People talk 10/11/02

Remaining Dead go back on tour

ROANOKE, Va. -- The remaining members of the Grateful Dead are going back on tour, with the first stop scheduled for the Roanoke Civic Center on Nov. 14.

The band, renamed The Other Ones after leader Jerry Garcia died in 1995, announced the 14-city tour on its Web site.

Surviving band members include Mickey Hart, Billy Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir. They'll play in cities including Washington, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Chicago.

The last time the Dead played in Roanoke was July 7-8, 1987, when 21,000 people converged on the civic center and more than 50 people were arrested, mostly for drug-related offenses. The number of complaints about drugs, noise and garbage made city officials question whether they'd allow the band to play in Roanoke again.

Civic center marketing director Robyn Schon expected no trouble this time.

"It seems like most of the problems are in the past," Schon said. "Most Grateful Dead fans are laid-back people. We don't anticipate any problems."

'Highway' is tribute to Hank Williams

CLEVELAND -- The lost highway that was Hank Williams' troubled, brilliant life runs smack dab through Cleveland these days, where the country music star has been the subject of a play, exhibit and academic conference.

It was en route to a concert in northeast Ohio that Williams, his gaunt, 29-year-old body laced with alcohol and painkillers, died on New Year's Day 1953 in the back seat of a chauffeured car in Oak Hill, W. Va.

Now through Oct. 20, The Cleveland Play House is showing "Lost Highway: The Music and Legend of Hank Williams," a musical tribute to the writer of "So Lonesome I Could Cry" and "Hey, Good Lookin'."

"Lost Highway," whose title is borrowed from a vaguely autobiographical Williams' song, was scheduled to coincide with an exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The play runs through Oct. 20, and the exhibit closes in January.

Music professor Mary Davis, who organized the Sept. 28 conference at Case Western Reserve University, called Williams' music the roots of country music.

"He was able to bring together genres of music, the blues and gospel and hillbilly music, into a new style, an idiosyncratic style -- there hasn't been anybody like Hank Williams," she said.

-- From wire reports