Grateful Dead – Jerry Garcia-Owned ‘Skull & Roses’ Test Pressings / 2 LP’s, Alternate Coupling/ Perfect Provenance, 2 Letters of Authenticity (Artist Owned)

Jerry Garcia’s personal test pressings of the Grateful Dead’s 1971 self-titled double album, better known as Skull and Roses.  These test pressings, with an unreleased alternate coupling, were sold by Garcia’s widow, Deborah Koons Garcia, at a Bonhams auction of Garcia’s personal property.

Wikipedia notes the album, “Although published without a title, it is generally known by the names Skull and Roses (due to its iconic cover art) and Skull Fuck (the name the band originally wanted to give to the album, which was rejected by the record company). It was the group’s first album to be certified gold by the RIAA and remained their best seller until surpassed by the [greatest hits album] Skeletons From the Closet.

While the commercially released double album paired the discs Side 1/Side 2 and Side 3/Side 4, these possibly unique test pressings pair the sides for automatic record changers,  pairing them Side 1/Side 3 and Side 2/Side 4.  As far as we can determine, the album was never released this way–presumably the band objected.  As test pressings these were the first records pressed, made for Garcia to approve before mass production of the album.  Both discs are Near Mint condition, housed in the original generic sleeves with notations with the band’s name, catalog number, etc.

With a letter from Bonhams confirming the these were ‘formerly the property of Jerry Garcia’, a copy of the original Bonhams exhibition card, a copy of the relevant catalog page, and Recordmecca’s written lifetime guarantee of authenticity [Note: these discs were part of a lot that included other discs, but we are only selling the two test pressings pictured here.]

Matrix numbers:

Disc 1/ 2WS-1935 A  39943-1A / 2WS-1935 D  39946-1A (Artisan stamps on both sides)

Disc 2/ 2WS-1935 B  39944-1B / 2WS-1935 C  39945-1B (Artisan stamps on both sides)

An extraordinary Jerry Garcia/Grateful Dead collectible, from the personal collection of the man himself.

Read Recordmecca owner Jeff Gold’s blog post on collecting artist-owned records here.


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