This familiar image was created by Kelley/Mouse Studios to adorn the back of 1977’s Terrapin Station album. a significant album for the band. Their ninth studio album, the first on Arista Records, was recorded after a two-year hiatus. At the time, it was somewhat controversial due to its introduction of more symphonic arrangements and soundscapes, as well as its production style.
Mouse and Kelley were both part of the “Big Five” San Francisco poster artists. In addition to plenty of Dead posters, including the iconic Skeleton & Roses in 1966, Mouse and Kelley created 6 covers for the Dead (First Album, American Beauty, Workingman’s Dead, Europe ’72, Mars Hotel, Terrapin, and also solo albums Ace, Cats Under the Stars, and Rolling Thunder.
A version of this image with a blue background hung behind the band at their legendary performance in Englishtown, NJ on September 3, 1977. The one-off show drew a massive crowd of more than125,000 fans, completely filling Raceway Park with a sea of Deadheads. A favorite show among fans, both for the band’s phenomenal performance, and for the incredible size of the crowd—and, of course, for swapping the numerous stories of what happened there that day.
The poster was produced by Portal Publications and sold in poster stores and by mail order. The posters were printed on thin paper and so we had this one backed with archival linen to stabilize and protect it. These posters were easily damaged or ripped and rarely come on the market.