In the wake of the 1995 death of Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, The Dead is the name of the band's current incarnation. Previously, they had toured as The Other Ones, but suffered from internal friction and an artistic vision that clashed with the name.

In February 2003, the band issued a press release stating the name change involved an intention to deepen and expand upon their rich legacy rather than create "other" music, adding new flavors to old recipes to delight innocent and seasoned tongues alike. They feel they are still the Grateful Dead; Jerry's just not there.

Therefore, with the greatest possible respect to our collective history, we have decided to keep the name "Grateful Dead" retired in honor of Jerry’s memory, and call ourselves: The Dead.

They went for a test run at a Valentine's Day show at the Warfield in San Francisco. Apparently, things gelled. The deep roots of the four remaining original members nourished the young saplings and together the alchemy reignited.

Mickey said of the new group:

This band has always been all about the personal relationships, and the deeper the relationships are, the better the music will get. It’s like a couple that’s been married for a long time, and they eventually get sick of each other and break up. And then a few years later, they meet up again, and fall back in love, and they elope and get remarried!

They kicked off their Summer Getaway Tour 2003 this past weekend at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. Long-time lyricist Robert Hunter has been working with the band on some new songs that may be trotted out on this tour.

The lineup is:

Bob Weir -- guitar
Phil Lesh -- bass
Mickey Hart -- drums
Bill Kreutzmann -- drums
Rob Barraco - keyboards
Jeff Chimenti -- keyboards
Jimmy Herring -- lead guitar
Joan Osbourne -- vocals

Personally, I can't freakin' wait for the show close to home. It'll be good to see my favorite music through a new prism.

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