Grateful Dead- 1st Album Promo Poster Proof Signed by Mouse & Kelley, And Exhibited at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
A probably unique uncut printer’s proof of Stanley Mouse & Alton Kelley’s promotional poster for the Grateful Dead’s 1967 debut album, signed by Mouse & Kelley, and exhibited at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Dead’s management commissioned Mouse and Kelley to create both the album’s cover and this promotional poster for the band’s first LP. Management had a small number of copies of the poster printed on thicker stock to promote the album in the Bay Area, but most copies of this extremely scarce poster were printed slightly later by Warner Bros. Records, on thin glossy stock. This untrimmed proof is printed on thick uncoated stock, with the full artwork on the front, and only the blue color printed on the back.
We acquired this many years ago from Jacaber Kastor of Psychedelic Solutions Gallery in New York. Brad Kelley, formerly of Psychedelic Solution and a noted poster dealer in his own right, told us Kastor got it directly from Mouse, and it was the only uncut proof he’d ever seen. He commented “it looks to be some sort of print-shop anomaly/experiment that Mouse rescued from the press in early ’67 (the album came out in March) and held onto for whatever reason.” He notes this was the exact poster photographed for Mouse’s 1979 book “Mouse/Kelley” and that the signatures are “old school.”
We loaned this poster proof to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who exhibited it as a part of their major exhibition Grateful Dead: The Long Strange Trip,which ran from April 2012 through March 2013. A copy of a letter from Hall of Fame Curatorial Director Howard Kramer thanking us for loaning the poster is included.
In near excellent condition, with a long flattened vertical crease down the center (barely visible,) high quality restoration to repair tears to the top edge and lower left corner of the white border (invisible to the naked eye, and far from the image,) and very faint foxing (age spotting) to the back. The only proof we know of. Will frame beautifully.
Sheet 28 1/4″ x 22 1/2″ (image 23″ x 17 1/2″.)
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