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Band + Fan Pioneer Dies

Band fan clubs were around long before 1971. But they were operated by uber-fans, not by the artists or their inner circle.  That changed when Jon McIntire, manager of the Grateful Dead, came up with the idea of inserting a piece of paper in the packaging of his band's 1971 double live album.  His simple request of fans throughout the country - let the band know "Who are you? Where are you? How are you? Send us your name and address and we'll keep you informed. Dead Heads."
With that request began the building of one of the most remarkable band-fan relationships in music history.  Social Media has made collecting and informing fans easy these days, but few groups have managed to build the kind of community started by the former insurance company systems analyst turned band manager.  Long time Grateful publicist Dennis McNally notes, 'Jon was the manager at a critical time for the band. He recognized that it wasn't just a job, but that we were on a mission.'
McIntire, who also played piano, acted and co-managed the Carousel Ballroom in San Francisco for a spell, parted with the band in 1990 but remained active as an informal advisor and served on the board of the Rex Foundation, the Grateful Dead charitable organization.
McIntire passed away Feb 15 at the age of 70 at his Marin County, CA home in Stinson Beach. The cause of death was complications resulting from lung cancer.

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