For the past 11 years Dark Star Orchestra guitarist John Kadlecik has been a major part of the band’s epic rise through the music industry from local Dead cover band to one of the top grossing tribute acts in the country. Earlier this year, Kadlecik joined two of his heroes – Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Phil Lesh – as part of a project called Furthur.
Word came down today that Furthur will be playing two shows on December 30 and 31st at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco in addition of a run of shows in the New York City area earlier that month. Problem is, the Dark Star Orchestra already has a show of their own scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Rams Head Live! in Baltimore for which tickets have been on sale since September 23. Clearly Kadlecik won’t be in Baltimore and Kadlecik also had to miss some DSO shows in November. Add rumors of extensive Furthur dates in 2010 and we have a genuine dilemma.
While it must be nice to be a wanted man, I don’t envy the tough decision that Kadlecik had – or perhaps still has yet – to make: do you choose an opportunity to play with your heroes or the “family” that you built from scratch? DSO has tabbed Donna Jean Godchaux guitarist Jeff Mattson to fill in for Kadlecik in November, but there’s no word yet on who will replace Kadlecik for New Year’s. Obviously we only have limited information about this situation, but bearing that in mind – what band would you choose to play for?
UPDATE: As expected, the band has announced that Zen Tricksters guitarist Jeff Mattson will also fill in for Kadlecik during DSO’s New Year’s run. The announcement also mentions that the reason they didn’t tell fans about the subsitution earlier was “out of respect to Furthur.”