AN EXTREMELY RARE HANDWRITTEN letter by Jerry Garcia will be offered during a live auction event next month. The two-part letter was written in 1982 to a former Vogue cover model, whom Garcia had met at a party in New York in 1980 while the Grateful Dead were in town for a series of shows at Radio City Music Hall. The letter includes a very detailed sketch of a recent performance by the band at the Greek Theatre, depicting the columns of the historic theatre, the band, (which Garcia labels “us”) and the audience (“them”).
The letter reads in part: “Thank you really for sending that postcard, I feel like it’s sort of our first ‘official’ communication somehow. I’ve been hoping we could get together ever since we first met at Al’s that winter nite [sic] so long ago (sigh) — I hope it doesn’t seem like I’ve been avoiding you, although I admit I’ve kind of been waiting for the opportunity (that is, the ‘right’ opportunity) for us to meet in some kind of neutral context that would be comfortable and relaxed and free of any pressure...”
Later, the Grateful Dead frontman bizarrely mentions the birth of England’s Prince William on June 21, 1982: “latest news from England is of course the Royal birth.”
The auction item will be accompanied by the original mailing envelope, hand-addressed by Garcia, who notes that “this is the first letter I’ve written in years”. Bobby Livingston of RR Auction, the company arranging sale the letter, said, “the rarity of this handwritten letter cannot be overstated - research indicates no others ever being on the market.
“I’ve been hoping we could get together ever since we first met at Al’s that winter nite.”
Livingston continues: “The unique sketch he drew of the Greek Theater, is particularly poignant as it relates to their Bay Area roots — this year would have been the band’s 50th Anniversary.”
The letter is one of a host of rock rarities on sale in the Live Auction event, including Johnny Ramone’s 1965 Mosrite guitar, a signed photograph of Elvis Presley in his Army uniform and a signed portrait of the Beatles, taken at the Odeon, Southend in 1963. Details can be found at www.rrauction.com.
MAIN PHOTO: Alamy