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Barney the Dinosaur He's portly, benevolent to a fault and he's peaked with the under-6 set. Our purple friend may want to hedge his bets against the inevitable slide to extinction, and what better way to stall for time than to seek safety in the company of other dinosaurs. However, Barney's penchant for rewriting lyrics to preexisting songs may backfire on him when he tries to refashion "Ripple" into "Let's Brush Our Teeth."
Jorma Kaukonen Missing in action since the re-formed Jefferson Airplane split up. And, as Hot Tuna proved, the guy can noodle endlessly.
John Popper For years, bands that have played on the H.O.R.D.E. tours (Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, Phish, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, and Widespread Panic) were groomed to fill the Dead's shoes and take on the band's built-in following should the veterans choose to retire from the road. Popper, a man of considerable girth, has jammed numerous times with the Dead, solos without mercy on his harmonica and shares ties with the Bill Graham organization. However, Popper has one big strike against him: He's still a young guy whose band's latest album, Blues Traveler Four, has just gone platinum, making him a little too happening to prop up a fading dream.
Mick Taylor In the 20 years since he left the Stones, Taylor has also jammed with the Dead. And by this point, it's obvious Mick and Keith aren't in a big hurry to ask him back.
Randy Bachman and/or Mark Farner The Ringo All-Starrs tour will be over soon and both guys will be looking for another gig. Randy's got the edge in the weight department, but his "You Ain't Seen N-N-N-Nothing Yet" stuttering could potentially ruin "Uncle John's Band."
Carl Wilson The Dead and the Beach Boys go back a long way. Jerry and the band gave the Boys a much-needed boost when they invited the then-has-beens to jam at Fillmore East in 1971. Ironically, both bands have been hopelessly mired in Sixties nostalgia ever since. Brother Carl is certainly bearded and porky these days, but Dead purists might shoot the surfer boy's nomination down in flames because Wilson has never taken a guitar solo longer than eight seconds.
Al Dimeola This fusion guitarist could satisfy the smug Deadhead faction that has always insisted the Dead play free-form improvisatory jazz instead of the mindless boogie music the rest of us hear.
Carlos Santana A likely replacement. Not only because, like Garcia, Carlos is of Hispanic descent, but also because he's the first on the list to publicly volunteer for the job. Deadheads should remember, though, that Carlos was such a dictatorial bandleader with the first lineup of Santana that Gregg Rolie and Neal Schon left in a huff to form Journey. No one, not even a Deadhead, wants to have the blame for another Journey on his hands.
Alvin Lee Replacing Captain Trips with Captain Speed might help bring the Dead's legendary marathon jams to a swifter conclusion. And if Alvin saved that watermelon from Woodstock, he can just tuck it in under his shirt.
Jerry's Skeleton Puppet From the "Touch of Grey" Video Unlike mortal Jerry, this marionette should survive for decades if handled properly. Best of all, most of the "hall dancers" (Deadheads who "space dance" at venues with no intention of actually seeing the band) will never know the difference.