Grateful Dead Poster
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Grateful Dead Poster

  • 1st Printing $1,175 $1,175 $0
  • 2nd Printing $261 $261 $0
  • 3rd Printing $98 $98 $0
  • 5th Printing $32 $32 $0
ARTIST:
DATE:
  • Nov 18, 1966 - Nov 20, 1966
VENUE:
SIZE:
  • 23 1/2" x 37"

BG038 offered transcontinental fare, featuring San Francisco performers the Grateful Dead, James Cotton from Chicago, and the East Coast Lothar & The Hand People. Deco drips down the left side of the Wilson design.

Print Variations

The 1st printing poster is on stock ranging from 7.8 to 8.8 point thickness. Originals do not contain the mark that reprints contain (explained below). 1st printings were printed on different stocks of paper and can be determined by looking at the reverse under black light. The reverse of one stock looks the same under black light as it does in normal light, while the other paper stock turns a grayish purple color. It printed before the concert and measures 13 7/16" x 21 1/8".

The post-concert 2nd printing matches the postcard and is printed on stock with random patterning. The gray is the lightest and the yellow the brightest of all the printings. In the top left corner of the "T" in "Lothar", there is a faint horizontal line measuring 1/8". Under black light, the reverse of this printing glows dramatically. It measures 13 7/16" x 21 1/16".

The 3rd printing displays a medium gray border, which falls in between the grays of the first two printings. The 3rd printing also contains the faint line in the "T" of "Lothar". The reverse of this printing has a pronounced mottled glow under black light, which is substantially duller than 2nd printings. It was printed after the concert and measures 13 3/8" x 21".

In 1986, Wes Wilson commissioned the 4th printing, which presents the same image in red, blues and oranges (see BG038-A). On the bottom left corner is "Copyright (c) 1986 Wes Wilson". It measures 13 1/2" x 20 3/8".

The 5th printing is on smooth glossy stock and has a Wolfgang's Vault notation in the lower right hand margin (not our watermark as seen in the image). It was printed in 2010 by the Bill Graham Archives LLC in a 500 copy run. This reprint measures 23 1/2" x 37".

About Wes Wilson

When the Avalon Ballroom and Bill Graham's Fillmore Auditorium began to hold weekly dance concerts, Wilson was called upon to design the posters. He created psychedelic posters from February 1966 to May 1967, when disputes over money severed his connection with Graham. Wilson pioneered the psychedelic rock poster. Intended for a particular audience, "one that was tuned in to the psychedelic experience," his art, and especially the exaggerated freehand lettering, emerged from Wilson's own involvement with that experience and the psychedelic art of light shows.