Today’s Guest: Former Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead manager Richard Loren, who also managed Jefferson Airplane and The Doors, author of High Notes: A Rock Memoir.
Watch this exclusive Mr. Media interview with former Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead manager Richard Loren, who also managed Jefferson Airplane and The Doors, and is author of High Notes: A Rock Memoir by clicking on the video player above!
Mr. Media is recorded live before a studio audience that, when stoned, can’t tell Jerry Garcia from Cherry Garcia… in the NEW new media capital of the world… St. Petersburg, Florida!
Thanks to my college buddy Jim Doten, I have been to a Grateful Dead concert.
It was sometime in the early 1980s when the San Francisco circus came to the University of South Florida Sun Dome in Tampa. As a long-time Deadhead, Big Jim was eager to share one of his favorite things with his straight-arrow little buddy. And if you knew Jim – the mellowest of the mellow – you’d know it’s hard to say no to him on just about anything. I never pass up a chance to spend a day with one of the greatest friends I have.
RICHARD LOREN podcast excerpt: “Jerry Garcia was a real human being. He was a mentor to me in how to behave as a real human being. He’s the kind of guy that treated everybody with deep respect. He wasn’t on any ego trip. He was kind. He was humble. In the course of the years I was with him, we traveled a lot and we met a lot of people. And everybody he met and encountered he made them feel as if they were his friends. They walked away and went, ‘Wow! Jerry Garcia, man!’ He cared about everybody. He was extremely intelligent; he was extremely well-read. He was a rock ‘n’ roll Buddha.”
I’d like to tell you it changed my life, but it didn’t.
Still, the music was pleasant, the mood relaxed, and you didn’t have to smoke anything that day to leave the arena with a buzz.
When I received Richard Loren’s new book, High Notes: A Rock Memoir, I took it seriously because I knew that a generation of guys just like Jim – and including our mutual friends from the University of Miami, including Dave the Rave and the two Petes – would be interested. After all, Loren worked as Jerry Garcia’s personal manager for many years and managed The Grateful Dead itself from 1974-81.
RICHARD LOREN podcast excerpt: “Jim Morrison of The Doors was a beautiful soul. He was a shaman, really. He was the first and foremost man to be totally possessed by his muse. He danced on fire like nobody.”
But while that was certainly the apex of Loren’s public career, his experiences on the way to Haight-Ashbury – documented with the help of co-author Stephen Abney – were equally the stuff of legend.
RICHARD LOREN podcast excerpt: “Rock concert promoter Bill Graham had two sides to him. First of all, he grew up coming out of the pogroms of Russia. He had a lot of ambition and he embraced unfettered capitalism. He was a hard worker, he was determined, he got the job done. But you don’t get that wealthy without being maybe a little too good a businessman and taking advantage of a lot of the artists he worked with. He was a man of many parts. When I became manager of the Grateful Dead, he resented me because HE wanted to be the manager of the Grateful Dead. But the Dead never trusted him to be manager. They trusted him to be their friend and wonderful promoter. But they realized they needed somebody to look after the till when it came to Bill.”
The man started his career cooling Liberace in the summer heat, bailing out Jim Morrison of The Doors, and sneaking pot across the Canadian border for Spencer Dryden of the Jefferson Airplane.
This guy has lived multiple lives, I think.