Grateful Dead Pay Tribute To ‘Biggest Deadhead In The World’ Bill Walton

Members of Grateful Dead took to Instagram to pay tribute to Bill Walton, describing the late NBA superstar as the “Biggest Deadhead in the world.”

Walton, the 1977-78 NBA MVP, sportscaster and two-time league champion, passed away on Monday (May 27) after battling cancer.

Walton reportedly attended approximately 850 Grateful Dead shows. Counting Dead & Company shows, Walton attended over 1,000 in total, according to Rolling Stone.

“Fare you well, fare you well, we love you more than words can tell. Bill was an irreplaceable force and spirit in our family. Father Time, Rhythm Devil, biggest deadhead ever. Over 1000 shows and couldn’t get enough. He loved this band and we loved him,” the band posted on Dead & Company’s Instagram feed.

“We will miss our beloved friend, @BillWalton, deeply. Rest in peace and may the four winds blow you safely home,” the group added.

The post features several pics of Walton in his signature tie dye vibing out at Dead shows over the years. There are also shots of him in elaborate, colorful costumes honoring the times he dressed up as “Father Time” for Dead shows on New Year’s Eve.

Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir, and drummers Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann posted individual tributes of their own.

Weir wrote, “Thanks for the wonderful friendship, the years of color commentary – and the Hall of Fame existence that you wore like headlights. Bon voyage ol’ buddy. We’re sure gonna miss you – but don’t let that slow you down.”

Hart described Walton as “the best friend I ever had” in the caption of a photo of the two. “He called himself the luckiest man in the world but it was us who were lucky – to know him, to share the adventure with him,” he added. “He was the biggest Deadhead in the world and used our music as the soundtrack to his life. After our shows, he would regularly send messages that said, ‘thank you for my life.'”

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