Lawrence 'Ramrod' Shurtliff: 1945-2006
Larry 'Ramrod' Shurtliff, one of the Grateful Dead's most celebrated crew members died of lung cancer in Petaluma, California on May 16. He was 61 years old. Ramrod linked up with the Dead in 1967 as a truck driver and would eventually go on to become the crew chief. Shurtliff garnered his nickname "Ramrod" while traveling through Mexico with LSD-hero Ken Kesey.
Ramrod (left) w/ S. Parish and R. Taylor
Yet another lifelong cigarette smoker, Ramrod was diagnosed with lung cancer a few weeks ago. In his final days he didn't want anybody to know he was dying, but band and crew members from the Grateful Dead family would visit him frequently.
Robert Hunter presented the following eulogy: "Most never knew his given name/they called him Ramrod/Lawrence didn't fit him. He came down from Oregon/Prankster sidekick of Cassady/Kesey and the merry crew, a silent stoic in a vocable milieu/his heart was stolen by the Grateful Dead."