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The Other Ones go "Down the Road Again"

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The Other Ones truckin' along without Jerry

Web posted on: Thursday, July 16, 1998 4:37:42 PM EDT

From Correspondent Bill Tush

HEMPSTEAD, New York (CNN) -- When Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia died in 1995, many people thought the band would follow to the graveyard of has-beens. But surviving band members are alive and well at this summer's Further Festival.

The music of Grateful Dead is being heard in the form of The Other Ones. Original band members Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir have brought back Bruce Hornsby on keyboards and added some new band members to help rearrange and reinterpret Grateful Dead classics.

'New life'

"We're trying to sort of breathe new life or at least take them to different musical places," Hart says of the band's treatment of his old group's songs.

Enjoying the ride are new drummer, John Molo, saxophonist Dave Ellis, and guitarists Steve Kimock and Mark Karan. The 21-city tour has had critics raving and most Deadheads smiling.

"It's been incredible. Everything is in the air, the love, the vibe, everything," said one fan at a recent festival in New York.

But The Other Ones don't pretend to offer a substitution for Jerry's band.

'My favorite songs'

"For anybody to say they're filling Garcia's shoes is a joke," Karan says. "We're playing this music with these people and we're doing the best that we can."

Weir says this tour is the tonic he needs.

"These are some of my favorite songs," he says. "I really couldn't picture not playing these songs again. Life would be pretty empty."

'He'd be smiling'

According to Weir, Grateful Dead merchandising continues to do strong business, and he says plans for a $50 million dollar Grateful Dead museum "should be a fun thing to do."

And as the show goes on, band members say Jerry would be proud.

"It's a ritual that doesn't need to stop," Hart says. "I know Jerry wouldn't want it to stop. I know that he'd be smiling knowing that we're going on and playing the music."

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