Partly raised in Europe, he later attended a Quaker college in Indiana.
In the mid-1960s, he went to San Francisco State where he took part in anti-segregation demonstrations and came to know Luria Castell, Danny Rifkin, Chet Helms, and Owsley “Bear” Stanley.
It was Owsley who introduced him to the Grateful Dead back then.
He left the band in 1984 and settled in Monterey.
He died from lung cancer on December 16, 2014.