Dead & Company’s Co-Manager Talks Future of The Band, Bill


Photo Credit: A Rood

In a recent interview with Pollstar, Dead & Company co-manager Irving Azoff discussed the band’s future, tapping into the sextets’ successful eight-year cycle on the road and what might be expected from the group–who recently concluded their Final Tour on Sunday, July 16, at Oracle Park in San Francisco. 

Azoff, who has notably managed big-name touring acts like the Beach Boys and Eagles (since 1972) and gained Rock & Roll Hall of Fame status in 2020, commented, “These guys love each other and the music stands for itself.” He continued, “The touring parts are over, but there are still special events I’m sure will get offered to them, and you never say never. I’ve learned from managing the Eagles all these years that you never ask that question while the tour is going on. You’ve got to let them finish it, get some rest and get back to their lives and the future will bring what it brings.” 

Azoff also backtracked and touched on the ensemble’s time with the original backbeat, Bill Kreutzamann. “Touring is physically hard and nobody wants anybody to get really sick out there. Billy (Kreutzmann) got really sick last year, and I think that freaked Steve (Moir) and I and Bernie (Cahill) out. If it would have been this year, rather than last, you’d look at it and say, ‘Hey, maybe this shouldn’t be over,’ but look, Mickey is a wonderful soul and a lovely guy and he can say, ‘I can go forever,’ and Bob would say the same thing, but the rigors of 30-some nights with trucks and buses and airplanes and all the moving around, probably for both the quality of the music and the health/safety it was time to at least put an end to the touring.”

Notably, on April 22, Kreutzmann delivered a message to fans announcing that he would no longer participate in Dead & Company’s final tour. He said: “I have loved this chapter with Dead & Company, as we got to explore The Music with some new interpreters and different antennas, but we always knew it was just a chapter. The Music never stops.” The drummer followed up by sharing tour dates with his Billy & The Kids ensemble. 

The rest of the band showed their support in a response post via Dead & Company’s Instagram, where they collectively stated: “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.” Notably, Jay Lane stepped in, taking the coveted seat beside Hart in full capacity this past year. 

To support claims that Dead & Company will continue at some capacity, Mayer reiterated Azoff’s commentary, writing on social media, “Something magical happened on this tour, and I don’t think any of us saw it coming. @deadandcompany is still a band – we just don’t know what the next show will be. I speak for us all when I say that I look forward to being shown the next shaft of light… I know we will all move towards it together. This band changed my life, and I love you all for it.”

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