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Bill Kreutzmann

Woven Fish by Bill Kreutzmann
Woven Fish by Bill Kreutzmann.

The Past

In January of 2002 Bill Kreutzmann, the drummer for the Grateful Dead, contacted us and asked if we were interested in selling his artwork and doing some shows with him. He had heard about our gallery through Vince Dibiasi, Jerry Garcia’s personal manager. Because we had been involved in all aspects of the visual imagery surrounding the Grateful Dead, it was a natural progression for us. We had, by 2002, amassed hundreds of collectors whose sole focus was collecting anything Grateful Dead.

Our first show with Bill was on March 22, 2002, and it was an incredible success. It was a complete sellout and Bill was hooked! The Grateful Dead cover band, Dark Star Orchestra, even attended the show. It was the first time the band had ever met a member of the Grateful Dead and they were thrilled to meet Bill. From there we did several more shows here at Walnut Street Gallery and then turned our sights on Red Rocks.

In 2004, Red Rocks debuted its newly renovated visitor center and gallery space. They asked if we would host the first art exhibit at Red Rocks. Throughout the five nights The Dead played, we hosted a Grateful Dead exhibit with Bill Kreutzmann as our featured artist. We brought in Grateful Dead album cover artists and photographers. Again, it was a sell-out and Bill was ecstatic. Red Rocks asked us back in 2005 for another five-night run with all the same artists. Again, Bill was the featured artist.

From there we took the Bill Kreutzmann show on the road and did three nights in Chicago while The Dead were playing and the pièce de résistance was the Rothbury Music Festival in July 2009. The Dead were headlining the show and we were asked to exhibit Bill’s art in a tent at the main stage.

The Present

In 2016 Bill decided to focus solely on his music and sadly decided to retire from his art career. But it was a great 14-year run with him and we thoroughly enjoyed his art and getting to know Bill.

Bill Kreutzmann

 1959 – Present

Bill Kreutzmann

Bill Kreutzmann, an American drummer, is a founding member of the Grateful Dead rock band. He played with the Grateful Dead for its entire thirty-year career, usually alongside fellow drummer Mickey Hart, and has continued to perform with former members of the Grateful Dead in various lineups, and with his own bands BK3, 7 Walkers, and Billy & the Kids.

Bill is most famous for his career with The Grateful Dead, which is perhaps the most legendary American rock band of all time. For thirty years, beginning in the hippie scene of San Francisco in 1965, they were a musical institution, the original jam band that broke new ground in so many ways. From the music to their live concert sound systems and fan recordings, they were forward-thinking champions of artistic control and outlaw artists who marched to the beat of their own drums.

Bill Kreutzmann, one of their founding members and drummer for every one of their over 2,300 concerts. Hi autobiographical book Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs with the Grateful Dead is an unflinching and wild account of playing in the greatest improvisational band of all time. Everything a rock music fan would expect is here, but what sets this apart is Bill’s incredible life of adventure that was at the heart of the Grateful Dead experience. This was a band that knew no limits and Bill lived life to the fullest, pushing the boundaries of drugs, drums, and high times, through devastating tragedy and remarkable triumph.

In addition to a world-class drummer, Kreutzmann is also a prolific visual artist. In 1995, Kreutzmann produced a film called Ocean Spirit. The film is a documentary about the six-week expedition that involved a 3,000-mile ocean voyage from San Francisco to the Revillagigedo Islands, 400 miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Kreutzmann is featured in the film and was the executive producer. Wesley C. Skiles, a noted underwater filmmaker, wrote and directed the project. “We went with no preconceived notions,” says Kreutzmann, “except that we were committed to the concept of non-intrusive interaction. We were seeking a way to go beyond our own boundaries as human beings, to meet with the creatures of the sea on their terms. And I hoped somehow to combine film and music to capture that moment of contact. The film has a strong environmental message and “exquisite photography”, wrote John Metzger of the Music Box.

Kreutzmann also does work as a visual artist that began in 1993 when he acquired his first computer, a Powerbook 540C with Photoshop installed. Jerry Garcia, already a proficient computer artist, taught Kreutzmann the basics. In 2001, he began releasing limited edition reproductions of his digital artwork. His work can be found at Walnut Street Gallery.

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700 North Colorado Blvd. Box 336
Denver, Colorado 80206

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Good music comes out of people playing together, knowing what they want to do and going for it.