The American President bids farewell to the Dead

President Barack Obama has paid tribute to the Grateful Dead with a message congratulating the group on their 50th anniversary and enduring legacy.

According to a report on Relix, Obama’s message appeared on the cover of the programme for the band’s final tour dates.

“Here’s to fifty years of the Grateful Dead, an iconic American band that embodies the creativity, passion and ability to bring people together that makes American music so great,” Obama wrote. “Enjoy this weekend’s celebration of your fans and legacy. And as Jerry [Garcia] would say, ‘Let there be songs to fill the air.'”

The Grateful Dead finished their Fare Thee Well run – featuring the surviving “core four” of Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann paired with Jeff Chimenti, Phish’s Trey Anastasio and keyboardist Bruce Hornsby – last night [July 5, 2015].

Rolling Stone flags up Obama’s connection to the Grateful Dead. They report that Weir, Lesh and Hart reunited for the first time in four years to perform at “Deadheads for Obama” in February 2008. Later that year, in October 2008, the Dead once again reunited – this time with Kreutzmann – to perform at an Obama rally in Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile, following on from our exclusive live version of “Viola Lee Blues”, at the band’s October 10, 1967 show at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, we’re delighted to offer you more exclusive Grateful Dead goodies. Click here to watch it.

This time, get ready for a live version of “Shakedown Street” recorded in 1981 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

This exclusive live track is taken from 30 Trips Around The Sun: The Definitive Live Story 1965-1995, a four disc set containing previously unreleased live performances from the Dead’s archive, which is released on September 18 by Rhino.

The History Of Rock – a brand new monthly magazine from the makers of Uncut – goes on sale in the UK on July 9. Click here for more details.

The August 2015 issue of Uncut is in shops now – featuring David Byrne, Sly & The Family Stone, BB King and the death of the blues, The Monkees, Neil Young, Merle Haggard, the Only Ones, Flying Saucer Attack, Ezra Furman and more.

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.