Final Auction Price
*Final prices include buyers premium
Starting bid: $100.00
If a contest is ever held for “World’s Coolest Concert Poster” this lot must be seriously considered as a very worthy contender!
In addition to becoming the new owner of this poster the winning bidder will have the opportunity to join PAE’s Glen Trosch and Scott Tilson for afternoon tea in California with current owner Tim Scully famed LSD Impresario and star of the new documentary The Sunshine Makers!
At this lunch you’ll be able to ask Tim anything you want about his time with the Grateful Dead “Bear” Stanley and his experience as one of history’s central figures in the manufacture of LSD. You can take pictures with Tim have him inscribe the poster with a personalized message and leave with memories that will last a lifetime.(Travel expenses are winning bidder's responsibility)
The history that is embodied in this poster is truly breathtaking. To fully appreciate the opportunity that is hand we suggest that you stop reading this NOW and watch the newly released and critically praised documentary The Sunshine Makers. The movie is about Tim Scully the owner of this poster for the past 51 years. The movie is available for viewing on Netflix Amazon and Itunes. You will LOVE this doc stop reading this and go check it out NOW!
Let’s start at the beginning:
Unsurpassed History and Rarity
This Grateful Dead concert poster is the only known concert poster that was designed by the legendary Owsley "Bear" Stanley. The poster was created to advertise a March 1966 Grateful Dead concert held in Los Angeles California.
This was just the 25th concert performed as “The Grateful Dead”. Scully says that just 25 copies of this poster were originally produced and just 4-5 exit today. The specimen offered here is previously unknown to the collector community.
Augustus Owsley Stanley III was a true innovator and iconoclast. He will most notably be remembered for his role in the manufacture and distribution of LSD in San Francisco the 1960's. It was the famous “Owsley” acid that was served up by The Merry Pranksters at the famed Acid Tests and Trips Festivals of 1965 and 1966.
Owsley’s central positioning within these historic times led to him creating several roles for himself with the Grateful Dead. He was their first sound-man archival recorder of shows and some time financier. Additionally Owsley designed the Dead’s awe-inspiring sound system the “Wall of Sound” and their world famous “Steal Your Face” logo!
The signed letter of provenance that accompanies this poster states:
To Whom It May Concern:
I have owned the accompanied 1966 Grateful Dead Troopers Club concert poster since it was produced in 1966. I watched Owsley Stanley draw the original poster in the attic of the house that we shared with the Grateful Dead at 2511 3rd Avenue in Los Angeles California.
A very small number of these posters were originally produced around 25 according to a 2008 email from Owsley. To the best of my knowledge just 4-5 examples exist today.
I worked on electronics for the Grateful Dead for a few months in 1966 with Owsley Stanley as an extended job interview for the position of his laboratory apprentice in the manufacture of LSD. He eventually decided that I had passed the Acid Test and I worked with him in two labs one in Pt Richmond CA in 1966 and one in Denver CO in 1967 before going on to set up labs on my own. I was eventually sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for that work though fortunately my sentence was eventually reduced to 10 years.
My copy of the poster was with me at the 1st Denver lab in 1967 where Owsley and I with help from several friends made well over 750 000 270ug doses of LSD and a few hundred grams of STP. Unfortunately about 350 000 of those doses were confiscated by federal agents when Owsley was busted at his tablet making facility in Orinda CA in December 1967.
My last lab was in Windsor CA where I taught Nick Sand the process I’d learned from Owsley for making very pure LSD. Between the two of us we made over 4 million doses of LSD in that lab; that was the first Orange Sunshine. It was distributed all over the world by The Brotherhood of Eternal Love.
Two major motion pictures have been made which depict various aspects of that work. One directed by Cosmo Fielding Mellen is called “The Sunshine Makers” and the other directed by William Kirkley is called “Orange Sunshine ”. The Sunshine Makers is a documentary about my life and Nick Sand’s life in the underground; because Owsley was dead by the time the film was made Cosmo chose to tell relatively little of his part of the story. Orange Sunshine is about The Brotherhood of Eternal Love the group I chose to distribute the LSD that I made and stars Michael and Carol Randall.
Additional Historic Notes
Dead Studies Volume 3 was published in 2013 by the Grateful Dead archive at The University of California Santa Cruz. On page 45 Tim Scully is photographed at the Troupers Club show. That photo appears above along with the photos of this lot.This photo is provided courtesy of Rosie McGee.
Page 138 of A Long Strange Trip by Dennis McNally states “At their last show at Trouper’s Hall Weir managed to rip out the seat of his pants. Lacking underwear Weir spent the night facing the audience sidestepping over to Tim Scully to tell him how to adjust the sound.”
Pigpen was known to frequently arrive (if at all) at practice sessions and parties around 6:00am. On page 60 of the same Dead Studies noted above Don Douglas talks about arriving very late with Pigpen to a Dead rendezvous at 2511 3rd Avenue in Los Angeles. This is where The Dead Bear and Scully lived and where the poster was created.
“These excursions did not go unnoticed by the group. One time the whole household was gathered on the top floor of Bear’s and Melissa’s room with everyone except Pigpen stoned on acid. Something was said about us disappearing for long hours and I commented we were out looking for an all night harmonica store a throw away line that ended up on a concert poster.”
Tiny Tim and Del Close were also on this bill adding to the strangeness and uniqueness of this event. Del Close is a legendary cult like figure in the comedic world instrumental in Second City and later Saturday Night Live. Dan Akroyd John Belushi John Candy Bill Murray Gilda Radner and countless others considered Close their mentor and teacher.
This poster has been owned for the past 51+ years by Tim Scully. This means the poster was never “put up” and the poster has NO PINHOLES and NO TAPE PULLS. All 4 corners are sharp and complete. However the poster does exhibit wear and tear from having been by Scully’s side in the various LSD labs that he worked along with the poster’s creator the legendary Owsley “Bear” Stanley.
Evidence the poster was folded at one time appears as a horizontal crease across the poster about 5 inches from the bottom. There is a large yellow stain (hmmm) in the lower right quadrant. A 1 ¼ inch tear has been sealed on the right edge 7 ½ inches above the bottom right corner. A tiny nick appears on the right edge 4 ¼ inches below the upper right corner. Various other little scuffs and marks attest to this poster’s unsurpassed historical significance and provenance.
The Grateful Dead Troupers Club concert poster has always been whispered about among advanced collectors as one of THE most desirable Dead poster ever created. This poster has it all unsurpassed historical importance extreme rarity and a unique provenance that literally reads like it was written for a movie….which it was!
Our auction records show just ONE previous auction appearance where a pinholed copy that was also stained brought $27 720 over 4 years ago on 2/24/13.
Every now and then a collectible surfaces that can literally be called “priceless.” Priceless as in there is no price because there is nothing to compare it to. Clearly the opportunity offered here with it’s incredible provenance and the opportunity to meet it’s legendary owner has earned the right to be labeled priceless. This is much more than just a concert poster. It is an artifact of American History that is destined to become the centerpiece of whichever collection it is added to.
The collectibles world will be watching closely to see what value is attached to this historic masterpiece and to discover who will prevail as this poster's next lucky owner.
Poster - Grateful Dead Troupers Club
Grade –PAE Very Fine
Bands/Bill – Grateful Dead Tiny Tim Del Close
Venue – Troupers Club
City – Los Angeles California
Date – 3/25/66
Dimensions – 12 15/16 “ x 16 7/8”
Printing - (OP-1)
Artist – Augustus Owsley Stanley III (Bear)
Series/ Promoter – The All Night Harmonica Store
Condition details- This poster is printed on heavy paper. See lot description and photos above for flaws.
*****This poster is available for inspection at our gallery by appointment. *****