Dead Set Promotional Poster 1981

Promo poster for Dead Set 1981 Grateful Dead by Dennis Larkins

Dennis Larkins


Dead Set Promotional Poster - 1981


First printing lithograph, Near Mint Minus


Framed: 24 3/4" tall x 42 1/4" wide





Frame at angle


Close-up of frame

Detail, 2


Just sold - e-mail me if you want to know when we get another one.



Dead Set is the seventh live album (eighteenth overall) by the Grateful Dead. It was released in August 1981 on Arista and this is a rare oversized promotional poster for that album.



The album contains live material recorded between September and October 1980 at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco and Radio City Music Hall in New York. Dead Set was essentially a companion release to Reckoning, a 1981 release of songs featuring acoustic instruments: both of the albums were recorded at the same runs of concerts.



The album's cover features an Uncle Sam skeleton perched on the Marin Headlands looking at the view of San Francisco, with a striking twilight sky reflecting off the bay. The back cover of the original gatefold album continues this image, except that it shows a view of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The poster of course offers both in all of their glory!



Artist Dennis Larkins had nothing to do with the promotional poster. He had created the art of the album and the record company used it to create the poster.  Regarding the original art then, Dennis Larkins writes:



“When I was commissioned to do the album cover art, the only ‘direction’ was that the album would be live recordings from both the Warfield and Radio City shows. For me, that meant the design challenge would be to visually portray a blending of both locations into one image. I thought a logical solution would be to use the bridges spanning the waterways in both locations, which also created a powerful metaphor, ‘bridging’ the distance between the cities. I gave the band two versions of the idea, the one they chose emphasized the waterways as well as city skylines while the other was a more up-close view as when you’re driving to San Francisco across the Bay Bridge (or Golden Gate) and when you’re driving over the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan.



The great thing about working with the band was their ability to give me quick approvals on all my projects with them as my delivery times were extremely short for each and their giving me free reign on creating the finished art as they were approving only a rough pencil sketch in each case and they never saw the completed result until after the fact!”

Back To Top