Dead & Company drummer Bill Kreutzmann on Monday gave fans an update on the lingering health issues that prompted him to step in and out of the band’s lineup over the last few weeks. In a post on social media, the original Grateful Dead drummer squashed rumors by stating categorically, “I’m not retiring!”

“Well, friends, I was hoping to be back in the saddle already, but since I’m not quite there yet, I thought I’d tell you exactly what’s going on,” Bill The Drummer wrote. “No more speculation or rumors. I’m okay! It’s not my heart. And I’m not retiring!”

Kreutzmann was first sidelined on the summer 2022 tour on June 22nd when he sat out the band’s second set at Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, OH and gave Jay Lane the reins. Bill posted on social media during set break that he “did pull a muscle the other night in Boulder and while I’m fine, I’m going to sit out some of this next set.”

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The next week of shows saw Kreutzmann intermittently step in behind the kit, sometimes for the entire first set, one time for the second set post-“Drums”, and another for just “Drums” and the closer. By the time the calendar flipped to July, there was no sign of Kreutzmann onstage at any Dead & Company shows.

“As most of you know, I had a back issue that suddenly appeared in Boulder, but I nipped it in the bud,” Kreutzmann wrote. “Just as I was ready to come back full-strength, I pulled a positive on an antigen test. Despite all the tour protocols that I took very seriously, it still got me. Darn it.”

“My case was mild and – thankfully – I’m testing negative again,” he continued. “However my strength isn’t quite back to show level. But it gets closer every day.”

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The tail end of Dead & Company’s 2021 combined summer/fall tour was plagued by similar health issues for Kreutzmann, beginning at the band’s two-night Red Rocks Amphitheatre debut. Bill ultimately missed out on five shows on the tour’s October backstretch, including two more at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre outside Denver, and the Halloween tour closer at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl.

“I miss seeing all of your faces,” Kreutzmann concluded in his Monday evening post. “I haven’t thrown in the towel and I cannot wait for our joyful reunion. I love you all so much.”

Dead & Company performs tonight, July 12th, at The Pavilion at Star Lake in Burgettstown, PA before wrapping their summer tour with two nights at Citi Field in New York City on Friday and Saturday.


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