Monday, June 29, 2015

Richard Loren

Richard Loren began his post collegiate career in the entertainment industry in 1965 as a theatre manager.

From 1965 to 1969 he worked as an Agent for the Agency for the Performing Arts in New York City. An exciting time music,  he signed and worked with many of new up-and-coming  artists and groups like The Doors and The Jefferson Airplane. 

In 1970, he took a break from the business and traveled and lived abroad. 

A year later he returned to New York where his friend mandolinist David Grisman introduced him to Jerry Garcia. Shortly thereafter, he moved to the San Francisco bay area where he was hired by Garcia as his personal manager.  He worked closely with the Saunders/Garcia Band and encouraged the formation of Old and In The Way.  He brought the group to the East coast where they played rock venues for Grateful Dead fans and Bluegrass festivals for Bluegrass fans.

In 1974, he was hired by the Grateful Dead as their Agent. A year later, he became their Manager.  He was the non-credited Executive Producer of the Grateful Dead Movie. In conjunction with the opening of the movie at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York, he initiated an industry first by distributing the film to theaters across the country in a four-wall format.

 In 1977, while on vacation in Egypt he conceived the idea of having the Grateful Dead perform an outdoor concert in front of the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid at Gizeh. One year later, after much in depth organizing, the band took the stage there on September 14, 15 and 16 and played three memorable concerts.  During the last show, on the eve of the historic Camp David Peace Agreement, the band played throughout a full lunar eclipse of the moon. Never before had a rock band, let alone a rock band from the West, played at that the site.

In 1980, to commemorate the band’s 15th anniversary, he broke tradition yet again by having the Grateful Dead play at The Radio City Music Hall in New York. At that venue, like in Egypt, the Grateful Dead was the first “rock” band in history to play that stage. He had the comedians AL Franken and Tom Davis of Saturday Night Live fame host the Halloween week - multi-night - acoustic/electric concerts. Later, he produced Dead Ahead, a compilation of the concert footage, originally released by Monterey Video on VHS and recently re-leased by them on DVD.

He resigned from the Dead and the music business in 1981. He now lives in New England and continues to be interviewed and quoted frequently by music industry authors and magazine writers.

In 2008 he Executive Produced Rocking the Cradle, the 30th anniversary 2CD/DVD of The Grateful Dead’s three performance at the pyramids of Giza.

Come meet Richard Loren and many other authors at Books in Boothbay on July 11!

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