Grateful Dead Honor Bill Walton: ‘World’s Greatest Deadhead’

Remaining members The Grateful Dead paid tribute to NBA Hall of Famer and beloved Deadhead Bill Walton, who died of cancer on Monday at the age of 71.

A branch of the band is Ted & Company issued a statement On social media, she wrote, “Bill was an irreplaceable force and spirit in our family. Father Time, Rhythm Devil, the greatest Deadhead. Over 1,000 shows and can’t get enough. He loved this band and we loved him.

Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzman wrote their heartfelt reports. “Yo Bill, thanks for the ride,” the player wrote, posting photos with the athlete. “Thank you for the amazing friendship, the years of color commentary — and the Hall of Fame you wore like headlights.”

Both drummers wrote lengthy tributes, with Hart describing Walton as “the best friend I ever had,” along with a photo of the two laughing together. “He called himself the luckiest man in the world, but we were lucky — to know him, to share the adventure with him,” he said. “He was the world’s biggest Deadhead and used our music as the soundtrack to his life. After our shows, he would often send messages saying, ‘Thank you for my life. … There are things you can change. Others you can’t. Bon Voyage, old friend, I love you.

Meanwhile, Kreutzmann revealed He has “incredible” stories about Walton, which he promises to share after Walton’s death. “It’s not too late, because before we can laugh, we must first allow ourselves to cry,” he wrote. “Damn it. It is a day of mourning.

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“In many ways, he was our first fan … but Bill would have taken issue with that ranking because he won so many awards during his storied basketball career — including the MVP — that Bill insisted the Grateful Dead was not a competition — and that all the dead are equal,” he added. said. “Whenever I play, there’s always a hole where there should be a seat, about ten rows back, in the middle, where Bill stands, eyes closed, hands up, and he feels himself running to the music. It was a happy place for him, seeing him there. Mine… I loved Bill Walton. As we say in the land of the dead: May the four winds send him home safely.

John Mayer, who joined the extended Grateful Dead family as a member of the offshoot group Dead and Company, shared a tribute, writing that Walton “lived a life that the rest of us might reach for our second (or) third) round. He had an eye for the things that really mattered, the vision. We already know better than to lose, but one of Bill’s best skills is to make him stand up in bed and see the light in his life where he refuses to break eye contact.

Meyer thanks Walton for helping him find his place in the Grateful Dead universe. Noting the “steep” climb to acceptance in that rarefied realm, Meyer said Walton “gave her a huge lift with his kindness, his encouragement and his friendship.”


“He will be deeply missed, but his approach to life will never be forgotten,” the mayor concluded. “When times are tough, I think it’s good advice if you play Bill Walton and it’s all right.”

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This story was updated 5/28/24 @ 2:02 pm with a report from John Mayer.

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