Merl Saunders Dies

Former Grateful Dead keyboardist and San Francisco stalwart Merl Saunders, has died from complications related to a stroke he suffered in 2002, according to statement from his family on the musician’s Web Site.

Saunders, 75, played in his own band, Merl Saunders & Friends, and joined in on several Jerry Garcia projects, such as The Legion of Mary and Reconstruction.

He also played with Mike Bloomfield, Sheila E, David Grisman, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Miles Davis, Phish and others, and was known to pop in for guest appearances at S.F. clubs. Saunder’s stroke paralyzed one half of his body.