Jerry Garcia
Jerry Garcia
1 More
These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more
Jerry Garcia

Details
Jerry Garcia
The iconic hand-painted 'Uncle Sam' top hat owned and worn by Jerry Garcia as 'Captain Trips' 1966-67, the brown silk lining labelled Dunlap & Co., Colman Co., San Francisco and dated in an unknown hand in black pen 1883, the top and brim painted grey, the binding red, and the crown with red and white stripes, mirroring the miniature American flag pinned to the red, white and blue braid hatband – owned and worn by Jerry Garcia on various occasions in 1966-67, including for photo shoots with Herb Greene and Gene Anthony, from which a number of photographs were reproduced on the cover and liner of the Grateful Dead's debut album The Grateful Dead, Warner Bros., 1967; accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Carolyn Adams Garcia aka Mountain Girl; a letter of provenance from Harry Tsvi Strauch; and a 1966 poster for Strauch's shop IN GEAR….
Literature
PERRY, Paul On the Bus: The Complete Guide to the Legendary Trip of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters and the Birth of the Counterculture, Thunder's Mouth Press, 1996, p. 148.
BRANDELIUS, Jerilyn Lee Grateful Dead Family Album, New York: Warner Books, 1990, p. 44 (illus.)
Garcia: By the editors of Rolling Stone, Rolling Stone Press, 1995, p. 9, 60 (illus.)
Grateful Dead: The Illustrated Trip, New York: Dorking Kindersley, 2003, p. 67, 74, 76, 79 (illus.)
Exhibited
Something’s Happenin’ Here: Bay Area Rock ‘n’ Roll 1963-73, Museum of Performance & Design, San Francisco, 25th September 2009 - 28th August 2010
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

Lot Essay

According to Mountain Girl, Garcia originally purchased the hat in a costume shop in San Francisco in 1966: Stars and stripes, and red white and blue were popular themes in new art during the rebellious 1960's as American youth sought to expand their civil liberties by wearing flag-themed clothing and to attract attention and to identify changing behaviors in America as freedoms [were] protected by the U.S. Constitution... [He] wore it to public appearances, concerts with the band, and in photos by well-known San Francisco photographer Gene Anthony, who documented the ‘Summer of Love’ in Haight-Ashbury.

Garcia chose to wear the hat for the now famous shoots with Gene Anthony on the steps of the Grateful Dead communal house at 710 Asbury and with Herb Greene at the home of Gene Estribou, who recorded one of the first demos for the band. Photographs from both shoots were used for the cover and liner of the Grateful Dead’s 1967 debut album The Grateful Dead, where the corresponding liner notes named Garcia as Jerry ("Captain Trips") Garcia. The hat became synonymous with Garcia’s ‘Captain Trips’ persona. Herb Greene remembers …Garcia became Captain Trips when he put it on.

According to Denise Kaufman of The Ace of Cups, the nickname originally came from an episode at Ken Kesey's Acid Test at the Big Beat Club, Mountain View in Palo Alto on 18th December, 1965: At one point, I was standing out in the parking lot talking to Jerry Garcia, and this police car drove up… It was the usual: "What's going on here?" Whatever Jerry said satisfied him because he turned to leave. As he turned to walk away, Jerry kind of tipped his hat and said, "The tips, captain." The way he said it just knocked me out. I told Kesey about this interaction and out of that Jerry got his name Captain Trips. Of course, the nickname also reflected Garcia’s fondness for psychedelic drugs and his prototypical psychedelic persona, although he came to dislike the moniker himself.

According to Mountain Girl, The hat was part of Jerry Garcia's personal wardrobe for several years and when he stopped wearing it, he gave it to his friend Harry Tsvi Strauch who ran a gallery on Haight Street. Strauch explains …In the Summer of 1966, The Grateful Dead became our neighbors, moving into 710 Ashbury, the house two doors up from ours. September 1967, an anti-War/Peace march was to come through Haight Street for a rally at Kezar Stadium. My wife - Hyla Strauch - was designing a Red, White & Blue American Flag themed window display for our shop in support of the march. She thought that Jerry Garcia's Capt'n Trips hat would be the ideal, iconic centerpiece for the display. We brought this up to Jerry, and he gave us the hat to use in the shop window! When it was time to take the display down, we offered to return the hat - Jerry Told us "I don't want the hat...You keep it, take care of it."
;

Related Articles

View all
Jerry Garcia and the story of  auction at Christies
‘This is the most beautiful ev auction at Christies
Monet and Klein lead the 20th/ auction at Christies

More from 20/21 Pop Culture

View All
View All