‘What can I say?’ I’m a Deadhead

ONE blurred image taken at a Dead & Company concert in Virginia earlier this month caused quite a stir on social media. Viewed 2.8 million times at the time of writing, it shows a gray-haired man in a collared shirt and baseball cap among the crowd of fans watching the Grateful Dead spinoff band perform in Bristow. Why all the attention? According to journalist Jake Sherman, Deadhead pictured is Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Powell confirmed as much Wednesday during a hearing of the House Committee on Financial Services, which went slightly off-topic, according to CNBC.

Although Powell was on Capitol Hill to testify about efforts to tackle inflation, Democratic Rep. Wiley Nickel plucked up the courage to ask about Powell̵[ads1]7;s musical interests. (After all, “you just have to mess around.”) Noting that he’s a Deadhead himself, who missed out on seeing Jerry Garcia in concert in 1995, he said he was “excited” to hear that Powell had attended the recent show. “Did you like it?” Nickel asked. “It was great. What can I say? It was great,” Powell replied. “I’ve been a Grateful Dead fan for 50 years.” “I like people who like the Grateful Dead,” Nickel replied, as Powell raised both fists in the air.

Not only does Powell enjoy listening to the band—he reportedly attended his first Grateful Dead concert in Washington, DC in 1973—but he also enjoys strumming the band’s tunes on guitar, Barron’s reported, per Forbes. The outlet also reported that Powell’s sister Monica played a role in the formation of Dead & Company, having first introduced bassist Oteil Burbridge, an old friend, to the Grateful Dead’s music. Dead & Company are currently performing their final tour. (Meanwhile, a Grateful Dead biopic is in the works.)

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