Ex-Grateful Dead manager laments music biz changes

Managing the 'Dead'

The music industry has certainly changed since Richard Loren was managing rock 'n' roll legends such as the Grateful Dead, the Doors and Jefferson Airplane, although he isn't necessarily complaining.

Loren, who has chronicled his time in the business in a new memoir titled "High Notes," told CNBC "the corporatization of the entertainment world has changed everything."

"It was more fluid, more exciting back in those days. … Now it's all kind of planned and scheduled and compartmentalized."

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That said, he still thinks there is a lot of good music coming out now.

"A lot of kids just start playing to play because it's hard to get a record deal these days. You have to have connections," Loren said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

And while music streaming services have celebrity musicians trying to find new ways to boost album sales, like Taylor Swift pulling her entire catalog from Spotify, he thinks music should be free.

"Music should basically be free. Live music should be free. The Grateful Dead always allowed tapers. That's why there are so many Dead fans today because every show is taped and now they're releasing this music," he said.

"They made a fortune on merchandise and performing. … but it's a different world now."

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