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Former Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead Tour Manager Sam Cutler Passes Away

14 July 2023 | 5:38 pm | Dan Cribb

“Many people from across our big beautiful world crossed paths with Sam in his life."

Sam Cutler with Keith Richards

Sam Cutler with Keith Richards (Source: Facebook)

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Legendary music industry personality Sam Culter, former tour manager for The Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead, has passed away in Brisbane, aged 80.

In a statement on Cutler’s Facebook, his children, Bodhi and Chesley, confirmed that he passed away “peacefully in his sleep” on Tuesday.

“Our father was first diagnosed with cancer nearly a decade ago, and it is with gratitude that Sam's family thank the wonderful doctors, nurses, hospital staff and administrators in ALL hospitals that our father received treatment within,” they said.

“Many people from across our big beautiful world crossed paths with Sam in his life, and many more formed timeless memories with him that are each beautiful encapsulations of the man that he was.

“Sam would want nothing more for his friends to continue to form timeless memories with whomever they meet, and to share those memories with him in the next life.

“As per our father's wishes, his ashes will be scattered in the foundations of a newly constructed Buddhist temple at the Chenrezig Institute, due to be completed in 2025.

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“Our family asks for privacy at this time, and we thank you all very much for your messages of support.”

It’s expected his family will detail “celebrations of life” shortly, alongside funeral details for those who were close to him. 

They’ve also set up an email address where people can share their memories:

Born in England, Cutler tour managed the Rolling Stones during their infamous 1969 tour, which culminated in a performance at the Altamont Free Concert where an 18-year-old was killed.

After that run, Cutler stayed in the US and worked closely with the Grateful Dead, before eventually relocating to Australia in the late ‘90s to live a quiet life.

In 2006, he collaborated with Melbourne outfit Black Cab, featuring on their track Valiant, throughout which he recounts his time with Grateful Dead.

He also released a book in 2008, You Can't Always Get What You Want, which has been described as “an exhilarating, access-all-areas rock memoir from someone who has seen - and done - it all”.

In a recent interview, Cutler said: “My career as a tour manager, as it were, didn’t last that long. I was involved for maybe ten, fifteen years. Then I got sick to death of it.

“At the end of working with the Grateful Dead, I was talking to myself like: ‘Well, what do you want to do?’ I certainly didn’t want to help other people realise their fantasies yet again. I’d had enough of all that.”

Just last year, he toured the east coast as an MC with Australian alt-folk singer-songwriter Jackie Marshall.