As the Grateful Dead's 50th anniversary approaches, Furthur, the band formed by the Dead's Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, have called it quits. And the news is fueling rumors that the Dead may reunite next year to celebrate their golden anniversary.

Furthur announced their breakup on their website, writing, “To our loyal Furthur fans and members of the Furthur community at furthur.net, we’d like to thank you for a terrific ride. We’ll be closing up shop at furthur.net, and heading onward. Thanks for making the Furthur community a great place to hang out, and for coming out to the shows. We’ll all be keeping very busy over the foreseeable future, and it’s time to let Furthur take a bow. We enjoyed the ride more than we can possibly express."

Weir and Lesh first got together as Furthur five years ago as a way to foster both the Dead's music and their spirit. They were a favorite on the festival circuit, where they played sets loaded with classic Dead songs as well as new tunes that embodied the legendary group's ethos.

But why exactly are they "closing up shop"? Rumors have been spreading for months now that the Dead's surviving members may reunite next year for their 50th anniversary. And by breaking up the one band that came closest to offering fans a real Dead experience, are Weir and Lesh prepping for a reunion? That seems to be the general consensus.

Even the group is up for it. Back in January, Weir told Rolling Stone that “we have to do something commemorative, I think we owe it to the fans, we owe it to the songs, we owe it to ourselves.” Sure smells like reunion talk to us.