I’m the only one left who loves the Grateful Dead
Posted On June 18, 2021
I’m one of the few people left in the Grateful Nation who still believes in them, and that belief is being tested by an unlikely band of people.
It’s a group of friends and fans who want to see what happens when a band who, according to some people, were “just a bunch of deadheads” in the 1980s and ’90s gets their due, and the answer to their prayers is that they’re going to be a big part of it.
“They’re going away for a few months, but they’ll come back to us,” says guitarist and vocalist Brandon LaFrance, who, along with bandmate Grace Kelly, formed Grace Kelly and the Good People in 2015 and was in the process of writing their fourth album, the follow-up to 2012’s The Other Side of the Sun.
“I think they’ll have some big moments.
I’m not sure when it will be, but hopefully we’ll see them on tour.”
I’m the first one left with no hope of seeing the Grateful.
I still feel like I’m just a bunch at the end of the tunnel.
I’ll be doing some stuff, but I’ll probably be playing the guitar, too, and I won’t be playing as much as I used to.
I can’t imagine playing any of these gigs that they’ve done, but at least they’ll be there.
“I remember when we were a band, we had to play a lot of shows, but then we got the gig and everyone said, ‘Oh, you’re not good enough.’
I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m good enough.
What do you want me to do?’
And they said, you gotta play five or six gigs a week.
So I went back to playing with my bandmates for a couple of years.
That’s when I started to realize I’m really good.”
The Grateful Dead, circa 1980.
(Photo courtesy Grace Kelly/Courtesy Grace Kelly)LaFrance is in the midst of the fifth tour in four years, which will take him and Kelly to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Montreal, and New York.
It was there that the Dead were joined by the band’s longtime drummer Keith Godchaux, who died in 2016.
The group, which also includes LaFrance and drummer Brandon LaCroix, will release a new album and a live album in 2018.
It also plans to tour the United States and Europe in 2019.
LaFrance and Kelly both have other projects in the works, as well.
“When I was with Grace, she had a record label and was doing her own stuff, so I was doing my own thing.
I was writing a song, and it was kind of hard to get it out,” he says.
“Now I’m doing my solo stuff, and then we’ll have another record with her.”
In a way, they’re being pushed forward, but that’s also why they want to come back.
“We’re still doing the things that we love,” says LaFrance.
“There’s always going to come a time when it’s going to need to change, and we’ll still be making music.”
They’re not the only ones who think so.
“They are such an important part of our culture,” LaCrois says of the Dead.
“It’s like, they are so important to me.
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s sitting on the floor in the middle of the room and singing ‘Ohhh, we love you, we miss you.'”
And for those who aren’t dead yet, they’ve got a reason for that.
“Grateful Dead is the most important band in history,” says Kelly.
“Not because they’re the most popular band, but because they’ve become so integral to our culture and the way we understand our world.
I feel like, if you don’t listen to them, you’ll never understand how we live our lives.”
If they’re playing, I’ll still have to see them.
And I’ll always be in the back of the house.
“You’ll always know where we are,” Kelly says.
I don’t even have a clue who’s on the other side of the stage.
And they’re probably not going to play again.
That was one of my biggest regrets when we started.
I never really wanted to do it again.
I’ve never had any intention of doing that again.
And it’s something that’s really important to us.
We’re going on the road to see who we are, and if we don’t make it back to see the Dead, we won’t know who we really are, or what’s really in it for us.