Dead Letters: The Very Best Grateful Dead Fan Mail-Bill Walton, Paul Grushkin

  • Title: Dead Letters: The Very Best Grateful Dead Fan Mail
  • Author: Bill Walton, Paul Grushkin
  • Released: 2011-10-22
  • Language:
  • Pages: 208
  • ISBN: 076033854X
  • ISBN13: 978-0760338544
  • ASIN: 076033854X



It's a fascinating read and one that captures the spirit of the Deadheads in a new light. It's not all images, though those are the most appealing, it also includes the stories behind the sales team and band from their perspective. - Creative Loafing

"Each of the unique pieces of art is displayed fully formed and is intriguing not only for its relationship to the band but also for the level of devotion that so many fans have held for so long to their favorite cause." - Vintage Guitar


 “5 out of 5 stars…a sprawling and beautiful tome that more than adequately documents the phenomenon that the GDTS inadvertently created and is fascinating and engaging as a skim-through coffee-table book or as a full-on read. And while the artwork is clearly the focal point of the book, Grushkin’s accompanying text provides an informative and enjoyable history of the Grateful Dead and insight into the behind-the-scenes activity that helped the legacy endure.” -


From the Back Cover

“Dead Freaks Unite!”
This simple exhortation, printed in the gatefold of the Grateful Dead’s 1971 “Skull & Roses” double LP, opened the floodgates. Soon the band was blessed with a constant flow of fan love via the U.S. Post. But among all the mail the Dead received daily, the envelopes bearing ticket requests were easily the most remarkable. As the band blazed a path for DIY ticket sales, fans began tucking their money orders into wildly imaginative hand-drawn, hand-painted, and otherwise hand-decorated envelopes. Each hoped to capture the attention of the Dead’s inner sanctum and thus secure those increasingly elusive passports to The Show.
Of the hundreds of thousands of ticket-request envelopes the band received over the years, some 15,000 have found their way into The Grateful Dead Archive at the University of California, Santa Cruz. With Dead Letters, bestselling Grateful Dead author Paul Grushkin (Grateful Dead: The Official Book of the Dead Heads) has combed this archive to come up with a fantastic survey of nearly 400 Grateful Dead ticket-request envelopes. Arranged by Dead themes, such as the band’s rich iconography, song interpretations, concert locations, and more, the envelopes are accompanied by essays and archival photography that provide a rich historical context for a subject that—like the Dead Heads themselves—is truly unique in the realm of rock. In addition, a final chapter includes a selection of envelopes from the archive of Grateful Dead Ticket Sales TOO, bringing the story from the 1995 passing of Jerry Garcia to the present.
At once inspirational and hugely insightful, the works featured on the pages of <I>Dead Letters<M> truly are objets d’art, brilliantly and lovingly illustrated. Perhaps more significantly, they offer an unprecedented look at a storied love affair between a legendary rock band and its equally legendary fans.

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