Bill Kreutzmann has issued an official comment on his absence from this summer’s Dead & Company shows. The founding Grateful Dead drummer started off the group’s current tour playing with the outfit for their entire two-set show, but then began missing large portions of the ensemble’s gigs a few dates in. He has been off the road completely for a few days.
In a statement posted on social media, Kreutzmann explains:
Well, friends, I was hoping to be back in the saddle already, but since I’m not quite there yet, I thought I’d tell you exactly what’s going on. No more speculation or rumors. I’m okay! It’s not my heart. And I’m not retiring!
As most of you know, I had a back issue that suddenly appeared in Boulder, but I nipped it in the bud. Just as I was ready to come back full-strength, I pulled a positive on an antigen test. Despite all the tour protocols that I took very seriously, it still got me. Darn it.
My case was mild and – thankfully – I’m testing negative again. However my strength isn’t quite back to show level. But it gets closer every day.
I miss seeing all of your faces. I haven’t thrown in the towel and I cannot wait for our joyful reunion. I love you all so much.
Jay Lane has been subbing for Kreutzmann when he is unable to perform. In addition to his long association with Bob Weir, Lane has also done a few tours of duty with Primus. Dead & Company will perform in Burgettstown, PA tomorrow.