December 2018 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/7/2018
Presented here for your considered approval is one of the scarcest and most coveted concert posters of the entire rock and roll generation. Any good Grateful Dead fan is well schooled in the brightly colored, psychedelic posters that touted bands such as the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and numerous others at world-famous venues such as the Fillmore East or the Cow Palace, events held by legendary promoter Bill Graham. Indeed, those items are fantastic and anyone should be proud to be the owner of one. But the offered Grateful Dead concert poster is a completely different animal. The item advertises the band's show in Buffalo, NY on March 31, 1973 at the Memorial Auditorium. This would be the band's first true appearance in Buffalo, as well as their first show promoted by Harvey Weinstein, the now-infamous Hollywood mogul. The poster is significant and special for a number of reasons, first and foremost being the depiction of Ron "Pig Pen" McKernan, the band's original keyboard player. Not only is Pig Pen not often portrayed on Grateful Dead concert posters, he tragically passed away just 23 days before this show at the all-too-young age of 27. He is seen at the far left of the group's lineup, standing next to Jerry Garcia. Additionally, this poster, when rare examples do surface, nearly always has a New Riders of the Purple Sage sticker placed on the front, as the band was added to the bill just days prior to the show. This example has no such sticker, and is entirely devoted to the Grateful Dead. Perhaps more important than that fact, however, is the abundance of references to the counter-cultural elements of the time. The character "Red" from Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is seen balancing Tom Wolfe's epic The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test on his head, and Kesey's Further Bus is seen with Merry Pranksters on the top, surging from the pages of the book with the San Francisco Bay Bridge looming in the background. Leaning up against the bus we find Sam Cutler, who at the time was the touring manager for the Dead, but is perhaps best known as the former tour manager for the Rolling Stones, and is often demonized as a catalyst for the tragic events that occurred at Altamont Speedway during the Stones' free concert in 1969. Cutler stayed in the US after the events at Altamont to deal with the aftermath, and was befriended by Jerry Garcia and eventually became co-manager of the band as well as their agent. Additionally, there is reference to Kurt Vonnegut's novel Cat's Cradle, as a melting cube of Ice Nine is depicted to the right of the bus. Ice Nine is a fictional substance that appears in the book, and is supposed to be a more stable form of water than common ice, which instead of melting at zero degrees Celsius, melts at 45.8 degrees Celsius, and its contact with normal water is supposed to act as a seed crystal, freezing the entire body of water. The issue of freezing the entire oceans of the earth is the central theme to Vonnegut's book. Also, we find the Grateful Dead's official clown, Wavy Gravy, with one of his hogs. Wavy Gravy founded the Hog Farm in Tujunga, CA, an activist commune that eventually morphed into a sort of "mobile, hallucination-extended family," active internationally in both music and politics. Today it is considered to be America's longest-running hippie commune. The six band members stand proudly in front of the bus, above their printed name. While there are a couple of surface wrinkles and a bit of peripheral wear toward the lower left corner, the poster is in overall excellent condition, displaying with tremendous overall visual appeal. A truly special piece, honoring a rock and roll band that spanned a generation, bringing together art, music and literature that personified a cultural revolution. Visible area is approximately 16 1/2" x 22" and the frame is 24" x 30" and the artist's name, Manning, appears at the top of the bus.
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Minimum Bid: $4,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $0.00
Number Bids:0
Competitive in-house shipping is not available for this lot.
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