Posted tagged ‘Mickey Hart’

“Grateful Dead” Set to Tour For First Time in 5 Years

January 2, 2009

Surviving members of the Grateful Dead say they’ll regroup for a 19-city tour, their first since 2004, beginning April 12 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

From the Associated Press:

The group, which now just calls itself The Dead, announced its plans Thursday.

Original band members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann have toured sporadically since the 1995 death of guitarist Jerry Garcia, but struggled to get along personally and artistically. They told Rolling Stone in November that they’ve worked out their differences, aided by a successful October benefit concert in Pennsylvania for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Warren Haynes joins the Dead on lead guitar, and Jeff Chimenti will play keyboards.

Advertisements

Former Grateful Dead Keyboardist Dies

October 26, 2008

Merl Saunders, a jazz and rock keyboardist who collaborated with iconic acts including Miles Davis and the Grateful Dead, has died at the age of 74.

From the Associated Press:

Saunders died Friday at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Francisco of complications due to a stroke, said his son, Merl Saunders Jr.

“We loved him very much — and we know that you, his fans, did too,” his family said in a statement posted on Saunders’ Web site. “He was a special man, a beautiful companion, father, grandfather, and family patriarch, and the proof of that spirit is in the way you’ve reached out to us at his passing.”

Born in San Mateo, Calif., Saunders attended high school with Johnny Mathis in San Francisco. One of Saunders’ very first performances was a high school event with Mathis, Saunders Jr. said.

Some of Saunders’ most famous music was made in the 1960s and 1970s when he teamed up with the Grateful Dead’s lead guitarist and singer, Jerry Garcia. The Saunders-Garcia Band recorded two records in the 1970s and the two would play together on an array of projects until Garcia’s death in 1995.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

The 74-year-old musician suffered a debilitating stroke 6 1/2 years ago and, although he lost the ability to speak, he made numerous sentimental guest appearances at shows over those years playing with one hand.

“I never met anybody so happy who had a stroke,” said Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart. “In the end, the only thing that lit him up was the music. Sometimes he’d cry, but I’ve never seen anybody so happy in the realm of music.”