It’s hard to know exactly what Alton Kelley did all those years. It’s not that he wasn’t productive. He was wonderfully so. But nearly all of his most famous work – the Grateful Dead’s skeleton and roses logo, the Zig-Zag man, were done in collaboration with his long-time partner Stanley Mouse. Together with contemporaries Wes Wilson, Victor Moscoso, and Rick Griffin (and scores of nearly forgotten others) , they visually defined a way of being.
Which notes did Mick write? Which notes did Keith contribute? What about John and Paul? It’s same with Kelley and Mouse. Maybe they remember, except Al is gone.
Here are some Kelley-Mouse images from the summer of 1966. They’re from my personal collection. I’m putting them up in their yellowed glory, keystoning and all – just as I shot them.
I don’t know who owns the copyright to the images, but these photographs of the posters were created by me.