"What a long, strange trip it's been" is a lyric from one of the Grateful Dead's best known songs and pretty much tells a bunch about the long history of this band. The earliest traces of the band began in 1960 when band founder and leader Jerry Garcia met Robert Hunter who would become the band's main lyrics man. The Dead evolved in 1964 from Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions which featured Garcia on banjo and guitar along with guitarist Bob Weir and keyboardist Ron "Pigpen" McKernan.
Bob Weir already has a secure place in rock history as the Grateful Dead's co-vocalist and what Andrew Clarke (in one of England's leading newspapers, "The Independent") called the genre's "greatest, if most eccentric rhythm guitarist." When you have a modest, anti-promotional personality - and when you spend 30 years next to an icon - it's easy to fall under the radar.
Furthur is a rock band founded in 2009 by former Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Phil Lesh. The band's lineup also includes John Kadlecik of the Dark Star Orchestra on guitar, Jeff Chimenti of RatDog on keyboards, and Joe Russo of the Benevento/Russo Duo on drums. Jay Lane left Furthur after the March 12, 2010 show to rejoin American funk metal/rock band, Primus.