I first saw the Grateful Dead in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania on July 6th, 1987.  At the time I really didn’t know their music very well.  A bunch of my friends had gone to see them in Philadelphia PA earlier that year and I was informed I was absolutely going to see them the next time they came into the area.  I was astoundingly impressed of course, although I had no idea what songs I was hearing until the second set came around.  Much to my delight, they were joined by a band I knew well at the time, the Neville Brothers, doing songs I actually knew the words to like Aiko Aiko, Day-O.  And then came the pummeling waves of Drumz!  I was literally knocked back down into my seat over and over by the waves of percussion as I tried to stand and dance, and was blown away by the majesty of this band.  And then more songs that I knew: Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Good Lovin’, and Johnny B. Good.  Needless to say, within the next few months I was more than knowledgeable of their repertoire.  I like to use music a fuel for my artistic creations, and the music of the Grateful Dead is absolutely a favorite in my studio, as well as a favorite motif.

Steal Your Face Right Off Your Head.  Arguably the most easily recognized Grateful Dead symbol.  How could you make psychedelic batiks, and not do a take on this classic.

Steal Your Face Right Off Your Head. Arguably the most easily recognized Grateful Dead symbol. How could you make psychedelic batiks, and not do a take on this classic.

 

DancingBearBatik

One might consider the dancing bear to be a close second, as a ubiquitous Grateful Dead icon. This one appropriately enough was on the back of the shirt with the preceding image.

StealYourFaceBatik2

This shirt was made in a 2 step process. First, the image was sketched, the whole shirt covered with wax and then crackled, and then dyed black. Second, after the wax was removed, the shirt was folded up and Tye-died.

 

StealYourFaceBatik3

One more Face.

There was that cool simple Phil Batik on tour, but I don’t think anyone could touch this Jerry.

There was that cool simple Phil Batik on tour, but I don’t think anyone could touch this Jerry.

AxomoxoABatik

The seeds of life bursting forth from solar phallic sun. This bit from the album cover of AxomoxoA (changed around a bit by me) was replete with symbolism that artist Rick Griffin had seemingly become obsessed with. He’s one of my favorites from the psychedelic art world.

One more titan of the psychedelic art scene was responsible for the Grateful Dead album Terrapin Station, and that was Stanley Mouse.  The back cover hosted another amazing addition to skulls of the Grateful Dead, the Cyclops Skull.  It took me a couple of attempts for figure out how to filter his masterpiece through the prism of batik, but I got it.  What follows are a few pictures of two different shirts.

TerrapinStationSkullBatik1

The Terrapin Station Cyclops Skull

 

TerrapinStationSkullBatik2

Zooming in a bit.

 

 

TerrapinStationSkullBatik3

Tight Shot.

 

TerrapinStationSkullBatik4

One of two more tight shots.

 

TerrapinStationSkullBatik5

 

 

TerrapinStationSkullBatik6

This one includes the Grateful Dead Logo that went with the poster of this image.

 

TerrapinStationSkullBatik7

A final close shot of this shirt.

 

 

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