Walnut Street Gallery welcomed back Bill
Kreutzmann, Drummer for the Grateful Dead and Visual Artist on February 18,
2009. On display and for sale were over 25 prints created by Bill utilizing
his photography and computer skills. Bill met with collectors during the
Collectors with Bill Kreutzmann
Bill Kreutzmann (born
May 7, 1946 in Palo Alto, California) was the drummer for legendary
rock band the Grateful Dead for their entire 30-year career. Kreutzmann started
playing drums at the age of 13, despite having been told by his sixth grade
music teacher that he couldn't keep a beat. As a teenager, he met Aldous Huxley
at his high school, who encouraged him in his drumming. In 1962, Kreutzmann was
working at Dana Morgan's Music Store in Palo
Alto, and a young picker named Jerry Garcia stopped in
and purchased a banjo from him. Soon after, Garcia also got a job at Dana's
teaching guitar lessons, and forged a musical
friendship with Kreutzmann that would span four decades.
Collector Cody and Bill lookin' way to happy!
Bill was very kind and spent time with each collector talking about his art, music and posing for candid pictures.
The entire staff ~ Bill, Laura, Niki, Bill K., Anne and Brian
Kreutzmann formed a
new band, the Zodiacs, in 1963, featuring Pigpen on harmonica, Garcia on bass,
and Troy Weidenheimer on guitar. The Zodiacs became the Warlocks by 1965, and
it wasn't long before the Warlocks went electric. Their first real gig was May
5, 1965, two days before Kreutzmann's 19th birthday. In November of 1965, the
Warlocks became the Grateful Dead. Meeting fellow percussionist Mickey Hart in
the fall of 1967 would have a big impact on Kreutzmann's career. Hart soon
joined the Dead, making it one of the first (and few) rock bands to feature two
drummers. The two percussionists' remarkable cohesion, synchronicity, and
driving power would be a hallmark of the Grateful Dead sound for the next
thirty years, earning them the nickname "The Rhythm Devils". Their
ten-minute drum duets, a feature of every show from 1978 - 1995 became
legendary in the rock world. Kreutzmann remained with the Grateful Dead until
its dissolution following the passing of Garcia in 1995, making him one of the
four members to play at every single one of the band's 3,500 shows along with
Garcia, Weir and Lesh.
Bill signed this piece twice (once upsidedown!)
It was a thrill for many just to meet Bill and talk about the music. Many of the fans of his music and art never had the chance to see the Grateful Dead play and they were enthralled by his stories.
Susie saw Bill Kreutzmann play in the 60's in SF and was thrilled to meet him and enjoy the art (even through 3-D glasses)
Kreutzmann teamed up with fellow Grateful Dead bandmate and drummer Mickey
Hart, former Phish bassist Mike Gordon and former The Other Ones lead guitarist
Steve Kimock to form the Rhythm Devils. A name that dates back to his Dead days
given to him and Hart for their legendary drum solos and improvisation. The
band features songs from their respective former bands as well as new songs
written by Jerry Garcia's songwriting companion Robert Hunter. The Rhythm Devils
first tour was fall 2006 which wrapped up at the popular Vegoose festival in Las Vegas, NV
over the Halloween weekend.
Many of the collectors have followed the band for 30 plus years and really enjoyed adding a visual element to their memories of the music.
Young and old alike loved the experience.
Kreutzmann and the
Grateful Dead were honored with a life time achievement award at the 2007
Grammy's in Los Angeles,
CA. Kreutzmann also does work as a visual
artist and, in 2001, began releasing limited edition reproductions of his
digital artwork. The newest BK project is a Sirius Radio show called
"Drumming into the Light" on The Grateful Dead channel 32 - check it
All the collectors were treated to a special performance by Bill that evening.
Throughout February 2009 Bill will be playing gigs with
Oteil Burbridge and Scott Murawski and The Dead will be being touring
throughout the spring.
Bill took the time to personalize each collectors piece.
More happy collectors.
Thanks for a great show!