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More Than 700 Grateful Dead Items On Sale!

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The GD

Are you a Grateful Dead fan? If you are one, this is your time, an auction of over 700 items from collectors, former employees, band members, and friends is happening this weekend both live and online, at Donley Auctions, in Union, Illinois.

I have about zero experience with the Dead, but my only time I got close to have an encounter with their fans, was during a long stay in New York, they were playing the Madison Square Garden and I saw these hundreds and hundreds of barefoot hippies, smelling weed and patchouli and wearing dyed shirts, exiting in mass from the subway to rush to the place. It was the mid 90’s and I thought I was transported thirty years back in time.

But nothing has changed despite Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995: the surviving members are still touring this year to celebrate 50 years of the Dead, and, this Friday, they even have added 2 shows in California. The funny thing is that the Dead has always used money order to sell presale tickets, and they continued to do it. ‘In 2015 it’s beyond obsolete. And yet, $90 million flowed into the Stinson Beach post office for tickets to go to these shows. It’s nuts,’ said Dennis McNally, Grateful Dead biographer and former publicist.

So if these Deadheads are rich enough, they will be able to afford a few of these items, because there are a lot of these Grateful Dead collectors out there. What can they buy? Posters, Jerry’s art, handwritten lyrics of ‘He’s Gone, an historic table that Jerry would use to sip coffee and check his mail in the band room. The Chicago Tribune also lists: ‘a Mickey Hart drum set and sticks, a 1956 Chevy Bel Air Sedan used to transport band and crew members starting in 1970, furniture from the Dead’s California office, autographed T-shirts, backstage passes, business contracts and a black T-shirt worn by Garcia at one of the 1995 Soldier Field shows’… would you wear Jerry’s used shirt? His gun is even on sale!

And the most expensive item has to be the poster designed for the fan club by Stanley Mouse and the late Alton Kelley: it has an opening bid of $420,000… ouch, that’s the price of a house and a lot of money for a hippie!

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