John Scher, longtime promoter for the Grateful Dead, has revealed the “profound” statement Bob Dylan said to him following Jerry Garcia’s funeral.

Scher was among the roughly 250 close friends and loved ones in attendance when Garcia was laid to rest in 1995. During a recent appearance on The Bob Lefsetz Podcast he shared his memories from that day.

“I go to the funeral, I speak at the funeral, and when we're walking out of the funeral, I'm walking out with Bob Dylan. And a San Francisco Chronicle photographer took a picture of the two of us walking out. Next day, on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle is ‘Bob Dylan with an unknown person leaving Jerry Garcia’s funeral,’” Scher recalled with a laugh.

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Still, it was a private moment with Dylan which resonated the most.

“What I really remember about it is while we were walking out, Dylan leaned over to me and said, ‘You know what, John?' I said, ‘What, Bob?’ He said, ‘The guy lying there (referring to Garcia), he's the only one in the world and knows what it's like to be me.’ Which was pretty profound.”

The Grateful Dead's Meeting Following Jerry Garcia's Death

Days after Garcia’s funeral, Scher met with the surviving members of the Grateful Dead to discuss how the band could proceed.

“I said to them, ‘Guys, Jerry would not want you to break up. You guys, you are an extraordinary group,’” Scher explained, detailing his attempts to keep the band together. The promoter's word fell on deaf ears. “Phil [Lesh] announces absolutely not, and they vote to never call themselves the Grateful Dead again.”

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Though band members have performed the group’s material under various monikers since then – including the Dead, the Other Ones and Dead & Company – they have stuck true to their vow to retire the Grateful Dead name. The only exceptions came in 2015 when the remaining members reunited for a series of 50th anniversary Fare Thee Well shows.

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