Dead & Company have alerted fans that co-founding drummer Bill Kreutzmnann will be sitting out of the band's upcoming summer tour. Kreutzmann has been dealing with heart issues in recent years and has sat out of various runs over the past few touring cycles.
Bob Weir's solo bandmate Jay Lane drummed for Kreutzmann dering the previous shows he had missed, but so far there's been no word as to whether he'll be on board for the coming summer trek.
A message was posted in Instagram, which read:
Every day, things change. After many long discussions and some good old-fashioned soul searching, we are letting you know that our brother Bill Kreutzmann will not be joining us on our final summer tour. Bill wants you to know that he is in good spirits, good health and he is not retiring.
This is the culmination of a shift in creative direction as we keep these songs alive and breathing in ways that we each feel is best to continue to honor the legacy of the Grateful Dead. The final tour will go on as planned with Bill’s full endorsement and support.
See you at Jazz Fest!
“Let the Music Play the Band”
Bobby, Billy, Mickey and John
Bill Kreutzmann explained that as the Grateful Dead wound down in the mid-1990's, the realities of running what was essentially their own corporation began to slowly taint the group's artistic sensibilities: ["The overhead of the business was so demanding that you couldn't just stop playing, because all the people that work for you; your crew, your office staff, and the truckers, and the 13 different semis it took to drive your band (equipment) would go bad, would break. I think towards the end it got to be like that, it got to be much more money conscious than in the beginning. Y'know, the purity may have run its length, but it would still come back at times. Even in some of the, the weirdest shows when things weren't going right, you could still bring the joy out, you could still bring some happiness out of even those dark times. It's just, it took a lot more work when it was the dark side."] SOUNDCUE (:34 OC: . . . the dark side)