Happy Birthday Bill Kreutzmann! Watch The Drummer Reflect on 50 Years of the Grateful Dead
Bill Kreutzmann turns 75 today. This weekend, he will celebrate via Grateful Mahalo, a special three-night event in Kauai, Hawai’i featuring his Billy & The Kids band (Aron Magner, Tom Hamilton and Reed Mathis), Carlos Santana, Billy Strings and James Casey. The shows will be available at fans.live/mahalo.
To celebrate, we’re looking back at an enlightening interview from 2015. At that time the five Fare Thee Well performances were primed to be the last Grateful Dead shows ever, but watching this clip, you can tell Kreutzmann had an inkling these historic gigs were also the start of something new.
“I’d like to have a couple more shows on the East Coast,” he says overlooking Soldier Field. “I’d want to do it for the fans. We’ve had such amazing support from the East Coast from Deadheads and the whole thing called the ‘Grateful Dead Belt’ between Boston and Washington. They deserve concerts like everybody. That’s just my wish.”
In due time, Dead & Company would form, reigniting the GD flame and giving Deadheads coast-to-coast plenty of chances to dance, twirl and sing along to their favorite band.
Kreutzmann also recounts the first time he met Jerry Garcia, saying, “I watched him, and I was totally taken away by him. Amazed. The person that got me was Jerry. I said, ‘I’m going to follow him forever.’ I saw magic that you don’t see in everyday people.”
Watch the full piece below.
Happy Birthday Billy!