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Mickey Hart
Grateful Dead

Bill and I were waiters in a club in Atlantic Beach together in the Fifties. I used to jerk sodas downstairs, and he was a waiter upstairs, and we were there for the same reason: Tito Puente. We were both lovers of the Latin music of the Fifties in New York. That's where we started, and it went on form there, and then through the years with the Grateful Dead. He was the chief Deadhead, you know. He was the mambo king, but he also loved the Grateful Dead and that whole scene.

Bill was a ruthless business fellow. He played hardball, and every game was the World Series, but he did things that most people don't know about. He planted trees in Israel for my grandmother. He cosigned on a loan for my first car when me and Bob Weir were hitchhiking to the Fillmore. He financed the seed money for Drumming at the Edge of Magic and Planet Drum, my two books. I asked him to give me some money for this research, which took ten years, and he said, "Why? Why should I give you money for a drum book, of all things?" I said, "Because you love drums, Bill and what else will you do with your fucking money?" So he gave me the money for the drum books.