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Deadheads Get Psyched for Obama's Grateful Inauguration

Members of the Grateful Dead pose in a1985 photo in Marin County, Calif. From left, back row, are Bill Kreutzman, Phil Lesh, Jerry Garcia, and Mickey Hart. In front are Brent Mydland, left, and Bob Weir. (AP Photo)

Exclusive great breaking news, Deadheads! Mickey and Bobby are coming to Washington for the inauguration. So are Phil and Bill and others in the Dead.

They'll be joined by the multi-faceted Warren Haynes, who we dare not call the new Jerry but who will indeed be singing the late Jerry Garcia's parts when he performs with the Dead at the Mid-Atlantic Ball on Tuesday.

The entire band, of which Haynes is now a regular member - he'll be touring with the Dead as lead guitarist this spring - will be performing at the ball, according to fellow Deadhead sources involved in planning the ball.

Every surviving member of the Grateful Dead is slated to be on stage: Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, along with keyboard ace Jeff Chimenti of RatDog and Haynes, who continues to perform with Gov't Mule and the Allman Brothers.

Of course, it was Obama who reunited the Dead. They announced their spring tour after reuniting last year to perform a fundraiser for the presidential aspirant, sparking the "Deadheads for Obama" movement.

Haynes is also slated to do a gig Friday night at the Fairfax and Embassy Row hotel (formerly the Ritz Carlton) at a party in honor of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Obama transition chief John Podesta. Washington Life magazine, fittingly, is hosting the event, one of several the society mag is involved with over the five-day social event of the decade (or is it century?).

Meanwhile, Weir and Hart have a separate gig this weekend to help out their pal Al Franken, who's still locked in a legal battle from hell with incumbent Republican Norm Coleman over who really won their bitter Senate race in Minnesota.

The Franken campaign has invited supporters to a "Save Our Victory" luncheon at the Willard Hotel Sunday with a special appearance by Weir and Hart. Tickets to the fundraiser range from $1,000 to $12,300.

The early Sunday gig will give them plenty of time to rest up for the big show on Tuesday, when we expect to see plenty of tie-dyed dresses and shirts underneath those tuxes - and twirlers abounding in the aisles at the convention center.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  January 15, 2009; 2:15 PM ET
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