Former Basketball star Bill Walton, whose new memoir Back From The Dead: Searching For The Sound, Shining The Light And Throwing It Down covers both his life on court and his relationship with The Grateful Dead, has hinted that the band may play again this summer.
Asked about the last year’s Fare Thee Well shows by The Onion’s AV Club, Walton responded, “Don’t ever think of it as a closing chapter. It’s just another verse. They’re going out again this summer and I’ll be out again too.”
The Grateful Dead played two shows in Santa Clara last summer before winding up their farewell dates with three in Chicago. At the time they announced that the gigs marked, “the original members’ last-ever performance together.” They were joined by Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, and Bruce Hornsby on piano.
Walton, who has seen the Grateful Dead live more than 850 times as well as winning two NBA titles and being voted league MVP in 1978, says, “I’m a fan and a friend, I met them in 1974 when I first joined the NBA and my life has never been he same since. I became the basketball player I was because of the Grateful Dead.
“I started going when I was in high school. I was 15. It was the Summer Of Love. I went to my first show, got right up front and never left. The incredible excitement, the family, the spirit, the hope, the happiness, all the different things I love and live for in life are there. The joy, the optimism, the teamwork, the experimentation, the exploration, the curiosity. No band has inspired more artwork, no band has inspired more books. No band has ever inspired a more loyal following and I’m involved in all of that stuff.”