• April 20, 2011
    http://www.dead.net/features/blairs-golden-road-blog/blairs-golden-road-blog-hellooooo-ebay
    Blair's Golden Road Blog - Hellooooo, eBay!

    A while back, someone sent me a story from Forbes magazine, in which the billionaire owner of the Indianapolis Colts, James Irsay, was crowing about having spent $970,000 back in 2001 to buy Garcia’s “Tiger” guitar at an auction by the instrument’s original luthier, Doug Irwin: “It was a 15-rounder [at auction],” Irsay told the mag, “but I made the determination that I’d rather have Tiger than all the other Jerry stuff in the world...When I got it, it was like he’d literally [just] put it down at Soldier Field [in Chicago, site of the final Dead show in 1995]. I mean there were pot crumblings in [the guitar’s “stash box”]. The strap is sweat-strewn. ...Jerry was, wow, man, what can you say about him? What a guitarist, man, and what a character.”

    OK, that’s the absolute upper end of Grateful Dead/Garcia memorabilia (so far). The guy has very deep pockets: Irsay also paid $600,000 for one of George Harrison’s main guitars, and a whopping $2.4 million for the original typed version of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. “I think it’s hard to overpay,” the same Forbes article quoted him as saying, “because they’re priceless.” We’re still talking about many millions of dollars less than just about any Monet or Picasso painting would go for, and who’s to say that Tiger or On the Road aren’t as culturally significant, or as “beautiful” in their own way, as an important art work? But that’s rarified air none of us will ever breathe.

    A few notches down from that were the quite substantial holdings of Ram Rod (Lawrence Shurtliff), the much-loved Grateful Dead road crew chief who passed away in 2006, and whose motley collection of Deadrabilia was sold through a Bonhams & Butterfields auction in San Francisco in 2007. Quite a few impressive pieces brought high prices—including $300,000 for one of Jerry’s Travis Bean guitars from the mid-’70s, $102,000 for one of Garcia’s later custom Alvarez-Yairi acoustics, and $87,000 for three original paintings by Bob Thomas, including the back cover panel of Live Dead and an alternate version of the front cover painting.

    This tie-dyed speaker
    box went for $5,700 at
    the Ram Rod auction in 2007.

    OK, those were all very cool. But I saw the auction items laid out at B&B a couple of weeks before the event, and a lot of them were in shockingly poor shape—yet still garnered big bucks from eager buyers. Like, $15,600 for a worn Haliburton case “used by Ram Rod to transport important items for the Grateful Dead while on tour, 1970s-1990.” Surely the only reason this fetched such a good price is the buyer believed that this was actually a “stash case” that traveled with the band. No one pays that price for a briefcase that just carries papers. The rose-embroidered and rhinestone-studded guitar strap designed to match Garcia’s magnificent Nudie suit (designed by the famous SoCal C&W suit designer “Nudie” Cohn; Garcia wore it a couple of times onstage in 1973) went for $20,400, despite missing several rhinestones. (Alas, Phil’s entire Nudie suit, which was originally to be part of the Ram Rod auction, was withdrawn at the last minute, over questions regarding its true ownership.) There were all sorts decrepit and empty speaker boxes from the Wall of Sound ($3,600 for one), pieces of nonfunctioning audio equipment, random photographs in not-very-good condition (most of which landed bids in the $600-$900 range), and a bunch of other stuff (including Ram Rod’s own guitars, banjo and mandolin). Ram Rod’s heirs walked away with an impressive $1.1 million.

    And for the rest of us, there’s eBay. God, there’s a lot of Grateful Dead stuff up on eBay at all times, and the quality varies tremendously, as you might imagine. Look under “Grateful Dead shirts” and you’ll find around 50 “pages” of 50+ shirts each, ranging from cool custom ones sold by individuals to obviously factory-made, mass-produced shirts being sold by big companies. Under “Grateful Dead CDs” there are hundreds more items, including some I’d never seen before: $35 will buy you a “limited edition” 2-CD set of Jerry Garcia music “housed in silver paper slipcases with Jerry Garcia's artwork on them (both the sleeves and CDs) and including the complete track listing and information as follows (sweet selections to be sure).” This one intrigued me because disc one of the set is a collection of tunes I put together for the limited box edition of the book Jerry Garcia: The Collected Artwork, and I was not aware that “rogue” copies of the music were being peddled elsewhere. Hmmm. Strange. Thanks for the compliment about the “sweet selections,” though.

    From time to time some obviously fake Dead merchandise goes up on eBay—usually reproductions of old posters for events that never had posters (and which occasionally have blatant historical inaccuracies on them—a 1966 photo on a 1965 poster, etc.)—and “autographed” photos and posters of dubious origin and questionable veracity. These usually get sniffed out by Dead Heads pretty quickly, and the sellers often get their feet held to the fire long enough that they eventually withdraw the item. But no doubt many bogus items have been sold to unsuspecting Heads this way—just as the sports and movie memorabilia markets have been plagued by counterfeits and forgeries forever.

    Attaché case:
    A mere $15,600!

    I often wish that I had a collector’s mentality. For instance, when I was living overseas in Rome, Italy, in the mid-’60s, why didn’t I save the literally hundreds of Marvel and DC comics I carefully shipped over from the U.S. during my summer visits—all those now-valuable X-Men and Spider-Man comics? Through the years, I lost the few cool sports autographs I’d gotten—Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax signed a menu for me at Toots Shor’s restaurant in NYC in about 1962; boxing legend Jack Dempsey talked me up and signed an autograph as he sat getting his shoes shined in the men’s room downstairs at his old Times Square joint in the early ’60s. My thousands of baseball cards bought between 1957 and ’65? Fuggedaboutit! Later on, I almost never held on to the free swag that record companies used to send out with promo copies of albums I got as a rock critic. I once figured out I could have an entire promo wardrobe (including enormous underpants promoting an album by Gentle Giant!). Wish I’d kept the 45s from my youth I used to lug around from move to move, but eventually either lost or tossed.

    And it hasn’t been any better with Grateful Dead stuff. Even though I interviewed every member of the band multiple times from the early ’80s on, I never asked for an autograph (I thought it would look tacky and possibly harm my “professional” relationship with the guys, or some such nonsense). When I’ve occasionally gotten multiple copies of GD-related CDs I’ve worked on, I’ve given them to friends or the folks I’ve interviewed for liner notes. Some posters I had were damaged when the roof of my garage blew off in a storm a few years back. Hey, someone on eBay is trying to get $19.95 for Issue Six of The Golden Road. Why, I believe I have a few hundred of those babies sitting around here in boxes! Jeez, by now I could’ve paid for some of my son’s college tuition if I’d been smarter about getting and hoarding and selling stuff. But it just ain’t in me.

    I have to admit, the one large signed Garcia litho I own — still in mint condition and safely encased in cardboard in a closet because, frankly, I never liked it enough to actually put it up in my house — keeps calling out to me in the raspy voice of late-period Jerry: “Sell me, man!” Thanks, Jer. I need the encouragement! Today I saw that someone is asking for $4,200 for the same litho on eBay. That’s nearly a quarter’s tuition at UCLA. Hellooo, eBay!

    Ever bought or sold Dead memorabilia online? What’s the coolest Dead-related item you own? Anything you wouldn’t part with, even if the price were right?

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A while back, someone sent me a story from Forbes magazine, in which the billionaire owner of the Indianapolis Colts, James Irsay, was crowing about having spent $970,000 back in 2001 to buy Garcia’s “Tiger” guitar at an auction by the instrument’s original luthier, Doug Irwin: “It was a 15-rounder [at auction],” Irsay told the mag, “but I made the determination that I’d rather have Tiger than all the other Jerry stuff in the world...When I got it, it was like he’d literally [just] put it down at Soldier Field [in Chicago, site of the final Dead show in 1995]. I mean there were pot crumblings in [the guitar’s “stash box”]. The strap is sweat-strewn. ...Jerry was, wow, man, what can you say about him? What a guitarist, man, and what a character.”

OK, that’s the absolute upper end of Grateful Dead/Garcia memorabilia (so far). The guy has very deep pockets: Irsay also paid $600,000 for one of George Harrison’s main guitars, and a whopping $2.4 million for the original typed version of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. “I think it’s hard to overpay,” the same Forbes article quoted him as saying, “because they’re priceless.” We’re still talking about many millions of dollars less than just about any Monet or Picasso painting would go for, and who’s to say that Tiger or On the Road aren’t as culturally significant, or as “beautiful” in their own way, as an important art work? But that’s rarified air none of us will ever breathe.

A few notches down from that were the quite substantial holdings of Ram Rod (Lawrence Shurtliff), the much-loved Grateful Dead road crew chief who passed away in 2006, and whose motley collection of Deadrabilia was sold through a Bonhams & Butterfields auction in San Francisco in 2007. Quite a few impressive pieces brought high prices—including $300,000 for one of Jerry’s Travis Bean guitars from the mid-’70s, $102,000 for one of Garcia’s later custom Alvarez-Yairi acoustics, and $87,000 for three original paintings by Bob Thomas, including the back cover panel of Live Dead and an alternate version of the front cover painting.

This tie-dyed speaker
box went for $5,700 at
the Ram Rod auction in 2007.

OK, those were all very cool. But I saw the auction items laid out at B&B a couple of weeks before the event, and a lot of them were in shockingly poor shape—yet still garnered big bucks from eager buyers. Like, $15,600 for a worn Haliburton case “used by Ram Rod to transport important items for the Grateful Dead while on tour, 1970s-1990.” Surely the only reason this fetched such a good price is the buyer believed that this was actually a “stash case” that traveled with the band. No one pays that price for a briefcase that just carries papers. The rose-embroidered and rhinestone-studded guitar strap designed to match Garcia’s magnificent Nudie suit (designed by the famous SoCal C&W suit designer “Nudie” Cohn; Garcia wore it a couple of times onstage in 1973) went for $20,400, despite missing several rhinestones. (Alas, Phil’s entire Nudie suit, which was originally to be part of the Ram Rod auction, was withdrawn at the last minute, over questions regarding its true ownership.) There were all sorts decrepit and empty speaker boxes from the Wall of Sound ($3,600 for one), pieces of nonfunctioning audio equipment, random photographs in not-very-good condition (most of which landed bids in the $600-$900 range), and a bunch of other stuff (including Ram Rod’s own guitars, banjo and mandolin). Ram Rod’s heirs walked away with an impressive $1.1 million.

And for the rest of us, there’s eBay. God, there’s a lot of Grateful Dead stuff up on eBay at all times, and the quality varies tremendously, as you might imagine. Look under “Grateful Dead shirts” and you’ll find around 50 “pages” of 50+ shirts each, ranging from cool custom ones sold by individuals to obviously factory-made, mass-produced shirts being sold by big companies. Under “Grateful Dead CDs” there are hundreds more items, including some I’d never seen before: $35 will buy you a “limited edition” 2-CD set of Jerry Garcia music “housed in silver paper slipcases with Jerry Garcia's artwork on them (both the sleeves and CDs) and including the complete track listing and information as follows (sweet selections to be sure).” This one intrigued me because disc one of the set is a collection of tunes I put together for the limited box edition of the book Jerry Garcia: The Collected Artwork, and I was not aware that “rogue” copies of the music were being peddled elsewhere. Hmmm. Strange. Thanks for the compliment about the “sweet selections,” though.

From time to time some obviously fake Dead merchandise goes up on eBay—usually reproductions of old posters for events that never had posters (and which occasionally have blatant historical inaccuracies on them—a 1966 photo on a 1965 poster, etc.)—and “autographed” photos and posters of dubious origin and questionable veracity. These usually get sniffed out by Dead Heads pretty quickly, and the sellers often get their feet held to the fire long enough that they eventually withdraw the item. But no doubt many bogus items have been sold to unsuspecting Heads this way—just as the sports and movie memorabilia markets have been plagued by counterfeits and forgeries forever.

Attaché case:
A mere $15,600!

I often wish that I had a collector’s mentality. For instance, when I was living overseas in Rome, Italy, in the mid-’60s, why didn’t I save the literally hundreds of Marvel and DC comics I carefully shipped over from the U.S. during my summer visits—all those now-valuable X-Men and Spider-Man comics? Through the years, I lost the few cool sports autographs I’d gotten—Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax signed a menu for me at Toots Shor’s restaurant in NYC in about 1962; boxing legend Jack Dempsey talked me up and signed an autograph as he sat getting his shoes shined in the men’s room downstairs at his old Times Square joint in the early ’60s. My thousands of baseball cards bought between 1957 and ’65? Fuggedaboutit! Later on, I almost never held on to the free swag that record companies used to send out with promo copies of albums I got as a rock critic. I once figured out I could have an entire promo wardrobe (including enormous underpants promoting an album by Gentle Giant!). Wish I’d kept the 45s from my youth I used to lug around from move to move, but eventually either lost or tossed.

And it hasn’t been any better with Grateful Dead stuff. Even though I interviewed every member of the band multiple times from the early ’80s on, I never asked for an autograph (I thought it would look tacky and possibly harm my “professional” relationship with the guys, or some such nonsense). When I’ve occasionally gotten multiple copies of GD-related CDs I’ve worked on, I’ve given them to friends or the folks I’ve interviewed for liner notes. Some posters I had were damaged when the roof of my garage blew off in a storm a few years back. Hey, someone on eBay is trying to get $19.95 for Issue Six of The Golden Road. Why, I believe I have a few hundred of those babies sitting around here in boxes! Jeez, by now I could’ve paid for some of my son’s college tuition if I’d been smarter about getting and hoarding and selling stuff. But it just ain’t in me.

I have to admit, the one large signed Garcia litho I own — still in mint condition and safely encased in cardboard in a closet because, frankly, I never liked it enough to actually put it up in my house — keeps calling out to me in the raspy voice of late-period Jerry: “Sell me, man!” Thanks, Jer. I need the encouragement! Today I saw that someone is asking for $4,200 for the same litho on eBay. That’s nearly a quarter’s tuition at UCLA. Hellooo, eBay!

Ever bought or sold Dead memorabilia online? What’s the coolest Dead-related item you own? Anything you wouldn’t part with, even if the price were right?

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A while back, someone sent me a story from Forbes magazine, in which the billionaire owner of the Indianapolis Colts, James Irsay, was crowing about having spent $970,000 back in 2001 to buy Garcia’s “Tiger” guitar at an auction by the instrument’s original luthier, Doug Irwin: “It was a 15-rounder [at auction],” Irsay told the mag, “but I made the determination that I’d rather have Tiger than all the other Jerry stuff in the world...When I got it, it was like he’d literally [just] put it down at Soldier Field [in Chicago, site of the final Dead show in 1995]. I mean there were pot crumblings in [the guitar’s “stash box”]. The strap is sweat-strewn...Jerry was, wow, man, what can you say about him? What a guitarist, man, and what a character.”

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Geez, all I got is some old tour relics -- some "cosmic charlie campaign" fliers, a couple Reagan-ear "space is for deadhead, not warheads" bumper stickers, and I'm down to single box of old tapes that I will never listen to (don't own a tape deck any more), but whose original artwork accumulated over the years I just can't part with. Like Blaire's boxes of Golden Road issues, I have a couple boxes of tie-dyed tapestries that I sold on tour for years -- before anybody cared about copyrights to thing like dancing bears and SYF symbols. Ah, the simple days! Anyway, I made 'em in batches of 200, and have a bunch left over from my last tour. I've never really thought of selling them, in part because it's such a kick when my friends' CHILDREN ask for some! Whoda thunk it! And besides, there is that whole copyright thing. Anyway, if a few people want a collectible of their own, and are willing to send a SASE, send me a PM and I'll mail out a few tour relics out. The little picture next to my screen name is bad photo of the article in question -- 2 of which I gave to Bear himself in a parking lot at a show (in Pittsburgh, I believe) after he came over and explained to his date the whole history of the dancing bear thing and its relationship to him. Nice fellow! 'Course, if the Colts guy wants to trade the whole lot for a guitar, he should PM me too!
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Timely subject, Blair. Not too long after the Europe '72: The Complete Recordings went on presale, I was quite shocked to see that people were selling the purchase codes for ridiculous prices. When things got straightened out, People were selling their pre-purchased box sets for high prices. I think the dust has settled for awhile, but wait until after September 2011. Also what amazes me is that people are selling the Road Trips (with bonus disc) releases for high prices. The Fillmore West 1969 Complete Recordings also fetch a tidy sum, even higher if the box is still sealed. And then there are the unofficial bootleg recordings, and that's another story for some one else to comment on.
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I have yet to buy or sell anything on eBay. It's a nice place for a price check.
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Kind of a pointless subject. Unless you're buying actual music like the FW69 it's just bragging rights, possibly an investment, unless you can hump it. What can I say? I'm not a nostalgia freak or materialistic hippy. ~What another man spills ~ PS E-Bay wussed out when they stopped selling dried poppy pods.
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I recall some years ago seeing Brent's hammond organ on sale. Can't say I know what it went for.
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The one truly valuable (monetarily speaking) Grateful Dead collectable that I own is the complete set of backstage passes for the '95 tour including the passes for the leg of the tour that never happened. The picture designs are pretty cool. Apparently the head guy at Marvel was a Dead Head so the set consists of pictures of all of these Marvel Comics characters and in the text boxes and speech bubbles it says the show date and "not good for admission". It was given to me as a gift by my father as a high school graduation present, so I don't know how much he payed for it, but I do know that he got it through an old fashioned auction. I put up a cell-phone pic under my fan photos for any of you who may be curious as to what it looks like (I'm not quite sure how to post it into one of these comment boxes), though being a cell phone pic from my poorly lit apartment it doesn't do justice to the vibrancy of the colors. After that the next rarest piece of Grateful Dead history I've got is simply owning a copy of the Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions album, which is surprisingly different from Reckoning, though I love both albums dearly and they are both among my top five favorite live Grateful Dead albums. So, your son goes to UCLA Blair? That's awesome. I'm a current Bruin myself (class of 2012) psychology major and planing to go the PhD route. What year is he and what's his major? Does he have post undergraduate plans or is he taking a page from the Bob Weir playbook and as Weir said in the interview in the Grateful Dead Movie, making a conscious decision not to have a plan?
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Yeah, my son is also in the class of 2012 at UCLA. He's a history major, getting good grades, but seems more interested in pursuing his musical whims, which range from fairly conventional folkish tunes to strange electronic things influenced by Animal Collective and his new favorite, Flying Lotus. I had hoped he was going to see the GD movie last night (he likes 'em) but I don't think he made it. What a good time that was!
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Over the years I camped out at shows and hotels to get not just the band, but Dead "family" members to sign the coffee table-sized book "The GD Family Album." Donna Jean, Dawg, Branford Marsalis, Bob Hunter, Mouse have all signed, as well as guys like Pete Townshend, Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts, Bill Walton. Kesey even wrote across a whole page his own "Truckin" lyrics a couple months after Jerry's death! Only regrets were that I skipped getting Brent in '90 for a family thing and Bobby Zimmerman politely declined my request. Ebay? It would have to pay the whole college tuition, not just a portion of it. And, I got to talk art with Jerry when he signed the book as well as my Bear's Choice album! Money spent buying the book: $40. Time spent collecting the autographs: hours and hours. Value of my conversation with Jerry on July 9, 1995: Priceless!
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Hi Blair, I found this blog very interesting for personal reasons. I was at that auction in 2001 where Tiger and Wolf were auctioned. The auction was held at studio 54 in NY. It was an amazing night. James tells it correctly. We were seated a few seats from the guy that was doing the bidding for James. He was on the phone (with James i guess) the whole time getting instructions on his next bid. I never knew from that night who the guy was bidding for and who ended up with the guitars until the SI story on James about a year ago where he was standing in from of one of the guitars in his office. Anyway, I was lucky enough to win the auction on Jerry's Harmonica that night. I had not bid on it until the auctioneer was going to sell it for less that $4,000 and I thought that this is the only other musical instrument auctioned off that night and it wouldn't be fair to let it go so inexpensively. After I won the bid, I proceeded to get smashed on Jamessons while my 2 friends participated in the remainder of the auction. Yep, they had to help me back to the parking garage after the auction was over only to find out that the garage closed at 11 and it was almost 1:30. The car was impounded until 6AM when the garage reopened. We found a hotel around Time Square and negotiated a discount rate since we were only going to be in the room for 4 hours. Anyway, I still have the harmonica. While Jerry never played it on stage, the affidavit says he played it allot during his vacation time in Hawaii. My documents also show that Jerry wanted to play Visions of Johanna on it during a show. I would really like to get with Phil and Bob to have a Rex Foundation benefit and Maybe Dylan would stop by just to play "Visions of Johanna" on it in memory. Looking to find the right people that can get Jerry's DNA out of this instrument as I have never played it.
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Hi Blair, The topic got me curious so I took a look. A few copies of your own Golden Road magazine are available at around $15 a pop. I'll never sell my collection of what I and many others consider one of the finest (and most fun) bodies of work about the GD ever done. I am missing an issue or two and I'd love to complete my collection . Would you consider making any extra copies you have around available? thanks Doc
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I have some but not all issues available ($8 for regular issues, $12 for the two annuals), so email me with your needs: blair@blairjackson.com. Interesting story earlier about the harmonica. Never knew Jerry even owned one. I guess with Pig around, that area was covered for a few years... Then Matthew Kelly kept showin' up for a while... Not sure Jerry had the wind-power to blow harmonica in his later years... Thanks for the blow-by-blow on the auction!
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I grew up collecting San Francisco concert posters and flyers and Grateful Dead pieces in particular. It also spawned my career as an artist. The posters have kept me going when ends don't always meet as they are usually easy to sell. The past 30 years or so have been up and down financially, so selling posters have always supplemented my income. Some cool GD pieces that I've had to let go? A Hawaiian oXo poster, a flyer for the Peace Rock show at Harmon Gym (May of '66) and probably the best piece was a poster for a 1967 show at Seattle's Eagles Auditorium that the original 5 members had signed. However, in the early 90's I was commissioned to illustrate a couple of GD magazine covers (one of which was what tuned out to be Blair's final issue of the Golden Road). Over a decade later, GD commissioned a poster design from me which led to the cover design and illustrations for the Road Trips series along with other covers. I've kept a few treasures - a poster from my 1st show 1/20/68 (Eureka) and an original FD26 poster (Mouse & Kelley's skeleton & Roses). THANKS!
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ebay can be a way to get some good dead stuff, but let the buyer beware, I for one wouldn't bid on anything that the seller said was "Jerry's personal" or Bobby's or any of them, that would be just too dificult to document. I have had to resort to ebay to part with some of my personal collection of dead items, but mostly I have only sold bootleg CD's, most were KTS import CD's, which were complete shows soundboard recordings. Hated to do it, but the economy in 09>10 sucked for me and it had to be done. Back in the day (70's and 80's) I collected everything dead I could get my hands on, and in those days it was a lot, at shows they always gave away patches or stickers or cards or flyers or something dead related, I remember in 89 built to last was about to be released (halloween) and as we walked into the Miami arena they were giving out these playing cards with that wild dead pumpkin on one side and the other said on Halloween the dead will rise again, advertising the release of that highly anticipated lp. There will always be things I will never part with, signed Ken Kesey posters, signed Mickey and Jerry books, but the one thing I will never part with is my signed litho of "Blue Iceberg" by Jerry, painted in 86 it is my prized possession. Have seen a copy up on ebay once for 5,000$, but that ain't enough. Too bad I didn't take all those comics (Marvel,DC plus all underground comics by crumb, etc..) with me when I went to boot camp, came home and my mom had thrown them all out....along with all my collections from the 60's, she hated that "hippy sh%$". If she only had known what those little paper books were going to be worth.
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I browse through Ebay from time to time to see what things show up. But I am poor and cannot afford most of it, ok - just about any of it. I, like a previous blogger, tend to lean toward the music, and love to look at the old items, but could not see giving 3-4-5-6 digits on them. I have been building a giant collection for years, and some items may be worth something. But when it comes to selling them... when it's gone, it's gone. My sons, now wear my old shirts. They love to look thru the old gatefold LP's, ticket stubs, posters, handbills and so on. I still have my Dupree's, Golden Road and Relix mags, and pull them out from time to time. I still have and preserve my cassettes (but I have since gone digital). That was and is still a big part of my life. I will have that stuff when I am very old. Some would say I'm a nerd, I say I am lucky enough to have found something I am passionate about (many go their entire lives and do not find it)..... When it comes to getting rid of you prized possessions......I sold a Leslie-122 several years ago for $1200. I had to pay rent. It was nice that week. But, I had regret almost immediately. If that guy in Charlotte is out there who bought it. I hope you have taken good care of it. Do not give up your collections, unless you really have to... or unless you have a warehouse full of Garcia and Hendrix signatures. .....Trent
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My mother didn't throw my things out, but she did store all of my 45s in some ungodly hot place -- all warped. ALL of my Beatles 45s trashed! I'd definitely like to get that stuff back. I decided about 6 years ago at the tender age of 50 to start "collecting" rock posters, but never wanted to start parting with a major amount of cash to buy "vintage" stuff. Although I'd love to have the old ones, what I'm looking for are mementos of shows that I'm currently seeing, so my Dead memorabilia is mostly (not exclusively) limited to Ratdog, P+F, The Dead, Furthur, and so on...the "new" stuff. I know that the collector mentality is sinking in though, as I'm usually holding out for numbered and signed, show- or tour-specific, autographed if possible, items. I frame them and add my show ticket in the margin, maybe a miniature setlist to complete the package. My wife has become very impressed with the number of things that I've managed to cram onto the wallspace of my listening room -- impressed to the point of complimenting me on how good a job I've done, much to my surprise as she was a mite skeptical about the whole idea in the beginning. No desire to sell ANY of this stuff, I just like the way they all look. Maybe my heirs will get to cash in...but I don't think so. Will a Phil Lesh autographed 60th birthday show poster fetch huge sums in 30 yrs? Who knows, but not while I'm still breathing, I assure you.
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I've heard that after Jerry's passing, he left behind a comic book collection made of of ECs, the old horror comics of the 1950's.Anybody know what has become of them?
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I will always cherise the memory of one large (and prominent on tour) guy Mike hawking "Grateful Dead toilet paper, a nickel a sheet" at the top of his lungs during a '79 tour. He was quite disgusted at a few twists in the scene, including merchandising by one and all. Mike had early, personal experience with Jerry's junkie ways, and he was insisting for awhile that the scene was headed downhill. He hated the shorter, predictable sets. And Mike would not like seeing Dicks Picks 34 from Rochester going for $125 on Ebay.
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Alice, Jerry's daughter Annabelle inherited his comic collection, which I'd say means it's in good hands!
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The coolest dead-related item I own is a poster advertising the 17 October 1990 show at the Grugahalle in Essen, Germany. It's a big poster - about 32"x45". It's framed now. What's cool about it? It was my first GD show...so I'm glad to have it. I was walking up to the show with my friend and saw the posters laid out on the sidewalk...the guy had a stack of them. I gave him my 20DM...right about then the poster police showed up and told him he couldn't be selling those posters (it was all in German but I got the general idea.) So the guy had to pack up and leave...it seems they let him keep the posters. He was packing up and I said, "Hey I already paid you!" So he gave me the poster. I took it back to the car before going into the show. I took Blair up on that Golden Road offer almost two years ago. It wasn't actually an offer...I just e-mailed and asked for back issues and Blair was kind enough to pack them up and ship them to me...almost every back issue except for a couple I already had.Thanks Blair!
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10 years 11 months
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I just took a spin through the eBay Grateful Dead CD section, and man, TONS of stuff for sale. It was interesting to see so many out-of-print Dick's Picks and Pure Jerry CDs going for big bucks. No idea if the sellers actually get such huge prices for them. I guess they must sometimes. But those things periodically come back into production, so my advice to anyone thinking of spending big bucks on them is to wait. Your patience might be rewarded.
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11 years 2 months
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While I do purchase some used vinyl on ebay, my Grateful Dead collection was almost entirely purchased in small independent record stores. The last Dead item I purchased online was from Amazon's Marketplace and was a used copy of The official Book of Dead Heads. My coolest dead related album is my original cassette copy of Workingman's Dead which I purchased back in my teenage years. I also have near mint original pressings of many of the Dead's album's including a amazing sounding original pressing of Live Dead complete with the insert. I like ebay but I prefer to purchase what I need from the Dead store at the time of release.
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11 years 4 months
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My most valuable Grateful Dead "items" is actually not in physical form but in my mind. It's me at the Stockholm press conference on October 12, 1990. I've got a short little chat with Vince, handshakes with Bob, Phil, Mickey and Jerry (some of my Swedish Deadhead friends asked the day after, at the show, if I had washed my hands since the day before - anyway they all felt good about shaking the hand that had shook Jerry's hand ... *s*). I got a very personal autograph from Jerry and one of those 1990 tour posters on cardboard from a slightly uncomfortable Dennis McNally. When it comes to physical items, there is of course almoste every issue of Golden Road from 1984 to about Spring 1990. I will now try to get hold on the one I missing ... I consider my collection of Relix magazines to be part of my valuable items, from the oldest (Vol.5, No 2 - Spring 1978?) to the newest (Febr/March 2009) even though I missing a whole lot of issues before 1987 and stopped buying them on a regular basis around 2000/2001. One of the coolest magazines I have is a issue of a Danish one named MM (nr. 2 may 1972) which is actually a jazz magazine but in that issue they focused on the visits to Copenhagen during the '72 tour. My copy is in mint condition and I can actually get another one exactly like the one I have!! You see, I was employed in the mid 1990's by the local jazz club and my had to begun by cleaning out all of their closets with all kinds of memorbilia, collected between 1972 and 1994. Stashed with lots and lots of magazines I found these TWO copies of the actual Danish magazine. It's in black & white and have Bob Weir on the front cover with his funny mask. The backside has Donna, a lightning bolt in the head of the Steal Your face logo and multiple pictures of the Jerry's left hand playing his guitar. Page four and five has an interview with and a photo of Jerry. Page six have concert pics of Jerry, Donna, Phil, Bob and Pigpen. It's an all black & white magazine and also features a couple of pages on Captain Beefheart. I think the other copy is still in the vaults and almost as good condition as mine. Since I nowadays is the sound engineer at the club concerts and am on the board of the club (I also book some of the concerts), I think I can obtain the other issue. I do not wish to sell it but rather trade it or give it away for free but then only to the Dead archives, if they are interested. Among my other Dead related items are Number Two of a comic magazine called Sunshine Roses, released sometimes inte the mid 1980's. Otherwise, apart from books and such, I don't have that much related to the Dead. I haven't bought that much bootlegs because of not capitalizing on the band. I used to send them pirate copies of their records when I found them here and there. I guess a lot of us did ... Of the other things I obtained for myself when cleaning out the jazz club is a framed photo of Charles Mingus. Unfortunately it's been exposed to the sun and therefore isn't in the perfect condition it once was. It's taken at a concert in Sweden in 1975. Micke Östlund, Växjö, Sweden ------------------------------ My record collection: jazzmicke
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My English grammer isn't that good all of the times ... I should learn to preview my writing before posting it ... but I guess I can make myself understood, anyway ... Micke Östlund, Växjö, Sweden ------------------------------ My record collection: jazzmicke
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... of the Danish magazine ... " ... a lightning bolt in the head of the Steal Your face logo and ..." I meant a spinning crystal ball (I think it's called?) ... Just realised I made a wrong description. The lightning bolt is of couse the most common in the head of the Steal Your Face logo ... ^_ ^ And no, I have never purchased or sold anything through eBay or any other similar site, not any music related stuff anyway. Micke Östlund, Växjö, Sweden ------------------------------ My record collection: jazzmicke
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10 years 11 months
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A few years ago I acquired an original poster of the GD show from Spartan Stadium, San Jose April 22, 1979. This show was the debut of Brent Mydland. I did not get it from Ebay, however, I got it from the artist Randy Tuten. Tuten's original signature is on it. A few years later, when Bob Weir and Phil Lesh made an appearance in New York City to promote the recent "Rocking The Cradle" CD set, I had them sign the poster. Now it is framed and hanging on my wall.
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Fillmore East program September 1970 w/ ticket stub for 9/18Fillmore East program April 1971 Fillmore West poster August 1970 Winterland program October 1970 Winterland New Years 1970/71 poster Watkins Glen Summer Jam ticket Plenty of Woodstock memorabilia such as tickets, program, poster. Bob Weir Wetlands poster February 1999... the night when he jammed with Hanson
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7 years 8 months
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In August 1968, the night after a Hendrix show, my friend and I left a Greenwich Village bar at 2:00 am and walked through the village and came upon some guys with a truck cleaning out the best poster store in the village - The Infinite Poster. I asked them if I could get a few posters and they said sure. I got like 800 posters, ripping all the Fillmore posters right off the walls. Somehow I got a package or 100 posters for the first NYC Dead shows at Cafe Au Go Go in 1967, wrapped in brown paper. I got these home to Rochester and slowly gave them to my friends over the years. In 2005 I found that they were worth like $800-1000 apiece, but I only had 4 left. So I finally sold 2 and have 2 left in mint condition which I will keep for my kids. I sent one to The Art of Rock author and there's a good picture in the book. I sure wish I had kept a bunch more. And I have all the Golden Roads and issues 10-120 of original Rolling Stone mags and will keep for the memories. And I thank you Blair for the Garcia biography and I enjoyed all the stuff that was edited out too, from your website.
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11 years 2 months
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The only thing I have is an used, still in perfect condition, ticket from the show that never happened at The Boston Garden in Sept. of 95.
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11 years 2 months
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The only thing I have is an used ticket that was for The Garden, Sept. 95 show.
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11 years 1 month
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i'm kind of like photomatt, i like using ebay as a giant used record store, but sadly a lot gets over priced. there is one used record store in madison that doesn't price vinyl anymore, you take the record to the desk, the guys do some voodoo on their computer, and then they tell you $40 bucks or something insane like that. needless to say, me and many people i know have quit going to them. i did buy a "compliments of" garcia on ebay. i kept hearing why it was so titled, but never actually saw a copy till i saw one on ebay. i got it, very cool. i also have an anthem white cover issue. that's pretty cool too. neither seem to ever be too much on ebay, but at the same time rarely listed. i saw a nice copy of diga on rounder today, just a few bucks too! i think i have it so i passed, let the next guy get it! i did get the 1st album mono during record store days, but haven't given it a listen yet. oh, and speaking of ebay and the dead movie we all just saw, years ago at a used record store, as he was closing, i bought the black and white movie poster, with bill graham's quote i give it 3 1/2 guitars. it took me a while to ever see it on ebay, and when i finally did, it was actually worth something! one day i'll get it framed...
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11 years 4 months
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For those who love (or hate) the current trend of limited editions, Audio Fidelity will be releasing "Blues for Allah" and "Shakedown Street" as numbered limited edition 180g vinyl albums sometime soon. These will be closely followed by "Go to Heaven", "Dead set" and "History of the Grateful Dead Volume 1 - Bear's Choice". If you want 'em, get 'em before they sell out and subsequently appear on eBay at the sort of prices we have come to know and hate.For my part, I have never purchased anything on eBay but I do check prices there once in a while - so that I can feel good about the rarities that I have, knowing that they are worth a small fortune, at least in the world of eBay dreamers. It is irrational really, as I have no intention of ever selling such things. My rule of thumb is "Buy it if you want the music" rather than trying to inflate my ego and increase the size of my virtual wallet. That said, it always makes sense to buy the potentially most valuable version available.
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11 years 2 months
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That store in Madison you mentioned, is this Madison WI you are talking about, if it is, what is the name of the store? I've never heard of a record store which doesn't put price stickers on their merchandise, very strange. The trick with ebay for me is to stick with trusted sellers that I've done past business with. The internet is the wild West and people need to be careful our they can get burned by dishonest sellers.
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11 years 3 months
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My favorite eBay finds include a 1990 UCLA JGB poster that's just a big photo of Jerry. Got it for cheap. Also nice are old Guitar Player magazines with Garcia interviews where he goes in depth to the music and his practice regimen, like getting licks from reading Django Reinhardt solos. Buyer beware, though!!! Lots of fake posters and backstage passes.
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11 years 4 months
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'Round Christmas, I will bust out some items from my psychedelic "Grateful Den" and raise some cash while letting some younger head snag a few specailties.Sold a Griffin sweatshirt of the Minuteman. A Feix the Cat under the Stars tee Jerry solo tour shirt of So. Cal Quite s few lot style shirts Decals and stickers. It's fun and I have received some nice compliments and happy tidings. Btw, I have a complete set of Golden Roads..I was mentioned in issue two for a GD media sighting.
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9 years 9 months
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I have a good collection of stuff including 1600 or so tickets from 66-2011, but a few items I picked up are my favorites. I won on Ebay a GD William & Mary 4/15/78 stub with both Jerry & Bobbys autographs. Also a fall 2007 Phil and Friends 28" dw Bass Drum with very cool original artwork with 3 pyramids a road(roadkill) stars etc.., and signed by Phil, Molo, Molitz, Greene, Campbell from Mohegan Sun Arena.The drum was $25 and hangs in my office. There are some good deals, just gotta poke around I guess. The craziest story I have regarding this stuff is from Telluride run in 87, The local antique shop had a few old 60's posters from Fillmore etc.. in the window, so I go in to check them out. 20 dollars each.All original printings and I didnt buy any. I thought about them for the next day and a half, went back to the shop on the last day to grab a few. She says they are all sold, but come back here I want to show you something, pulls out one the posters from the other day(Woman holding giant peace sign Fillmore poster 66) and it is signed by the entire band. Kinda bitter sweet, but cool to see. Happy Easter
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that were handed out at those 1978 shows. A buddy of mine was at the show and brought me back this relic. I saw one for sale in Wolfgang's Vault the other day for $750. That is about the most valuable thing I own that is GC related. And I do hve the original Rick Griffin flying eyeball poster titled 'The Dead' that was included in Hank Harrison's book. Fun stuff and reminders of grate daze. The Truth is realized in an instant, the act is practiced step by step.
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10 years 8 months
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I attended the auction in 1975 in San Rafael that was held outside (Banana?) record store. I couldn't afford to bid on anything but came away with a Tiger Rose mini postcard that Kelly and Mouse were kind enough to sign. I still have the lists of items and what they sold for. Funny what you hold on to.
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11 years 4 months
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I'd be interested in hearing what some of those items went for all those years ago. Care to post some?
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10 years 8 months
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Painful to see how inexpensive it all looks now, but I really had no money at the time. A few nuggets:#4 Poster "Steal Your Face", 3 feet by 3 feet, last ones ever now. $6 - $12. #14 Poster "Blues For Allah" 3 feet by 3 feet, a classis already. 22 at $25 each #23 Posters "Europe '72" Large unusual sliced design by Kelly/Mouse 18 at $20 each (Hah!) Some items were there for viewing but had already been "won" by family members. They included the original art for "Rolling Thunder" ($2,500), "Workingman's Dead" ($3,000) and "Tiger Rose" ($5,000). I remember a crew was filming the event. I think they had something to do with "Sunshine Daydream" but not sure. They asked me who my favorite artist was and I stammered through RRRick GGgriffin. Mercifully, I don't think it ever saw the light of day.
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11 years 4 months
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$3,000 for original Workingman's Dead art. That's amazing. I wonder if it was the portraits on the back...
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10 years 8 months
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They were very large framed portraits of each individual band member. Lots of oohs and ahhs as I recall.
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11 years 4 months
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One of my prize possessions is a Pigpen shirt from those Workingman's portraits. Very classy shirt. Too delicate to wear now, but I've kept it...
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8 years 10 months
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I was at that auction, too. About the only thing most of us could afford then was the Memorial handbills they were selling at $5 a pop. One of the guys from the group "America" bought the original oil painting of the skull and roses for the FD-26 poster. I think it was primarily the head portion. Anyway, I believe he paid $1500 for it.
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10 years 8 months
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#44 Original Art "Skull and Roses" 1971 This is the one! Kelly/Mouse. Sold for $1,700 according to my list. I assume this was for the album art and not the original FD poster. Either way, out of reach. Addressing the original questions, I've never bought or sold collectibles online, but used to hit the flea markets alot. Coolest Dead-related item is probably my T.C. autographed copy of Live/Dead. Met him while working at the Oakland post office and he consented to sign my old album and a new one I had for a gift. Cool. I'd never part with the needlepoint replica of the Steel Your Face album cover my mom made for me many years ago. It decorates my "Dead Wall" now and forever.
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11 years 4 months
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especially now that Jim's dead and wouldn't be offended, is a print Jim Marshall gave me, the sort of distorted Jerry brandy snifter one. Let's just say it's not my favorite Jerry image and not what I'd like to look at on my wall. Over the years when Jim was doing magazine covers for the magazine I was editing, he would occasionally say hey Mare! here! and hand me a print and sign it. Wotta guy! So while these aren't of the quality you'd buy from his site, they ain't junk either. Now would I ever part with my print of the band with the hat photo? No. But I really don't like the snifter photo, and somebody else might, and at some point cash might be nice. But for the moment it sits in my closet as it has all these years, and probably will go right on doing so.
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9 years 6 months
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a couple of things: one is a little polaroid of Jerry in his art 'room' at home using an airbrush on one of his paintings, likely one of the wetlands series. And second is that great screen print signed by him, called 'mandolin player', David Grisman I believe it is. Couldn't part with those two, I don't think.
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  • bolo24
    5 years 9 months ago
    '75 Auction
    I was at that auction, too. About the only thing most of us could afford then was the Memorial handbills they were selling at $5 a pop. One of the guys from the group "America" bought the original oil painting of the skull and roses for the FD-26 poster. I think it was primarily the head portion. Anyway, I believe he paid $1500 for it.
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    suthyrnrock
    6 years 4 months ago
    Memrobillia
    My favorite piece of memrobillia is road case K25 A. Started life as K21. I stare at it for hours while listening to the sat. I often wonder if it was in Eureka in the mid sixties at the Eureka Municiple Auditorium, My aunt Donna 17 was told she could not go. me 8 , I walked 2 1/2 miles just to wander around outside.Does anyone know any history on this case?. I often consider puttin it up for auction, although I get alot of energy from my collection not in a hurry to part with stuff. It has alot of content pictures, reciepts, gear, lettters, a video 8 I have not viewed and more I live in the Bay area and it was regional luck I picked it up at a fair price.
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    aikox2
    7 years 2 months ago
    Priceless Possessions
    In addition to my memories of ~ 425 shows, I still have 99% of my ticket stubs. The single coolest and rarest piec of memorabilia I have, and which will never be sold, is an invitation to the premier of The Grateful Dead Movie and after party (which I crashed), which is autographed by every member of the Grateful Dead (except for Phil), as well as a couple of other famous guests. While waiting for Jerry's autograph, the guy in front of me asked him for his Jerry Hancock, and that's what he got; Jerry signed "Jerry Hancock." "If the thunder don't get you, then the lightning will."
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    Anonymous (not verified)
    7 years 3 months ago
    Offer must end soon!
    Sense of humour for sale. Many Deadhead owners. No longer needed.Will trade for a life of misery. Or a Europe '72 box set. Because it's a rip off, right? Wrong.
  • greybeard
    7 years 3 months ago
    my favorite
    collectible is a polaroid (remember those?) of Jerry in his art room at home airbrushing one of his larger images, something like Wetlands. I have collected some of those first original signed lithos, but you'll never see them, and especially the polaroid, on eBay.