1969 New Riders of the Purple Sage Jerry Garcia Mickey Hart San Jose State College Student Union Ballroom Printer's Proof Poster Near Mint 89

closed on Thursday, November 30, 2023

Final Auction Price
*Final prices include buyers premium
Starting bid: $1.00

Looking for an early and scarce poster steeped in Grateful Dead history that has never before been offered for public sale? Well, Psychedelic Art Exchange has uncovered a “New Riders of The Purple Sage” PRINTER'S PROOF  concert poster that dates back to 1969, the earliest days of the band. At the time the New Riders were only an outlet for Jerry Garcia to escape the spotlight for a bit and play with his new toy, a Pedal Steel Guitar. This poster is so early in N.R.P.S. history, that the creators failed to get the band’s name right. “Riders of the Purple Sage” was a popular Western novel by Zane Grey, but this was the “NEW” Riders, an updated interpretation of the American Cowboy myth as seen from the vantage point of the California Hippie. The band secured its place in music history among the creators of country rock, leaving a trail of successful tunes that included Lonesome LA Cowboy, Panama Red, Henry, and Glendale Train to name a few. 


N.R.P.S. formed in 1969 when Jerry Garcia played pedal steel at a few small gigs with John (Marmeduke) Dawson accompanying. The project then swept in Jerry’s old friend David Nelson on guitar and it grew from there. Early New Riders shows relied on revolving personnel and at times were joined by Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart from the Dead.


The fact that this issue is a printer's proof adds another level of authenticity and scarcity. There was no need to print a huge amount of posters for a show of this nature. The San Jose State University Student Union is not a huge room, and the poster, an offset lithograph was likely printed at the college art department. It is possible that as few as 50 copies were printed. They were likely just posted on campus and saved by almost no one… except for this example! Practically flawless, saved by accident, and now in the PAE Mega Sale. This poster was culled from a long-held private collection that also yielded the ‘69 Grateful Dead Halloween poster, also featured in this auction.


Beyond all these minute details, one thing is evident… Cowboy Jerry on horseback, carrying a rifle, guitar slung on his back, all in glorious purple is a poster for obsessed collectors to lose sleep over, aware that there is no guarantee that another copy will come their way again.

--TITLE: New Riders of the Purple Sage Jerry Garcia Mickey Hart San Jose State College Student Union Ballroom Poster
--GRADE: Near Mint 89
--PERFORMERS: New Riders of the Purple Sage with Jerry Garcia and Mickey Hart, The 4th Way
--VENUE: San Jose State College Student Union Ballroom
--CITY: San Jose CA
--DATE: 10/17/1969
--PRINTING: OP-1; Original Pre-Concert First Printing Poster
--SIZE: 15.5 x 19.25


A 20% Buyers Premium will be added to the final hammer price of this lot. 
High resolution HD photos available on request. 
For a personalized eyewitness examination call 410-464-6180, 10:00 am to 5:00pm EST.