Fans of the Grateful Dead are saying goodbye to the band this weekend. It’s not the first time.
Since the band lost its frontman Jerry Garcia nearly three decades ago, it has re-formed several times, touring continuously and winning over new generations. Along the way, it has given each new set of fans its own chance to mourn, my colleague Marc Tracy writes.
The day Garcia died in 1995, the Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir gave a concert near Boston. One fan, Albie Cullen, recalled that the encore felt like an emotional send-off for Garcia and the band. “Everybody kind of knew that was the end,” Cullen said. But it wasn’t.
In 2015, the surviving members held a series of goodbye concerts. It was another emotional send-off, but it wasn’t the end, either. Within months, a new iteration had formed, Dead & Company. It features the singer-songwriter John Mayer, who was born more than a decade after the original band formed.
During Dead & Company’s eight-year run, the band once again became a cultural touchstone. Longtime fans came to embrace Mayer, a skilled guitar player. Many young fans discovered the group on streaming services or through its deep online archive of live concerts, and the band recently had its best week of record sales in 35 years. When I saw the band perform at Citi Field in New York last month, the stadium’s upper deck was packed with Gen Z fans dressed in tie-dye.
Tonight, Dead & Company is in San Francisco to play the final show of what it says will be its final tour. Even if that turns out not to be true, once again, fans have embraced the ritual.
“We like to say goodbye. We find a usefulness to saying goodbye. It’s almost like practice,” Marc told me. “People genuinely like the bittersweetness of it. You’re not supposed to like sad things, but people go see sad movies all the time.”
War in Ukraine
The Sunday question: Should Ukraine join NATO?
To bring Ukraine into NATO would “draw a bright line that Russia dare not cross,” Marc Thiessen and Stephen Biegun write for The Washington Post. But the support Ukraine needs after the war can be achieved “without admitting Ukraine to NATO,” The Los Angeles Times’s editorial board writes.
Lives Lived: Everett Mendelsohn, a longtime Harvard professor, became known for lecturing on diverse topics — genetic engineering and the making of the atomic bomb — and encouraging students to examine the impact of science. He died at 91.
THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE
“Onlookers”: Ann Beattie’s new story collection, her “best in more than two decades,” examines the forces shaping America by looking at Charlottesville, Va.
Our editors’ picks: “Directions to Myself,” a poised memoir of parenthood and processing, and eight other books.
Times best sellers: Colleen Hoover is all over the latest paperback trade fiction list.
THE MORNING RECOMMENDS …
Plan the perfect weekend in Telluride.
Convert your desk into a standing one.
THE WEEK AHEAD
What to Watch For
Novak Djokovic, seeking his third Grand Slam title of the year, faces Carlos Alcaraz in the Wimbledon men’s final today.
Jurors in the trial of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting will begin considering on Monday whether to recommend that the judge sentence the gunman to death or life in prison.
The Senate is scheduled to begin considering an annual defense bill Tuesday. House Republicans loaded their chamber’s version with social policy provisions.
Israel’s president, Isaac Herzog, will meet with President Biden at the White House on Tuesday.
The Women’s World Cup begins Thursday in Australia and New Zealand.