Mayer and Weir are interviewed by Rolling Stone, about their upcoming tour together as Dead & Company. The band started discussing the tour with Mayer in January but did not book it until after the Grateful Dead’s highly successful Fare Thee Well gigs with Phish in Santa Clara, California and Chicago. Mayer:
I remember writing Bob afterward going, ‘Hey, enjoy the afterglow. To be quite honest, those [Dead & Company] dates came out in groupings not because we were trying to stage this really high-energy, suspenseful plot of dates — we were putting them together as they were coming out.
Mayer says he has been practicing nonstop, attending what he calls “Grateful Dead University.”
You have to understand that particular song’s flow. And then I pick up the guitar and find out kind of where it lives on the fretboard, and then I sort of go a little deeper. Each song gets that layered thing, so that by the time I really know it, I know how the song goes, what the sort of guitar approach is, but then also what the sort of ethic of the song is…Grateful Dead songs are so much fun to play. And some of them are as fun as they are hard to play. Part of the challenge is not disappearing into how much fun it is — [where] you forget that this is actually a highly complex composition.
John’s enthusiasm for this is amazing — I couldn’t believe it,” he says. “He learned the songs, has great enthusiasm, and he’s a great guitar player. So he fits in perfectly.