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Miceal Priest (1951-2018) designed this very popular poster for a 1982 Grateful Dead show at the Manor Downs, just east of Austin, Texas. The central image features a skeletal jockey feeding his equally skeletal horse what appears to be an acid-laced sugar cube. Consequently, this poster is sometimes referred to as “Acid Horse,” and this poster can be difficult to find because it was actually rejected by the band for the drug reference .
Manor Downs was a horse track outside Austin. The Dead played there first in 1977, then again in 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1985. July 31 was the day before Jerry Garcia’s birthday, and the band hit Austin after three nights at Red Rocks. It was 900 miles away, only to turn around and head back up to Oklahoma City for a 2pm show the next day, but Manor Downs was managed by Frances Carr and Sam Cutler - Cutler had been the Dead’s tour manager Dead for a number of years - and so they were visiting friends. Indeed the show, has been officially recognized as the 1982 entry on the "30 Trips Around the Sun” box set, wen to 1:30am with the party no doubt continuing on to celebrate Jerry’s 40th birthday!
Austin-based artist Micael Priest was known for his iconic laconic style of drawing. Quick witted and with an incredible sense of humor, Micael drew his way through life. “Priest was a walking, talking, real-life cowboy hippie cartoon character artist,” offers Kerry Awn. “Ink ran through his veins. When he came to town he changed everything just by being himself. He never heard a story he couldn’t embellish, an experience he couldn’t top, nor a chance to let you in on a pearl of wisdom spoken in a down-home manner so thick you might have thought it was all an act. It wasn’t. He was an original.”