Grateful Dead once gave their fans a far-reaching promise: "As long as you want to hear us, you will have a band". Now the fans of the Grateful Dead, the much sung about deadheads, are not to be compared with other fans. They follow their band on tour everywhere, young fans still get tattoos of the faces of Pigpen and Jerry Garcia (dead since 1973 and 1995, respectively), deadheads embody the counterculture of the late sixties, as if the Summer of Love never ended. The degree of their devotion shows that the formation, founded in California in 1965, is not just any band. Warner Music/Rhino are now taking this fact into account again by releasing the complete works of the formation. In addition, the 11-CD live box set "May 1977: Get Shown The Light" (as an excerpt the 3-CD release "Cornell 5/8/77") and the double CD set "Long Strange Trip: Motion Picture Soundtrack" for the Dead documentary of the same name have now been released.
There is no official band called Grateful Dead since the death of Garcia. In fact, the group, which is famous for its artistic psychedelic improvisations, comes together again and again in different formations and thus keeps its promise to the fans. In the summer of 2015, however, the inevitable end of the Dead seemed to come for a moment: Under the motto "Fare Thee Well" the remaining original members came together for five concerts to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the group and to say goodbye. At least that was the official reading. Rhythm guitarist Bob Weir did not join him from the beginning. After the five "Fare Thee Well" shows, it soon became clear that he and drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann would continue to tour as Dead & Company with guest musicians including US singer-songwriter John Mayer. They are currently on a 20-concert stadium tour of the USA.