Chris Charucki, longtime road manager for Bob Weir and various incarnations of the Grateful Dead, passed away on Friday. Charucki joined up on the Dead road crew back in 1993 and has worked with RatDog, The Dead, Furthur, Dead & Company and others, including his recent work with Weir and Phil Lesh’s duo tour.
“He was the best,” Weir tells Jambands.com. “I was never anything but happy to see him, ever, even if it had only been a minute or two since the last time. How many people can you say that about? He’s takin’ a whole bunch of love with him. I’m just real happy he was—and will be—part of my life. We’ll be fine, he’ll be better, because that’s what he deserves.”
“I don’t think I’ll be able to walk onto a stage without seeing the image of Chris at the top of the steps with an ensuing big hug and a funny anecdote,” adds Dead & Company keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, who also toured with RatDog, Furthur and The Dead. “He definitely knew how to keep everyone smiling while simultaneously displaying an unparalleled work ethic. I lost a very dear friend (as I know many feel the same way), and the music touring world lost a gem! A true one of a kind and I sorely miss him. With a heavy heart, RIP my brother! I Love you!”
As Deadheadland reports, on Friday night at his Terrapin Crossroads venue in San Rafael, CA, Phil Lesh offered some kind words after Charucki’s passing and dedicated a version of “Black Muddy River” to his late road manager. Watch a video of that tribute below.
Read our 2003 interview with Charucki while he was on tour with The Dead here.