With Dead & Company having recently wrapped their final tour, the band’s manager, Irving Azoff, has revealed why the group decided to retire from the road.

“Touring is physically hard and nobody wants anybody to get really sick out there,” Azoff explained to Pollstar. “Billy (Kreutzmann) got really sick last year, and I think that freaked [fellow Dead & Company co-managers] Steve (Moir) and I and Bernie (Cahill) out.”

Kreutzmann, a founding member of the Grateful Dead, suffered in recent years through back and heart ailments, along with a bout of COVID-19. The health problems forced the drummer to miss a number of Dead & Company shows in 2021 and 2022. This year, he opted to sit out the band's 29-date farewell trek, leaving Bob Weir and Mickey Hart as the only remaining Grateful Dead members in Dead & Company.

“Mickey is a wonderful soul and a lovely guy and he can say, 'I can go forever,' and Bob would say the same thing,” Azoff noted, “but the rigors of 30-some nights with trucks and buses and airplanes and all the moving around, probably for both the quality of the music and the health/safety it was time to at least put an end to the touring.”

Dead & Company closed their farewell tour with three sold-out nights at San Francisco’s Oracle Park. Though the band is done with touring, members have left the door open for possible one-off performances.

“We never said we’ll never play again, but we’ll never tour again,” Hart admitted to ABC Audio. His thoughts were echoed by John Mayer, who wrote on social media: “Dead & Company is still a band – we just don’t know what the next show will be.”

Likewise, Azoff insinuated that Dead & Company have not played their last gig.

“These guys love each other and the music stands for itself,” the manager explained. “The touring parts are over, but there are still special events I’m sure will get offered to them, and you never say never. I’ve learned from managing the Eagles all these years that you never ask that question while the tour is going on. You’ve got to let them finish it, get some rest and get back to their lives and the future will bring what it brings.”

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