Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Steve Brown Papers MS.338
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
The collection documents Brown's involvement with the Grateful Dead, focusing on the years 1972-1976, when he worked for both Round Records and Grateful Dead Records in a variety of capacities. In addition to tours by the Grateful Dead, the Jerry Garcia Band, and Kingfish, the collection documents Brown's work on a number of projects, including the LPs Mars Hotel, Old and In the Way, Tiger Rose, Pistol Packin' Mama, and The Grateful Dead Movie.
Steve Brown (1944- ) was born and raised in San Francisco and attended Commodore Sloat Elementary School, Aptos Junior High School, Abraham Lincoln High School, and San Francisco City College, where he earned his Associate of Arts Degree in 1965 as a Broadcast Major. After working at KSFO Radio from 1961-1965, he worked in record sales and promotion from 1965-1967, while also managing the rock band, Friendly Stranger. He served in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1966-1971. His active duty (June 1967-December 1968) was in the San Diego Navy Public Information Office recording studio, making music tapes for the ships' entertainment systems in the 7th Fleet, with two tours of Vietnam recording audio with a Naval Operations film crew. He used his Navy-issued reel-to-reel tape deck to record the Dead at their famed free concert on Haight Street, March 3, 1968. While on active duty, he moonlighted as underground DJ "O.B. Jetty" at KPRI-FM San Diego, from 1967-1969. After an honorable discharge, he was head album buyer for a San Francisco wholesale record distributor, (1970-1972), where he learned that the Dead wanted to start their own record company and applied for a job. In spring 1973 he went to work for Grateful Dead Records and Round Records, serving in several capacities, including album promotion (1973-1978), staffing the Grateful Dead Records promo/sign-up booth during the 1974 concert tour, handling album session production and overseeing album art production (1973-1978), and production and post-production assistant for "The Grateful Dead Movie" (1974-1976). After leaving the Grateful Dead in 1978, he was Associate Producer at Seen Sal Inc., producing benefit concerts from 1978-1982, going on to serve as Operations Manager for Pacifica Community Television (1982-1988) and Video Project Lab Instructor at Skyline College in San Bruno (1982-1992). After that, he worked as Independent Producer for Pacifica Films (1992-2002), going on to be Video Producer for Pacifica Community Television/Pacific Coast Television, from 2002- present. He is divorced with one daughter.
1.5 Linear feet (3) document boxes
Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to publish or to reproduce the material, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
This collection is processed and available for research.