May 20, 2012

Recent Gifts include a Robert Hunter Broadside

The Archive is delighted to announce the donation of two artifacts from well-known Grateful Dead author and band family member Jerilyn Brandelius: a wonderful broadside reproducing Robert Hunter’s lyrics to “Touch of Grey” and a pristine copy of the backstage pass to a 1980 show, shown at left. Both gifts fill in gaps in our collections. 

Deadheads know Jerilyn from her book, Grateful Dead FamilyAlbum (Warner Books), which not only presents the history of the band but also the band members, from childhood through their time in the Haight and after. Far more than just photographs, the book captured scholars’ attention for its inclusion of remarkable and evocative ephemera  like a Beat-influenced poem by Ron “Pigpen” McKernan and a watercolor of fellow Haight-Ashbury band Quicksilver Messenger Service on stage.

The broadside commemorates a reading by band lyricist Robert Hunter at Berkeley’s Black Oak Books.
Created by the Okeanos Press, it is a superb example of handpress printing immortalizing the band’s Top 10 hit, “Touch of Grey.” As an artifact, it represents the confluence of the Dead’s art with their Beat antecedents, which Black Oak and the Okeanos Press both honor.

The backstage pass is also important. Although the Archive has hundreds of backstage passes, that section of the Archive is far from complete, and we rely on the generosity of donors like Jerilyn to help us build a complete set.

Jerilyn’s donation is a gracious nod from the band family to the Archive, and we are most grateful to her for her thoughtfulness and generosity.