‘Ramrod’ Shurtliff Dies

Grateful Dead crew member Lawrence “Ramrod” Shurtliff died of lung cancer May 17th at a Petaluma, Calif., hospital.

Shurtliff, 61, joined the band in 1967 as a truck driver and set up and tore down every Dead show, including the band’s concert at the base of Great Pyramid in Egypt in 1977, until he was laid off last year when the Dead organization was downsized.

Described by guitarist Bob Weir as “our rock,” Shurtliff went on to be named president of the Grateful Dead board of directors, a position he held until Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995.