Kelley & Mouse
Kelley and Mouse were innovators of the most important art movement of the latter part of the twentieth century. They captured the passion and excitement of the times with their distinctive styles. Both Kelley and Mouse were California transplants. In 1965, Mouse traveled to San Francisco, with a group of art school friends. Settling initially in Oakland, which is where Mouse met Kelley. Alton Kelley was a self-taught artist, who had recently arrived from Virginia City, Nevada. settling in a with a group of hippies who called themselves the Red Dog Saloon gang. The group helped promote the band The Charlatans and live music and gatherings with the Red Dog Saloon. Upon arrival in San Francisco Kelley and other veterans of the gang renamed themselves The Family Dog, and began promoting local rock musicians and open dances with their first formal production being a concert at the Longshoremen's Hall.
In February 1966 Chet Helms joins the Family Dog Commune, where he formally founded the Family Dog Productions to begin promoting concerts at The Fillmore Auditorium, alternating weekends with another young promoter, Bill Graham. As the concerts became more popular, inevitable "conflicts" arose between the two promoters, based in part on the notion that public conflict and controversy could generate free publicity. Within a few months Helms secured the permits necessary to host events at the Avalon Ballroom, an old dancehall at 1268 Sutter Street, on the corner of Sutter and Van Ness. When Chet Helms assumed leadership of the group and began promoting the dances at the Avalon Ballroom, Mouse and Kelley began working together to produce posters for the events. Later the pair also produced posters for promoter Bill Graham and for other events in the psychedelic community.
The design team of Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley worked together for the better part of fifteen years and went on to produce posters of psychedelic art promoting the San Francisco scene for both the Avalon Ballroom and the Fillmore which made them instant icons and the posters they created were more than just advertising for the bands and venues they became instant collectibles that went far beyond the local scene and have been displayed in galleries and museums worldwide. Mouse and Kelley brought art and music together through their psychedelic posters and album covers which blended the elegance of Art Nouveau with American Pop-Art. Mouse and Kelley also collaborated with artists, Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso and Wes Wilson to create the Berkeley Bonaparte Distribution Agency to assist in the production and sale of psychedelic art.
Stanley Mouse reflects on his first album cover in an interview with the Washington Post - "I kind of liked the album cover I did for Smokey Robinson; I did "Mickey's Monkey" for him in 1963 in Detroit and I got paid $35 for it. I did it on a pizza box lid. I just talked to Smokey's manager, and he wanted me to work on his new cover, which was a big circle. "Mickey's Monkey" was kind of a funny one. A friend of mine was the art director for Motown -- he was some white guy, and we always talked. I was doing a lot of hot rod stuff, but I also did Christmas cards for a lot of the black disc jockeys; my favorite guy was Frantic Ernie Durham. I was really into the Motown scene. I even had my dad buy me a car when I was 14 so I could just go outside and listen to the black radio stations.
The Miracles "Mickeys Monkey" 1963
Cryptic or ambiguous lettering has been a feature of a number of Grateful Dead LP sleeves and this there first release is no exception. The lettering at the top of the cover reads – “In the land of the dark the ship of the sun is driven by the…”, which is followed by the easily readable - “Grateful Dead”. The original design included lettering that was more easily readable but the band asked for it to be changed. Garcia explained their reasoning in an interview with Ralph Gleason in 1969: “We didn’t like it because we thought it was a tad pretentious. So we talked to Stanley Mouse and said could you do something that almost says something but doesn’t quite.
"Vintage Dead" is a live album by the Grateful Dead which was recorded at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco, California, in late 1966, and was subsequently released in October 1970. Sunflower had purchased the rights to a number of concert recordings from the Avalon, including some by the Grateful Dead.
The album "Vintage Dead" was mixed, produced and released without the approval or participation of the Grateful Dead. The album was not a bootleg but a legitimate vinyl release by Sunflower Records a subsidiary of MGM Records and reached number 127 on the Billboard 200. The album is long out print and has never been released onto Compact Disc. Sunflower Records followed their 1970 "Vintage Dead" (SUN-5001) release with 1971's "Historic Dead".(SNF-5004) which was also recorded in 1966.
The album cover design for "Vintage Dead" is by John Pierce and Mokelvey however the Avalon Ballroom Poster pictured on the album cover is a Family Dog Concert Poster created by Mouse and Kelley for the 1966 Grateful Dead Avalon Ballroom concert.
The Grateful Dead "Grateful Dead" 1967
The Grateful Dead "Good Morning Little School Girl"
Grateful Dead "Vintage Dead" 1970
The Grateful Dead "Workingman's Dead" 1970
Skull & Roses
This iconic imagery of the skeleton and roses has become symbol for the Grateful Dead and was created by the design team of Alton Kelley and Stanley "Mouse" Miller based on illustrations by Edmund Joseph Sullivan for an old edition of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and was originally used on the Family Dog Poster FD-26 for the The Grateful Dead Avalon Ballroom Concert in 1966.
This was the seventh album by the Grateful Dead and is often refereed to by the names "Skull and Roses" or "Skull Fuck" which was the name the band originally wanted to give to the album, which of coarse was rejected by Warner Bros. Records.
It is on this record that the legion of followers are first referred to as "Dead Heads".
Grateful Dead "Skull & Roses" 1971
Live at the Fillmore East 1971
New Riders of the Purple Sage "Powerglide" 1972
NRPS "I Don't Need No Doctor" 1972
Mickey Hart "Rolling Thunder" 1972
Did You Know ??
This Mickey Hart album was named after the Shoshone Medicine Man Rolling Thunder who was a shaman, teacher, and activist in both Indians Rights & Women's Rights.
Rolling Thunder, who was a friend of Mickey Hart and the Grateful Dead who delivers an invocation to the Earth and Sun at the opening of this album.
Bob Weir "Ace" 1972
Grateful Dead "From the Mars Hotel" 1974
Grateful Dead Records
Did You Know ??
Mars Hotel was the second Grateful Dead release on their own label Grateful Dead Records. The album cover displays another example of strange lettering on Dead album covers. The lettering on the front cover is upside down and mirrored it reads "Ugly Rumours". This phrase has become an alternative title used by fans for the album.
The Mars Hotel was a building near to the studios where the album was recorded and the Dead included film of the demolition of the Mars Hotel in the Grateful Dead Movie.
Robert Hunter "Tiger Rose" 1975
Robert Hunter "Wild Bill"
Hunter discussed the album "Wild Rose" in an interview in 1984 saying "I like Garcia's arrangements and the production on it, and I like the songs. The only thing I can't stand is the vocals. I played it for the first time in years the other day and I was horrified."
The vocals were re-recorded in 1988 for the re-release of the LP in 1989.
Grateful Dead "Terrapin Station" 1977
Steve Miller Band "Book Of Dreams" 1977
Threshold, Jet Airliner
Did You Know ??
Kelley and Mouse developed and ran a four color process T-shirt company called The Monster Company which was on the verge of failing.
So the story goes, Kelley and Mouse created this monumental painting of this horse from the 1918 World's Fair in San Francisco which was named "Pegasus". The team created this canvas with this expectation that the image would save the T-shirt business. One day Steve Miller walked into Mouse Studios and said he was looking for an album cover for his upcoming album, so he was introduced to the Pegasus design, Steve Miller was happy the design as the imagery fit in well with the title of the album which was "Book of Dreams"
Book Of Dreams won a Grammy for "Best Album Cover" which was given to Capitol Records art director Roy Kohara.
Jerry Garcia Band "Cats Under the Stars" 1978
Did You Know ??
The Grateful Dead played in Egypt In 1978 the same year Garcia released the "Cats under the Stars" album .
Phil Lesh spearheaded a project to play concerts at places of power, with the Egyptian pyramids being the number one choice and as a result Egyptian imagery was so powerful that it influenced much of the art that was to come.
The album cover was created by Alton Kelley & Stanley Mouse and was the first album Garcia released under the band name the "Jerry Garcia Band". This was Jerry's first album with Arista Records and marks the only Jerry Garcia Band studio release.
Journey "Infinity" 1978
Did You Know ??
The design team of Kelley and Mouse were working on an album cover for Jimi Hendrix but Jimi died before it was completed. The Hendrix album design morphed into several covers for the band Journey, including 1978s Infinity, 1979's Evolution and 1980s Departure.
Journey "Wheel In the Sky"
Billy Thorpe "Children Of The Sun" 1979
Billy Thorpe "Children Of the Sun"
Steve Miller Band "Greatest Hits 1974-78" 1978
Journey "Evolution" 1979
Journey "Departure" 1980
The Rhythm Devils "The Apocalypse Now Sessions" 1980
Rhythm Devils "Comes the Dawn"
Did You Know ??
Stanley Mouse developed skills using an airbrush in his early teen years and began painting t-shirts at custom car shows when he was seventeen. There he met and worked with Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, the leading exponent of Weirdo Hot Rod art. Mouse was also strongly influenced by the art of Rick Griffin, with whom he would later collaborate with on posters and album covers.
In 1959, Mouse and his family founded Mouse Studios, a home based mail-order company, which sold his shirts, drawings, decals and various other products. In 1964 Mouse was invited to help in the design of Monogram Kustom Kulture model kits using his "monster" character Fred Flypogger.
Journey "Captured" 1981
Journey "Escape" 1981
John Kay & Steppenwolf "Rock & Roll Rebels" 1987
Journey "Greatest Hits" 1988
King's X "Ear Candy" 1996
Journey "The Essentials" 2001
Grateful Dead "Rocking the Cradle Egypt 1978" 2008
"Fire On the Mountain" Egypt 78'
"Iko-Iko" Egypt 1978
The Grateful Dead have only played three concerts in Egypt in their fifty year history which was September 14, 15, and 16, 1978. The shows were performed very close to the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid. On the third nights show a total lunar eclipse occurred. Only the Dead would plan such a monumental event in time, a three day music event shrouded by a total lunar eclipse. -- Thanks Phil Lesh !!
The Dead had plans on using these three shows for a live album but when reviewing the recordings, the producers found that the first night and most of the second night were unusable due to technical problems. Coupled with the recording of the their 1978 album Shakedown Street which took most of their energy, the idea of the live album was quickly abandoned. Thirty years later, the album was finally released, consisting of the tracks that were usable.
The track "Ollin Arageed" is a song by Nubian oud player Hamza El Din. This version of the song was previously released along with "Fire on the Mountain" and "Stagger Lee" on the remastered issue of Shakedown Street. There is only one other officially released version, on the album Road Trips Volume 1 Number 4.
Journey "Greatest Hits 2" 2011
Journey "Greatest Hits 2" 2011
This compilation album Journey 2 is the band's second greatest hits package. It was released 23 years after the first greatest hits album in 1988. The album includes the remaining radio hits that were left off the first greatest hits album of fan favorites. This includes "Stone in Love", "Feeling That Way", "Anytime", "Just the Same Way", "Still They Ride", "Suzanne", "Walks Like a Lady", "The Party's Over", and "After the Fall". The album is graced with and Alton Kelley Image where Journey re-used the Alton Kelley Cover Art from Journey;s Greatest Hits 1 and re-worked the color scheme from a red back ground with blues accents to a blue back ground with reds accents. Alton Kelley had passed three years prior in 2008.
Doobie Brothers "Sibling Rivalry" 2000
Jerry Garcia Band "Fall 1989: The Long Island Sound" 2013
The Doors "Live At the Matrix 1967" 2008
The Grateful Dead "Winterland" 2012
The Grateful Dead "Winterland" 2012
This is a posthumous Grateful Dead release titled Winterland. The recording is from May 30th 1971 and as the name suggests, it was recorded live at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. The album includes most of the second set from that concert, as well as the encore. It was produced only as a two-disc vinyl LP, in a limited edition of 7,500 copies, and was released on November 23, 2012 which was a Black Friday release in conjunction with Record Store Day. The Art direction and design is by Masaki Koike but we see the familiar Skull and Roses design by Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse used for the Avalon Ballroom poster and later for the album known to collectors as Skull and Roses
Secret Colours "Peach" 2013
Alton Kelley & Stanley Mouse
The Grateful Dead Movie
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Keep It In the Groove -- Let Us Know You Were Here Too !!
Fox Music (author) on May 31, 2015:
mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on May 31, 2015:
You put a great deal of work into this article. I hope more than three followers see it.