Grateful Dead at Worcester Centrum, 1988

George Sargent


Grateful Dead Worcester Centrum, 1988


First Printing, lithograph, Mint, signed by artist


Framed: 28 1/4" tall x 20 3/4" wide





Artist signature

Close-up of frame

Frame at angle



This eye-popping poster was deliberately printed slightly off-register, to give the vibrant magenta and cyan blue colors a 3-D effect. The artist, George Sargent, told the Bahr Gallery that he was paying homage to the Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley poster for the Grateful Dead’s first album called “Elephants.” The colors and psychedelic effect are the same, except that in the Mouse and Kelley original the predominant color is the blue with red accents whereas here Sargent reverses the dominant color.



Additionally, the central old-world image is another E.J. Sullivan drawing from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam that Mouse and Kelley also used in the famous Skeleton & Roses poster! Finally, if you look closely at the dragons framing the piece you will see the words “dance” and “concert” like the posters all read in 1966-1967. It's one of the more unusual Dead posters from the 1980s and it would not look out of place in a collection of 1960s psychedelic rock posters.



The original “signature” by the artists was a small dragonfly on the right edge relating to Sargent’s Dragonfly Studios (Woonsocket, RI). The poster was printed by Wex Rex (Gary Sohmers) for Tea Party Concerts indicated at bottom of poster. Many of these posters were printed with the red bleeding badly over into the white border lines at the bottom of the poster but this is one of the pristine ones from the original first printing and it also features a rare signature by George Sargent. There are also copies that are numbered out of 1500 and dated 1995.



All 3 shows were broadcast on WCUW radio and exist as CDs.  The weather had been cold and rainy for most of the previous week and a lot of people on tour had colds, including Jerry. The scene slowly turned into a chaotic mess over the course of the run with ever-present cops and divided parking areas contributing to a subdued lot scene. The city vowed to never let us riffraff return. After the final show police held signs directing Deadheads onto the highways and out of town.

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