, Lesh and Weir have performed as Furthur, while Hart and Kreutzmann have taken the stage as the Rhythm Devils.
“We have to do something commemorative,” Weir said to Rolling Stone. “I think we owe it to the fans, we owe it to the songs, we owe it to ourselves.”
The guitarist will probably have plenty of free time if such a reunion were to happen. His solo project Ratdog, formed in 1995 with longtime collaborator Rob Wasserman, are playing their final shows this month in Mexico before taking a break.