To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead, the band's surviving "core four" members will reunite for five concerts in Chicago and Santa Clara, California, starting in late June. But as contributing editor David Browne reports in the magazine's eye-opening cover story (on newsstands this Friday), the road to these celebratory "Fare Thee Well" shows has been a strange and twisty one. Featuring interviews with the band's Bob Weir, Phish's Trey Anastasio (who will be filling in for the late Jerry Garcia at the shows), concert promoter Peter Shapiro and others, the story is the most comprehensive peek inside the world of the post-Garcia Dead and the preparation for what the group is calling its "last stand."
Browne explores the delicate planning that went into the "Fare Thee Well" shows and the obstacles that had be overcome: from initial concerns about the impact of Kreutzmann's candid, just-published memoir to Weir's shoulder surgery and neck-strain issues, which, he reveals, require him to practice blindfolded ("I have to realign myself and my posture to play the instrument"). "It was a process," says Shapiro, who made his first attempt to reunite the band a decade ago, for its 40th anniversary. "They each wanted to do it in their own way with their own vision. We had to get to a place where it all came together."
Also in this issue: Matt Taibbi on why Baltimore blew up, Erik Hedegaard on Ronda Rousey, Andy Greene on U2, plus Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, Florence Welch and a star-packed summer tour preview.
Look for the issue on stands or download it on Friday, May 22nd.
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