BILL KREUTZMANN Biography - Musicians


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Name: Bill Kreutzmann                                                                   
Birth name: William Kreutzmann                                                           
Born: 7 May 1946 Palo Alto, California, U.S.                                             
Bill Kreutzmann (born May 7, 1946 in Palo Alto, California) is an American               
drummer who played with rock band the Grateful Dead for their entire thirty-year         
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. At the         
end of 1964 he co-founded the band The Warlocks, along with Phil Lesh, Jerry             
Garcia, Bob Weir, and Ron "Pigpen" McKernan. Their first real gig was May 5,             
1965, two days before Kreutzmann's nineteenth birthday. In November 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 four members to play at every               
single one of the band's 3,500 shows, along with Garcia, Weir and Lesh.                 
Following the end of the Grateful Dead, Kreutzmann returned to his home in               
Hawaii but, by 2000 was back on the road with The Other Ones (Weir, Hart, Bruce         
Hornsby, Steve Kimock, Mark Karan, and Alphonso Johnson). The Other Ones were so         
successful that in 2003, the band began touring as The Dead (keeping "Grateful"         
retired out of respect for Garcia). He participated in the super group at the 17th       
Annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam as a drummer SerialPod, which also includes           
Phish members Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon. At 60 years old, he has lost none         
of his expertise and stamina, routinely playing three hours of drumming with             
only one 45-minute break.                                                               
Kreutzmann also does work as a visual artist and, in 2001, began releasing               
limited edition reproductions of his digital artwork. He has a daughter, Stacy,         
and two grandchildren through her. He also has a son, Justin Kreutzmann, who is         
a film and video director. He is married to Linda Kreutzmann and has two step           
sons and a step daughter, Zachary Willis, who is working in the IT world, Andrew         
Classen, who is studying graphic design, and Meera Willis, who owns a chain of           
very popular shoe stores called MissMeers where Kreutzmann's art has often been         
Kreutzmann collaborated with Journey guitarist Neal Schon, Sy Klopps, Ira Walker,       
and Ralph Woodson to form the Trichromes in 2002. They released an album,               
Trichromes, and an EP, Dice with the Universe.                                           
During 2006, Kreutzmann teamed up with fellow Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart,         
former Phish bassist Mike Gordon and former The Other Ones lead guitarist Steve         
Kimock to form the Rhythm Devils. 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 announced their first tour in 2006           
which ended at the popular Vegoose festival in Las Vegas, Nevada over the               
Halloween weekend.                                                                       
Kreutzmann and the Grateful Dead were honored with a life time achievement award         
at the 2007 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California.