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Published: 2012/02/22

Dennis McNally Shares Words on Former Grateful Dead Manager Jon McIntire’s Passing

Former Grateful Dead manager Jon McIntire died last Thursday, February 16. Dennis McNally, author of A Long Strange Trip and The Inside History of the Grateful Dead, was a close friend of McIntire’s and has shared some words his passing. Head over to Relix.com to read the full essay or see below for an excerpt.

Jon McIntire, manager of the Grateful Dead in the 1970s and 1980s, died of natural causes on February 16, 2012, in Stinson Beach. He was 70.

Once a promoter really screwed up in front of Jon, and asked how he could demonstrate his sincere regrets. “Pheasant under glass would be nice,” said Jon. He got it, and sat backstage in some dumb coliseum catering area thoroughly enjoying himself. Another night, in the mid 1980s, the Dead traveling party went to an extraordinarily high-class restaurant called Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia. Dinner – and wine, lots of wine – cost $10,000. As various somewhat cruder members of the entourage got louder and wiggier – party favors were ordered from somebody on the wait staff – Jon presided over the scene like a tall, blond, handsome and benign prince, charming to the core and always terribly civilized. He was a very special part of the Grateful Dead.

He was born August 13, 1941, in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, and grew up in Bellville, across the river from St. Louis. He was a charter member of the Early Music Society of St. Louis, performed as a child pianist, and acted at the Gateway Theater there. He attended Washington University. Joining the early-sixties procession to San Francisco, he attended San Francisco State, concentrating on the history of ideas, studying things like German phenomenology and expressionist poets. He met a fellow student named Rock Scully. “It seemed strange to me,” said McIntire, “that Rock, to me a serious scholar, should be into rock and roll bands.”

Read the full essay here.

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