Former Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead Road Manager Sam Cutler Dies At 80

Former Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead Road Manager Sam Cutler Dies At 80 | Society Of Rock Videos

via Super World TV / Youtube

At the age of 80, Sam Cutler, a former tour manager for the Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones, passed away.

In a heartfelt message posted on his Facebook page, Cutler’s children shared:

“Our father was first diagnosed with cancer nearly a decade ago, and it is with gratitude that Sam’s family thank the wonderful doctors, nurses, hospital staff and administrators in ALL hospitals that our father received treatment within.
“Many people from across our big beautiful world crossed paths with Sam in his life, and many more formed timeless memories with him that are each beautiful encapsulations of the man that he was.
“Sam would want nothing more for his friends to continue to form timeless memories with whomever they meet, and to share those memories with him in the next life.”

Cutler began his career as a stage manager for Blackhill Enterprises, working with bands such as Pink Floyd and Blind Faith. He became involved with The Rolling Stones when he helped organize their Free Concert in Hyde Park in 1969, which turned into a tribute to Brian Jones after his sudden passing.

During the band’s 1969 tour of the United States, Cutler served as their road manager and famously dubbed them “The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World.” The tour ended with the tragic Altamont Free Concert, where three people lost their lives. Cutler played a key role in facilitating communication between the Stones, the Grateful Dead, and the Hells Angels motorcycle club.

After parting ways with The Rolling Stones following Altamont, Cutler became the road manager for the Grateful Dead. He is widely credited with helping the band overcome significant financial troubles, largely caused by their former manager Lenny Hart stealing around $150,000 from them in 1970. Cutler transformed the Grateful Dead into a touring powerhouse, emphasizing the importance of their live shows.

Cutler organized the band’s notable 1972 European tour, which was later immortalized in their acclaimed live album Europe 72. He also played a major role in coordinating the massive Summer Jam at Watkins Glen, which drew over 600,000 attendees and became one of the most significant concerts in rock music history.

In 1974, Cutler founded his own booking agency, Out of Town Tours, after leaving the Grateful Dead’s management team. Notably, he is the only person to have contributed to studio albums by both The Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead. He played the car horn on “Country Honk” from The Rolling Stones’ Let It Bleed and sang in the backing choir on “Ripple” from the Grateful Dead’s American Beauty.

2010 saw the release of You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Cutler’s autobiography. Additionally, he made significant contributions to a number of Grateful Dead-related endeavors, such as the band’s official podcast The Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast and the 2017 documentary Long Strange Trip by Amir Bar-Lev.

Bodhi and Chesley, Cutler’s two kids, will be left behind.

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