Former Grateful Dead manager Jon McIntire dead at 70
Jon McIntire, who managed The Grateful Dead briefly during the '70s and is credited with first coining the term "Dead Head" to describe the band's fans, has died at the age of 70.
McIntire, who died Feb. 15 in his Stinson Beach, CA, home of complications from lung cancer, managed the Dead from 1970 through 1974, an era that saw the band release two of its most lasting studio works -- "Workingman's Dead" and "American Beauty," both released in 1970 -- and project itself outside of its hometown of San Francisco to become a national phenomenon known for the steadfast devotion of its legions of fans.
"Jon was the manager at a critical time for the band," former Dead publicist Dennis McNally told the San Francisco Chronicle. "He recognized that it wasn't just a job, but that we were on a mission."
It was McIntire's idea to include a slip of paper in copies of the band's self-titled 1971 live album calling for fans to join the group on what would essentially become a never-ending adventure: "DEAD FREAKS UNITE: Who are you? Where are you? How are you? Send us your name and address and we'll keep you informed. Dead Heads."
According to McNally, the song "Uncle John's Band," penned by the late Jerry Garcia, was about McIntire.
Following his first tenure with the Dead, McIntire spent the next 10 years managing singer/guitarist Bob Weir's solo career before signing up for a second stint as Grateful Dead manager in 1984, a few years before the band resuscitated its stalled recording career with its first and only top-10 single, 1987's "Touch of Grey." He retired for good from his Dead career in 1990, and spent the remainder of his life on a variety of projects, including a second career as an actor, and a counselor for victims of domestic violence, according to the Chronicle.