CHICAGO — The Grateful Dead is planning on making one final splash — or should that be “Ripple”?
The venerable San Francisco band is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its formation with a three-day stand at Chicago’s Soldier Field on July 3, 4 and 5, it said in a news release. The band’s last concert took place there 20 years ago.
The four original surviving members — Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir — will take part, along with Phish’s Trey Anastasio and longtime Dead pal Bruce Hornsby. Keyboardist Jeff Chimenti is also participating.
Guitarist Jerry Garcia died in 1995. The band has also lost other members, including Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, a singer, organist and harmonica player who died in 1973, and keyboardist Keith Godchaux, who died in 1980.
The band, commonly known as “the Dead,” formed in San Francisco in 1965, part of that city’s growing rock ‘n’ roll counterculture scene along with Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company and the Charlatans. It developed a hardcore fanbase of Deadheads thanks to tireless touring and a close-knit, open-minded culture.
Its songs include “Ripple,” “Uncle John’s Band,” “Truckin’,” “Box of Rain” and “Touch of Grey.” The latter is the Dead’s only Top 10 hit.
“It is with respect and gratitude that we reconvene the Dead one last time to celebrate — not merely the band’s legacy, but also the community that we’ve been playing to, and with, for 50 years,” Lesh said in the news release. “Wave that flag, wave it wide and high.”
More information can be found at dead50.net.