drummer Bill Kreutzmanone of the founders of Grateful Dead and a member of the spinoff group dead and companywill not be part of the band’s farewell tour this summer, the band announced on a social media account on Saturday.
While fans thought his debut might be health-related, the band clarified in their post that this isn’t the case, adding that they’re not retiring from music, as they’ve had to sit through some Dead and Company shows in recent years. The statement said Kreutzmann’s departure was due to a “creative change of direction”. No further explanation was given in the statement as to what this could mean.
“Dear Deadheads,” the announcement began, “Every day something changes. After a lot of long discussion and some old-fashioned internal searching, we’re informing you that our brother Bill Kreutzmann won’t be joining us on our last summer tour. Bill is in good spirits, in good health, and won’t be retiring. He wants you to know.”
The statement continued, “This is the pinnacle of creative change while keeping these songs alive and breathable in a way we think is best to continue to honor the legacy of the Grateful Dead. The final tour will continue as planned with Bill’s full approval and support.”
The post is a friendly “See you at Jazz Fest!” ended with. and Dead and Company’s Bob Weir, John Mayer, Mickey Hart and Kreutzmann. This New Orleans festival look marks the start of the final round on May 6.
But that doesn’t mean Kreutzmann won’t be playing in New Orleans anytime soon—just not with Dead and Company. As of now, his other band, Billy & the Kids, is listed as the lead actor of a “Fleur De Dead” concert on April 27 at that city’s Saenger Theater.
Kreutzmann had to skip some Dead and Company shows in 2021 and 2022, including the Hollywood Bowl, which he left midway through, and the band’s Playing in the Sand festival in Mexico. Back and heart issues have been cited for some of his past missed shows.