The B List: Bonham’s Visions of Garcia Auction

As we previously reported, auction house Bonham’s will give Grateful Dead fans a chance to buy items from Jerry Garcia’s estate through an auction on May 8 titled Visions of Garcia. Back in 2008, when Bonham’s put a number of items from various GD family members up for auction through More Skeletons In The Closet, I prepared a B List detailing the 10 items I would purchase if money was no option.  Since there’s some real gems in the Visions of Garcia offerings, I figured I’d do the same to spotlight the best goods within the auction.

1. #3019 – Jerry Garcia Hand-Written Setlist

If you’ve been reading HT for a while, you’re probably aware of my love for stage setlists and the one you see above is about the coolest one I’ve ever seen. Penned before the JGB show at E.M. Loew’s in Worcester back in 1982, the multi-talented Garcia even threw a crazy doodle onto the paper along with the list of songs he aimed to play during the second set.

2. #3014 – A Jerry Garcia Sketch Book 

This sketchbook from 1991 contains 21 drawings by Jerry in black pen and ink, along with one charcoal  image, a watercolor drawing “depicting fantasy, cartoonesque, realistic and abstract imagery,” plus one page of words in Garcia’s handwriting. What were essentially throw aways from Jerry are estimated to fetch over $65K at auction.

3. #3012 – A Merl Saunders custom-made and stage-worn black leather cap

Longtime Garcia collaborator Merl Saunders was known for wearing distinctive black leather caps during performances and one of those custom-made headpieces is up for sale in this auction.

4. #3008 Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse Studios original artwork, acrylic on canvas,Europe 72

One of the pricier items up for auction, here’s a chance to own the original artwork for the “Truckin’ Boot” that appears on Europe ’72. This package also comes with the proof sheet for the album.

5. #3020 A Jerry Garcia onstage worn, red t-shirt, ca. 1985

While Garcia was more fond of wearing black t-shirts on stage, in the mid ’80s he loved the red pocket T. This item was worn on stage by Jer.

6. #3021 A Jerry Garcia stage-played, acoustic guitar made by Takamine, ca. 1985

The attention of most Deadheads is focused on Jer’s famed electric guitars, here’s a chance to own the acoustic Garcia played from the mid ’80s to the early ’90s. This Takamine is featured on the cover of both Almost Acoustic and Ragged But Right.

7. #3057 Two Acid Test Diplomas, one awarded to Jerry Garcia, the other to Mountain Girl

They didn’t call Garcia “Captain Trips” for nothing. Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters awarded Jerry and Mountain Girl these diplomas following the final Acid Tests in 1966. Garcia put the diplomas up on his wall at 710 Ashbury shortly after receiving them.

8. #3055 A set of Jerry Garcia handwritten lesson plans

Before Jerry joined the Grateful Dead, he gave a handful of guitar lessons to students in the Bay Area. One of those students, Stephen Dunne, kept the hand-written lessons Garcia gave to him. All in all, the winner of this lot will get a total of eight pages.

9. #3060 Two Jerry Garcia monitor speaker cabinets from the Wall of Sound

There’s something symbolic about the Grateful Dead’s famed Wall of Sound speaker array that they used from 1972-1974. The band always strived to break the rules when it came to the music industry and the Wall of Sound showed the Dead’s commitment to providing the best audio possible at their gigs when other concerts featured cheap/sterile PAs. This lot includes two monitor speaker cabinets, giving the purchaser a rare chance to actually own a piece of the Wall of Sound.

10. #3064 Bill Kreutzmann’s Sonor Drum Set Used w/ Grateful Dead

Not all the items in this auction came from the Garcia estate, as this custom set of Sonor drums were owned by Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann. Given to Billy in the mid ’70s, this kit was used at some of the band’s best shows.

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