Grateful Dead drummer pulls out of upcoming shows over heart scare

John Mayer (left), Bill Kreutzmann, Bob Weir and Mickey Hart perform with Dead & Company. Photo: Lori Van Buren / Hearst Newspapers 2018

Grateful Dead drummer and founding member Bill Kreutzmann will sit out a run of upcoming concerts in Mexico with Dead & Company due to ongoing health concerns, he announced Monday, Jan. 3.

Kreutzmann, 75, said in a series of social media posts that his doctor had advised him to skip the band’s upcoming Playing in the Sand concerts in Cancun, which are scheduled to take place Jan. 7-10 and Jan. 13-16.

“Playing in the Sand has become my favorite tour stop in recent years and there’s so much about it that’s just so great,” Kreutzmann posted on Twitter. “And thus, it is with a heavy and still recovering heart that I have to relay a note that I received from my doctor this morning ordering me to sit this one out.”

Kreutzmann also missed a handful of Dead & Company shows last year due to his cardiac issues. Jay Lane, who filled in for him on those fall dates, will now sit in with the band — which includes surviving Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Kreutzmann, along with John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti — for the upcoming shows at the Moon Palace resort in Mexico.

“As many of you know, I had some health issues this past fall,” Kreutzmann said. “After a lifetime of playing special beats, it’s almost no wonder that my heart came up with its own idea of rhythm.”

But “all jokes aside,” he added that he’s going to abide by doctor’s orders “so that I can continue to drum and play for you for many tours to come.”

“I have a lot of music left in me and there’s no stopping me from playing it. I’ve never been one to obey orders or play by the rules but in the interest of longevity, I hope you’ll understand,” he continued.

Kreutzmann was a founding member of Grateful Dead in 1965 (then called the Warlocks) and a member of the band until they hung it up after the 1995 death of Jerry Garcia.

Grateful Dead drummer pulls out of upcoming shows over heart scare

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