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The Dawn of “The Dead”

The Other Ones change their name

The four surviving members of the Grateful Dead have retired the
name the Other Ones in favor of “the Dead.” And, while some
Deadheads will see this move as sacrilege — believing that the
name died with Jerry Garcia in 1995 — the actual Dead members
(bassist Phil Lesh, drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann and
vocalist-guitarist Bob Weir) view the move as a reconnection with
their legacy. The band also features Jimmy Herring on guitar, Jeff
Chimenti on keyboards and Rob Barraco on keyboards and vocals.

Discussions to resurrect “the Dead,” which was always shorthand
for the band’s full name, began following a hugely successful
two-day music festival last August at the Alpine Valley Music
Theater in East Troy, Wisconsin, which featured the Other Ones and
the band members’ individual side projects.

“Seven years ago, when Jerry passed, we made a conscious
decision to retire the name Grateful Dead,” the band members
explained via a post on their Web site, dead.net. “We did so after
some deep soul searching and out of our love and respect for what
we had created together. After we played our first shows together
at Alpine Valley last year, we were all profoundly affected by a
sense of awe and connection that none of us had felt since we
played with Jerry. It was a magical occurrence that no one could
have anticipated, yet one we all want to embrace. To us, this was
the Grateful Dead — without Jerry.”

The Other Ones used those two Wisconsin shows as a springboard
for a successful fall tour and a big hometown New Year’s Eve show
at Oakland Arena with Hot Tuna and Medeski Martin and Wood.

“Finally, in the course of this winter, they talked and the end
result was [they said], ‘Well, it’s not the Grateful Dead, because
there is a guy missing, but we are the Dead,'” explains Dennis
McNally, the band’s longtime publicist/historian. “To celebrate
that evolution they are throwing this little benefit party.”

“This little benefit party” will be the hottest ticket in the
Dead community this week. The Dead are making the name change
official with a special small venue show at the Warfield Theater in
San Francisco on Friday, a benefit for the band’s regular
assortment of worthwhile causes — the Rex Foundation, the Unbroken
Chain Foundation and the Further Foundation.

Playing the Warfield will also bring the post-Garcia era full
circle. The Other Ones debuted on that stage on June 4, 1998,
playing an evening of classics like “Jack Straw,” “Box of Rain” and
“Fire on the Mountain,” and now will be put to rest at the same

The Dead plan to tour the U.S. this summer.


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