Pendleton, Oregon, United States
May 16, 2006|
Petaluma, California, United States
|Known for||Roadie for the Grateful Dead|
Laurence Shurtliff (1947 – May 16, 2006) (also spelled Lawrence Shurtliff and a.k.a., Ram Rod) was an American music executive and roadie. He was President of Grateful Dead Productions, Inc., from 1976, the year that the Grateful Dead incorporated, until the death of guitarist Jerry Garcia in 1995. He also was the Grateful Dead's "head roadie" and equipment manager during and prior to those years, and began his first role with the band as tour truck driver in 1967. In 1972, Shurtliff co-produced Jerry Garcia's Warner Bros. Records solo album, entitled simply Garcia, along with Bob Matthews, Betty Cantor and Bill Kreutzmann.
Shurtliff received his nickname "Ram Rod" from Neal Cassady of the Merry Pranksters, while traveling through Mexico with author Ken Kesey. "I am Ramon Rodriguez Rodriguez, the famous Mexican guide," he had boasted, and after he successfully "ramrodded" seven adults into a Volkswagen Bug, Cassady bestowed the nickname upon him.
An auction of Shurtliff's collection of Grateful Dead memorabilia by Bonhams & Butterfields Auctioneers in San Francisco on May 8, 2007, netted more than $1.1 million. The collection included a cream-colored Travis Bean electric guitar owned by Garcia that sold for $312,000.
- Lawrence 'Ramrod' Shurtliff: 1945–2006; Mainstay of Grateful Dead crew dies -- 'he was our rock' , Joel Selvin, Chronicle Senior Pop Music Critic, San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday, May 18, 2006
- How to "Truck" the Brand: Lessons from the Grateful Dead, Glenn Rifkin, Strategy+Business media press, winter, 1997
- Obituaries: Lawrence Shurtliff, by Ken Hunt, Independent, The (London), May 29, 2006
- Garcia at The Grateful Dead Family Discography
- 'Ram Rod' was Dead's trusted crew chief, Paul Liberatore, Marin Independent Journal, May 18, 2006
- Ram Rod Auction Brings in Over $1.1 million Relix Magazine, Wednesday, 09 May 2007