Current Issue Details

Buy Current Issue


Published: 2013/01/31

John Mayer Thinks The Dead Will Have a Comeback

John Mayer spent most of 2012 off the road battling a serious throat condition. Though his condition prevented him from singing, Mayer has been jamming in the studio with his live band, which includes The Allman Brothers Band/Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell. He has also played guitar at a few classic rock events, including two guest spots with The Rolling Stones and a memorable appearance at the Love For Levon benefit where he soloed on The Grateful Dead’s “Tennessee Jed.”

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Mayer discusses his current infatuation with the Dead. He goes on to say

I’ve been listening to stuff and just falling in love with certain things. I’ve been listening to the Grateful Dead nonstop. Mark my words, the Grateful Dead are gonna make a comeback, because of how that music cleanses your palate. When everything is processed and quantized and gridded out – to hear “Tennessee Jed” played with that lope is a real palate-cleanser. They take their time, sometimes too much. This free expressive sort of spirit – I listen and I want to find a mix of that openness. I kind of want to go to that show, if it still existed. But I wish that there were tunes that I was more familiar with. I wish that I could be the singer. I wish I could have harmonies. And I wish that I could make it seven minutes instead of 13 minutes. Now I’ll get the opportunity to kind of try that.

Mayer has performed onstage with Phil Lesh, including at the Jammys in 2005. He also teased Phish’s “Stash” during one of his live shows.


There are 43 comments associated with this post

skippy January 31, 2013, 10:04:16

Welcome to the party, now clean your palete, shut up and listen

Really? January 31, 2013, 10:09:16

Where do you come back from when the music never stopped? What an idiot. Even if he does take the 13 minute song into a 7 minute song and get his shit on the radio that way…he’ll still have less fans now and forever than the “come back” band mentioned.

mtn gold January 31, 2013, 10:38:13

take another hit John or keep dropping, your so close

me January 31, 2013, 11:00:00

Some of you Dead fans can be douches on occasion… let the guy have his say… you’re right, he’ll never be Jerry… but all he’s doing is complimenting the music, and adding his opinion… lighten up… and if you can’t admit that there are one or two times that they played a song too long, then you are not being honest… and, no, I’m no John Mayer fan other than I think he’s a good blues guitarist…

kenny January 31, 2013, 11:46:36 comeback needed, they never left us

elizabeth rumplemintz January 31, 2013, 11:47:08

Comeback? lol. When did they cease being popular?

dave January 31, 2013, 11:47:22

I couldn’t agree more. I love the dead. Always will. Glad hes discovered the magic. Think its great that hes complimenting them. Mayer is an amazing guitar player

jack straw January 31, 2013, 11:52:33

its more ^^ this. Dead music has taken some vacations and variations but has NEVER left us. Mayer is a killer blues player (also don’t care for 99% of his tunes) — but there is a difference between discovering something and predicting its return – the former being humble – the latter being, well, John Mayer.

brotherbill January 31, 2013, 12:27:25

now he can pick up an acoustic and play with Yonder Mountain String Band

Kacie January 31, 2013, 12:48:52

omg hes my soul mate

tellsemlikeIsmellsem!!!!!! January 31, 2013, 13:01:33

I think the Dead is dead….. look at Furthur…. shit is soooo beat…

Seriously January 31, 2013, 13:11:39

People always say what a great blues guitar player John Mayer is…let’s see it. Send me a link that would make the average viewer step back and say “damn…”

me January 31, 2013, 13:29:32

Hey Seriously… one simple example… I wouldn’t suggest that he’s the next Jimi or Stevie Ray, but the guy is no guitar hack either…

MarZaPhiGar January 31, 2013, 14:01:08

Dude shreds-I have hate-watched him and can confirm. Gar would have gladly eaten the requisite shit in exchange for the $ from writing “your body is a wonderland.”

dk70 January 31, 2013, 14:14:34

I give him the benefit of the doubt in that he’s immersed in the river of crap that is the pop world. A pretty naive statement nonetheless, though. It also discounts the fact that countless bands and musicians influenced by the Dead have been kicking ass for years. Not too mention the exponential throng who go to jamband festivals on a yearly basis. Nice guitar player who can really rip, I’ll never get into him though probably because of “wonderland” and other sellout tripe.

not a mayer fan January 31, 2013, 17:06:02

of all the Grateful Dead’s kicka$$ songs, mayer mentions “Tennessee Jed”?? someone send him a tape of a blazing 1969 “Cryptical>Other One>Cryptical>Eleven.”

soul stu January 31, 2013, 17:13:10

Mayer’s a total clown. Anybody see him perform with Herbie Hancock @ bonaroo few years back? He ruined entire gig. Was absolutely awful, his first & only gig as a member of Herbie’s band. Sure.. maybe he can copy a few of other people’s blues licks, but he’s nothing but a popstar with little real ability or vision. I will give him credit for hiring some good musicians to play with him though, they dont come much better than chuck leavell. Very glad Derek Trucks was able to liberate drummer JJ Johnson from the gilded cage that is Mayer’s band. Mayer’s not a real artist, but @ least he knows how to recognize them from time to time. Wonder if he’s still watching Derek Trucks Band “Songlines” dvd for inspiration before gigs every night?? Ha! Score one for throat sickness, keep that joker’s mouth shut…

drasticjasper January 31, 2013, 18:25:43

John Mayer is a total dbag and is pop not even rock or blues…closer to bieber than garcia…newsflash we don’t care what Bananarama’s opinions on the dead are either

epic January 31, 2013, 20:52:32

feed him the L send him to further

Ultimatelywhogivesafuck January 31, 2013, 21:03:06


tour rat February 1, 2013, 02:56:28

John Meyer’s my #1 source for dead news, that’s for sure. And the fact that he teased a phish song in one of his shows seals the deal. Tour book for me

mosquitos on the river February 1, 2013, 10:25:37

While mayer has been caught up in the pop world for the majority of his career, you can’t deny that he is an above average blues player, the fact that he is invited to Crossroads more than once says he’s caught some peoples eyes. oh btw great Derek trucks comment. in case you were wondering if he still is watching him….. Im just happy he found the dead, even if he isnt a purist, we should be rejoicing at the fact that there is a comeback in terms of ‘popular’ music w/ the dead

Darly314 February 3, 2013, 15:02:17

I heard just a few of his….uh…..guitar impressions. I want the TIME wasted back. Not only racist, he is also ‘backwards’ in talent.

Tim February 5, 2013, 11:04:05

That’s enough, John Mayer

BentEar February 5, 2013, 22:33:48

Mayer kind of trainwrecked this tune. Had to keep it in C while he “solo’d?” If he has such respect for the music why didn’t he learn the song? And him rushing the tempo at the beginning kind of killed the vibe for the band and for listeners as well. That was a failed attempt at a 7 minute Dead tune.

moondick February 6, 2013, 14:02:19

Mayer is a better guitar player than Jerry could ever dream of. It just sucks his record company makes him put out a crappy record every 3 years. Easily one of the top 5 living guitar players.

Soul Stu February 6, 2013, 18:35:48

^^Moondick. Your name alone says it all, youre a subtle genius. Mayer’s second coming of messiah. Bach, Beethoven, Mozart… He influenced all of them. I used to think guys like Hendrix, SRV & Coltrane had talent…. Until “Your Body Is A Wonderland” came out… Then I realized what music was really meant to be. Thanks for your incredible opinions, “moondick.” Suck it…

Chucky cheese string February 7, 2013, 11:59:43

It’s funny. We used to love it when people “discovered” the Dead back in the day. A sorta “welcome to the family” type of thing. Here is a mainstream musician claiming he has discovered the magic and is totally into it — and all the above posts trash the guy. Seems odd to me.

chocodog February 7, 2013, 14:56:00

OK, let’s talk…I’ve never seen so many bottom feeders and trolls on one site (and I love this site)...all of you “hippie” types are the biggest haters for no reason what-so-ever! What did John do, have a couple hit songs so now he sucks. I am not a fan of John Mayer, but am a fan of MUSIC!! Saw him dual it out with Derek Trucks at the Jammy’s in 2002…an amazing musical moment, check it out. Seen some other JM shows, the boy can play guitar, he’s a musician, I don’t follow him for advice or to see if the dead will return. And the recent years of dead stuff have been brutal for long time fans. Furthur is a great COVER BAND, actually have former members in the band. JK is a great Jerry too, close your eyes and listen. My point is…you people are such hater and complainers over shit you don’t even know about. Time to start calling some of you tools out…if you don’t have anything nice to say, keep it to yourself.

mb February 7, 2013, 19:31:53

The guy definitely has chops. It’s nice to see that he’s seen the light so to speak. If we can make room for Huey Lewis and Hanson it seems we could accept an arrogant primadonna like Mayer. I’m just sayin’ ...

Cheese Dip February 8, 2013, 17:50:31

Who cares if John Mayer is good or not… the real point is that this guy claims the dead are coming back…where did they go? if Derek Trucks, Jimmy Herring, Warren or any other respected musician claimed the same… They would sound like an idiot too

mb February 8, 2013, 18:56:59

Maybe by “comeback” he’s referring to the fact that the Dead were playing stadiums twenty years ago and Further doesn’t fill 7,000 seat areas. There are plenty of “respected” musicians out there who simply don’t get the Dead and that’s okay. As someone who has long thought that they don’t get the acclaim that they deserve, it’s nice when other musicians give them their due. Even if they/we sound like “idiots.”

mb February 8, 2013, 19:48:42

Maybe by “comeback” he’s referring to the fact that the Dead were playing stadiums twenty years ago and Further doesn’t fill 7,000 seat areas. There are plenty of “respected” musicians out there who simply don’t get the Dead and that’s okay. As someone who has long thought that they don’t get the acclaim that they deserve, it’s nice when other musicians give them their due. Even if they sound like “idiots.”

JJC February 8, 2013, 23:00:59

I’d like to know what the box office take was for Further as compared to John Mayer in 2012.
I bet Further sold more tickets.
Does comeback mean that they will be popular enough that the tabloid magazines are going to show Phil Lesh and his current significant other in Aruba. The Dead were never mainstream but they have probably played more shows than any other band ever. The next tour is already planned. And they are in their 60s and 70s and not 30 something.

pugdog February 9, 2013, 10:40:12

Lighten up…everyone has their own trip. I think it’s cool he’s discovered them and is finding his own appreciation for what they bring to his ears. It’s all good. With that said…I’ll take 13 minutes over 7 minutes any day of the week! ~:)

Brolin February 9, 2013, 18:58:34

Mayer – in the top 5? Hold on while I get some cleaner to wipe off my screen. Stuff just jetted out of my nose and blew all over – I’ve never laughed so hard in my entire life!

John Giaccone February 10, 2013, 04:07:08

I’ve seen guitarists in local bars that would put his playing to shame. Even the jam faces he makes while “shredding” seen phony.He’s as boring as his name sounds. John Mayer zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Easy February 10, 2013, 17:15:38

The fact that he wished he could have been at the show is exactly why he thinks some of the songs are too long. Its not johns fault he hasn’t experienced the experience.

Drewblood February 10, 2013, 20:37:11

John can play and write granted he’s said some stupid shit in the past but come on he was a kid he’s grown up a little and who the hell do you music snobs think you are anyway he’s the one onstage your sitting behind your computers condemning someone for loving great music! GET A LIFE.

Ron February 11, 2013, 06:50:32

I can’t believe the amount of trolls on this site.
It’s like phantasytour had love child with Honey Boo Boo. Would love to see Mayer play with Phil and bob.
Welcome to the family. Don’t listen to the assholes.
Said assholes, lighten up, you make the jam band scene look douchy.
We are cool people, show the world that.

Adam February 11, 2013, 22:21:31

The Grateful Dead were all about the live show. The only way there is a comeback is if Jerry came back…. Mayer top 5 ….....hahahahaha not even close. Better late than never to get on the bus though !!

Chris March 1, 2014, 17:02:27

“psychedelic rock” which The Grateful Dead define, is not about simplifying mainstream songs. glad your inspired, but saying you would like to be at a show just to take the spotlight and butcher the songs is rather egotistic and ignorant.

gregman January 30, 2015, 15:55:21

The omnipotent GRATEFUL DEAD

Carole January 30, 2015, 19:24:48

It’s over people, has been for a long time now.

Note: It may take a moment for your post to appear

(required) (required, not public)