This weekend, 722 memorabilia items and former possessions from San Francisco’s Grateful Dead band members and employees of their production company are going on sale in a “once-in-a-lifetime” auction. The company facilitating the event, Donley Auction Services (in Union, Illinois), says the sale is of the highest caliber, “right there at the top with the Beatles, Elvis and Bob Dylan.”
The sale goes from April 11-12, and will offer up many items from throughout the band’s heyday that have never been on sale before.
Planned to coincide with the Dead’s 50th Anniversary this year, the event is expected to fetch between $1-2 million total and proceeds will go to former staff members. “There’s grandchildren whose college educations need financing,” said the band’s longtime publicist Dennis McNally to the Wall Street Journal.
Included in the auction are some incredible items. A 1966 original Mr. Mouse “Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion Grateful Dead Fan Club” poster with a starting bid of $420,000 may fetch as much as $1.5 million, a shirt worn by Jerry Garcia at his last concert ever in 1995 is deemed “priceless”, and a few odd household items like Jerry Garcia’s stove top will interest quirkier buyers.
We put together a list of some of the odder and more interesting items in the sale. Here are twelve of the most interesting offerings along with their product descriptions and starting costs.
Visit the auction pages here.
1. Jerry Garcia’s 6-Burner Stovetop, starting bid $100
This is Jerry Garcia’s Viking 6 burner cooktop stove from 1992 that is from his house in Nicasio that would be perfect for a Dead bar or restaurant desiring to cook every meal served on Jerry’s stove. It is missing all of the knobs and one burner grill that the buyer will have to find to make whole again, replacement burner shown in photo is from anther Viking but it’s not the exact match to the originals.
2. Area Rug from Grateful Dead Office on Lincoln Ave, starting bid $800
The original carpet from the Grateful Dead headquarters on Lincoln Avenue in San Rafael, CA as shown in the Rolling Stone magazine photograph of Jerry in his antique lion footed Morris chair in his office. It is featured on page 55 of Rolling Stone Magazine Issue 504/505 July 16-30, 1987 with Jerry Garcia in his lion foot Morris chair picture.
3. San Francisco Civic Center December 28th First Printing Concert Poster, starting bid $750
Grateful Dead San Francisco Civic Center December 28th First Printing Concert Poster.
4. Grateful Dead Office Table and Chairs, starting bid $250
One-of-a-kind Grateful Dead owned table and chairs from the office in California. This is the very table from the kitchen where the band and office guests hung out.
5. 2 Hard Trucker’s Wood Speaker Boxes, starting bid $500
TWO Hard Trucker’s Wood Speaker Boxes from Front Street Studios listening booth with tie-dyed fabric made by Courtney Pollock. These are the two original small wooden speaker boxes from the Grateful Dead Front Street Studios with special grill cloths made of cotton fabric tie-dyed in shades of turquoise, purple, yellow, orange, and red. These were custom-made for the Grateful Dead by Hard Truckers, the same company that constructed components for band’s famous Wall of Sound.
6. Grateful Dead Bob Dylan & Tom Petty 1986 East, starting bid $500
The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 1986 Minneapolis, Buffalo, NYC, Akron, Washington D.C. Statue of Liberty original 1st print tour poster.
7. Mickey Hart’s Drum Stool, starting bid $100
This is the drum stool that Mickey gave to the 9 year old son of a long time GDP employee.
8. Cracked Mickey Hart Zildjian Cymbal with note from Ramrod marking “crack” in circle, starting bid $110
This is a Zildjian cymbal Mickey Hart cracked at a Shoreline show in 1996 and gave to the 9 year old son of a long time GDP office employee. It is clearly cracked and marked as such and signed by Ramrod authorizing them to leave the stage area with it in hand without being…stopped. There is no question about this one and it would look cool on a wall somewhere people could see it.
9. Jerry Garcia Personally Owned Einstein Watch, 1993, starting bid $130
Jerry Garcia’s personally owned Einstein “Are you a Genius”? 1993 Tour wrist watch made for band members and a few employees prior to the JGB 1993 tour.
10. Jerry Garcia’s Colt .25 Automatic Pistol, starting bid $5,000
Jerry Garcia’s Colt .25 automatic pistol serial number OD84255 purchased, registered and licensed in the State of California in his name, “Jerome Garcia”. This was one of two Colt .25 pistols he purchased the same day and comes with a statement of provenance.
11. Jerry Garcia’s Antique Carved Lions Foot Chair, starting bid $10,000
Jerry Garcia’s antique carved lions foot Morris reclining chair from the Lincoln Street Grateful Dead office seen on page 55 of the Rolling Stone magazine (issue 504/505 July 16 -30, 1987) news article about the band which is also included.
12. Grateful Dead Crew Owned 1956 Chevy Bel Air, starting bid $8,000
Grateful Dead Crew Owned 1956 Chevy Bel Air Sedan. This car was used to transport crew and other notables from 1970s-1990s. VIN VC56L035584. The car was acquired by a Grateful Dead crew member in 1975 and then gifted to his step son (the runner for the Grateful Dead) in 2003. V8 engine, automatic, original California car as it was manufactured in Los Angeles. Vintage California black plates “GPX 253”. Repainted white on purple. A customized “Steal Your Face” logo is stitched on the inside rear deck of the car. Car is not in mint condition or near mint condition. V8 Engine turns over and starts but the car needs total restoration. Estimate $10,000-15,000 “This 1956 Chevy Bel Air was given to me by a longtime crew member for The Grateful Dead (who owned this car for a number of years) five years ago. The car was customized in San Rafael, California by the same shop used by many Hell’s Angels for their bikes; it was repainted and re-chromed and the “Steal Your Face” logo was embroidered on the rear deck. The crew member who gave this car to me told me that he drove Jerry Garcia and other band members around in it for decades and that they all had some great adventures in her. This car has been a beloved part of the Grateful Dead Family for thirty-three years and it was used at some point as the inspiration for artwork on a Grateful Dead backstage pass.