Avalon Ballroom 6/10-11/66
Known as “The Quick and the Dead,” this poster is one of the most classic of the early Family Dog images, and represents the first use of a skeleton to promote the Grateful Dead. Designed by Wes Wilson, the central image is a nattily-dressed skeleton wearing a cowboy hat and smoking a cigar. The use of the skeleton on this poster predates-by several months-the use of the skeleton and roses image used on FD-26, which was designed by Mouse Studios. While the skeleton and roses theme went on to become a trademark of the Grateful Dead, this poster is very significant from a historical perspective and is in constant demand.
The original poster comes in two varieties:
Type A was printed on vellum and measures approximately 14″ x 20″; and
Type B was printed on very thin paper similar to that used on the handbills. This poster also measures approximately 14″ x 20″.
The second print poster was printed on uncoated index stock and measures approximately 14″ x 20″. It carries the notation “No. 12-2” in the lower right corner.
In addition to the two authorized printings, there are also a couple of forgeries. Anyone considering the purchase of an FD-12 would be advised to consult Eric King’s guide for help in determining the authenticity.
The original handbill was printed on thin white paper in black ink and measures approximately 5″ x 8″.
In addition, there is a deceptive forgery of the handbill that can be identified by consulting Eric King’s guide.
- Wes Wilson