The Dead live

Well, it looks like the remaining members of the Grateful Dead have shucked the played-out “Other Ones” monicker and have decided to call their new band simply “The Dead.” In doing so they’ve managed to split hairs, technically leaving the official name of the Jerry-era band retired but resurrecting a name that matches how most fans have tended to refer to the GD in casual conversation.

It will be interesting to see if there’s any reaction. There’s no doubt that the present incarnation hits some very similar places as the original band (some described the shows in December as providing “seconds of ecstasy”), but to the Jerry-centric among us the current act remains a pale echo of the band in its heyday.

Having broken the taboo, though, it means that there is now an official band playing the Dead repertoire and possibly a vehicle for continuing indefinitely, as the old guard inevitably falls away. To get any kind of credibility, though, they’re going to have to write some new material that can stand up alongside their best work from the past. Should be interesting to watch.

The Dead will debut their new name at the Warfield in San Francisco on Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2003).