The Grateful Dead spinoff group Dead & Company is scheduled to perform on tonight’s episode of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! and, according to The Los Angeles Times, the band is hoping to raise awareness about more than just its music during the appearance. The newspaper reports that the band has invited at least 300 people who support legalizing marijuana for recreational use in California to attend the show in an effort to inspire voters to get behind the cause.
The legal pot issue will be on the ballot in California this November, although the use of medical marijuana already has been legalized in the state. Dead & Company are encouraging members of various organizations that support the legalization of recreational marijuana use to wear themed T-shirts, bring signs and dress up in costumes — such as a giant joint — to the taping to help get the message out during the national telecast.
“The folks it would be hitting on that broadcast would be outside our normal sphere of influence,” founding Grateful Dead and Dead & Company member Bob Weir tells the L.A. Times. “We’re about music, but we’re about other stuff as well, and we always have been. We need to make our feelings on the subject as apparent as we can.”
Dead & Company members initially asked if legal-pot advocacy groups could sponsor the Kimmel episode but the suggestion was shot down. They then came up with the plan to have a large group of supporters attend the show, with hopes that it will encourage a conversation about the issue.
“They’re respectful advocates, and they’re very thoughtful in their approach to this entire industry,” Dead & Company manager Bernie Cahill says of the group. “I don’t see that changing.”
Dead & Company will be performing as part of the Jimmy Kimmel Live! summer concert series on an outdoor stage set up behind the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. The show airs at 11:35 p.m. ET/10:35 p.m. CT.
The band’s lineup features three core Grateful Dead members — Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart — as well as pop-blues star John Mayer and ex-Allman Brothers Band bassist Oteil Burbridge. The group will launch a U.S. summer tour on June 10 in Charlotte, North Carolina, that’s mapped out through a July 30 show in Mountain View, California. Check out the band’s full itinerary at DeadandCompany.com.
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