Unofficial Grateful Dead member and long-time band archivist Dick Latvala died Friday (Aug. 6) after slipping into a coma caused by a heart attack on July 28.| Latvala, who was fifty-six, joins fellow departed members of the Dead family Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, Brent Mydland and Jerry Garcia (who died four years ago today).
Latvala was responsible for the acclaimed series Dick's Picks, an ongoing CD collection of re-mastered live Dead shows. Although he was never technically a member of the band, Latvala worked for eighteen years as a conduit between the group and its legions of fans, or Deadheads.
Fans can spread love to Latvala and his family by posting memories and stories about him on the band's official web site, www.dead.net. For those concerned about the future of Dick's Picks, band spokesman Dennis McNally said the series will continue to breathe life into the band's musical past, with the release of Dick's Picks 15 this fall.