The Grateful Dead was “busted down on Bourbon Street” 50 years ago on this day

(Jerry Garcia’s mugshot. Picture: CC | Flickr)
Friday marked 50 years since members of the Grateful Dead were “busted down on Bourbon Street.”

Jerry Garcia and Bill Kreutzmann—who were each identified as band “associate[s]”—were arrested in a drug raid after a team of federal narcotics agents and New Orleans Police served a search warrant on two rooms at an unspecified French Quarter hotel on Jan. 31, 1970, according to the Times-Picayune in an article dated Feb. 1, 1970.

The band was on tour and had recently played at a venue called The Warehouse located at Felicity and Tchoupitoulas streets, which opened for business on the prior evening.

Assisted by federal agents, the raid was led by New Orleans Police Department Chief Clarence Giarusso, seizing various quantities of drugs including marijuana and LSD and netted 19 total arrests, including Grateful Dead roadie Larry Shirtliff, band manager John M. McIntire, band equipment man John P. Hager and Owsley Stanley, of Alexandria, Va., dubbed the “King of Acid,” according to the newspaper.

The raid was memorialized in the Grateful Dead song, “Truckin’,” which appeared on the band’s album American Beauty. The song was recognized as a “national treasure” by the Library of Congress in 1997.

Lesh, Garcia, Weir, Hager, McIntire, and Shirtliff were each arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana.

Shirtliff and McIntire were also each suspected of possessing barbiturates, while Weir was also suspected of amphetamine possession and Lesh was also booked on suspicion of possession of LSD.

Several French Quarter residents were arrested in the raid, according to the Times-Picayune. They include:

Stephen T. Helms, 20, of 630 Dauphine St., suspected of possessing marijuana and barbiturates;

Nancy A. Weidenhaft, 23, of 630 Dauphine St., a saleslady at a French Quarter dress shop, suspected of possessing marijuana and dangerous non-narcotics;

Miss Elsie J. Landun, 20, of 630 Dauphine St., suspected of possessing marijauna a barbiturates.