Egypt - Artist's Proof

Alton Kelley


Egypt - Artist's Proof, 1978


First printing, lithograph, condition: Near Mint Minus


Framed dimensions: 26 3/4" tall x 36 1/4" wide





Close-up of frame

Frame at angle


This beautiful image was first used to advertise the Grateful Dead shows in Egypt on September 14, 15 and 16 at the Great Pyramid in 1978. It was also used for this show at the Rainbow Theater in London and yet again for the remainder of the Fall 1978 European Tour – both of which were cancelled. The two boxes below the central image were later overprinted with details of the show, some in English and some in Arabic. This is an artist’s proof, created first, to make sure the colors were printing correctly. It leaves a less cluttered and more powerful, impactful appearance.



It is believed that the logistical turnaround to get the crew of 80 some-odd people back up to London to tour – not to mention Bill Kreutzman’s broken hand when he fell off a camel – caused the show to be cancelled.



According to Paul Sorene who was at the Egyptian shows, 



“Jerry saw the whole Egypt trip in a much different light than the record company execs. From the various the interviews I attended, he appeared to be less interested in talking about the imminent UK concert. The Dead were here to harness the energy of this ancient place, to coordinate a Lunar eclipse and levitate a pyramid. And play three very long concerts. As things evolved over the next few days, it became clear that the Grateful Dead would be cancelling all UK concerts and the rest of the European tour. My colleague, Melody Maker’s journalist Mick Watts even became part of long-distance appeals from promoter Harvey Goldsmith office to Garcia. But the Dead’s energy and resources had already been consumed by a much more important project, this, the ultimate acid test.”



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