Just a few months after their smash summer debut touring with the Furthur Festival
ended its run, the Other Ones -- a newly formed band comprising former members of the
legendary hippie-jam band the Grateful Dead -- are planning to release a live collection.
The album, tentatively titled The Other Ones Live, most likely will be a two-CD set,
according to Dead publicist Dennis McNally.
The group -- an assemblage of former Dead members Bob Weir (guitar), Mickey Hart
(drums) and Phil Lesh (bass), along with honorary Dead keyboardist Bruce Hornsby and
four other live musicians -- headlined this summer's jam-heavy Furthur Festival. It was
the most successful jaunt yet for the 3-year-old Dead-centric tour.
McNally said plans call for the album to be available in mid-October by mail order and to
be released to stores in January.
"The guys had a mobile recording truck out on tour for the last 11 or so dates of Furthur,
and they're going through the tapes now," McNally said. Though the tracks have yet to
be chosen, among the songs expected to make the cut is an extended jam on the Dead
HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Grateful_Dead/Fire_On_The_Mountain.ram">"Fire on the Mountain"
on the Mountain"(RealAudio excerpt of original), which McNally promised
would "knock your socks off."
Among those missing from this Dead side project is hippie hero singer/guitarist Jerry
Garcia, who died in his sleep on Aug. 9, 1995, during a stay at a Northern California
drug-treatment facility where he'd been admitted to battle his continuing heroin
addiction. The rest of the Dead decided to disband at that point, choosing to focus on
long-standing solo projects instead.
An incomplete lineup of the Other Ones -- which currently also includes drummer John
Molo, saxophonist Dave Ellis and guitarists Mark Karan and Steve Kimock -- was
unveiled for the first time during an impromptu jam at a benefit staged by Lesh in San
Francisco in December. The band made its full-fledged debut as part of Furthur Fest this
Although Dead fans are certainly starved for new music from their favorite band, David
Gans, host of the 13-year-old weekly syndicated radio program "The Grateful Dead
Hour," said he is withholding judgment on the Other Ones for now. "I only saw one of
their shows this summer," Gans said, "and it took them a little while to get going, but once
they got going, I was extremely pleased with what I heard."
Gans said he's experienced a wide variety of opinions on the Other Ones. While
Deadheads should be delighted at the existence of a new band featuring ex-Dead
members, Gans said there is also another faction of followers who will not be satisfied
"until Jerry Garcia himself comes down and plays for them. It's a weird situation for a
weird culture. I think Jerry Garcia built up decades' worth of good will, and it will be
interesting to see how this new band fares."
However, Jesse Klock, 14, the webmaster of an unofficial Dead site, falls firmly in the
former camp. "I think it is great that the Other Ones are releasing an album," he said.
Although he has never seen the Other Ones live, Klock said he has several tapes of
Other Ones shows from this summer that have led him to believe that the group is living
up to the legacy of the Dead. "I would love for the Other Ones to record new original
material," he said.
One thing's for sure: Deadheads were more than willing to turn out in droves this
summer for the debut of the Other Ones on the Furthur Festival, which logged its best
numbers to dates. According to Gary Bongiovanni, editor of concert-industry trade
magazine Pollstar, the Furthur Festival, which also featured sets from blues
revivalists Hot Tuna and nouveau hippie band Rusted Root, had an average per-city
gross of $497,514 and sold an average of 18,184 tickets per show on the 22-show tour.
The numbers accounted for a more than 50 percent increase over last summer's per-city
average of $223,470 in gross sales income and 8,654 tickets sold, Bongiovanni said.
"They played up, in advance, the fact that they'd be doing Grateful Dead material," he
said. "And while they weren't calling themselves the Grateful Dead, they let people know
they'd be doing versions of Dead songs, and the community came out."