Sam Cutler, Grateful Dead and The Rolling Stones Tour Manager, Dead at 80

Sam Cutler, Grateful Dead and The Rolling Stones Tour Manager, Dead at 80

Photo Credit: Jeremy Hudson via Penguin

Sam Cutler, the esteemed music industry personality and tour manager for Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones, and other notable acts, has died after a battle with cancer. Cutler’s family made the official announcement late last night, which stated he passed on Tuesday, July 11, in Brisbane, Queensland at age 80. 

The statement shared by the children of the deceased, Bodhi and Chesley Cutler, said, “Sam Cutler, our father, your friend, passed away in his sleep on Tuesday, July 11th, at age 80.” It continued, “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 encapsulation of the man that he was.” The siblings added, “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 love.”

Cutler was born on March 20, 1943, in Hatfield, England, and began his career as a stage manager and more with Blackhill Enterprises in the late ‘60, working with acts like Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, and The Rolling Stones. Notably, he was the master of ceremonies during The Rolling Stones free concert at Hyde Park in London on July 5, 1969. After that, he accompanied the band on their 1969 Tour of America, which culminated in the blighted Altamont Speedway Free Concert. 

Later on, Cutler befriended Jerry Garcia and was subsequently hired by the Grateful Dead as their touring manager. Cutler is credited with organizing the Grateful Dead’s 1970 Festival Express Tour of Canada, The Super Jam at Watkins Glen, and the fabled 1972 European Tour, which resulted in the band’s triple live LP, Europe ‘72

Cutler also worked alongside The Band, The Allman Brothers, The New Riders of the Purple Sage, Mike Bloomfield, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and others. In later years, Cutler collaborated with Melbourne, Australia act Black Cab, adding to the track “Valiant.” The song appeared on the LP Jesus East and beckons to Cutler’s with the Grateful Dead while also preaching advice to the next generation. 

His family closed their statement by writing, “As per our father’s wishes, his ashes will be scattered in the foundations of the newly constructed Buddhist temple at the Chenrezig Institute, due to be completed in 2025.”

Cutler is survived by his two children and countless friends. 

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