|Craig McDean - Freaktopia|
While some of my more responsible peers might be studiously prepping for finals on the weekends, my little group was as likely to find itself grooving to the sound of the Grateful Dead at some lysergically soaked venue somewhere in America's heartland.And so I read with some bemusement yesterday that Vogue Magazine is now featuring fashion born in the parking lot of a Grateful Dead concert in 1977, arguably one of the two greatest years for them musically, along with 1974.
Despite existing travel bans, Freaktopia offers (visual) trips aplenty. This just-launched brand, a collaboration among photographers Craig McDean and David Mushegain, artists Phil Brown and Mikio, and others, has been about 12 years in the making, but the story really begins in a Grateful Dead lot in 1977.
It’s there that Brown and Mikio met and started traveling with the band, which they did until Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995. On this long, strange ride, the art partners were mentored by Ed Donahue, and like him, made and sold T-shirts in parking lots. “We always felt that we were doing work for a community that we were a part of,” noted Mikio on a recent call. “We all felt we were cocreating a scene.”
|Vintage Ed Donohue t-shirt|
I am a relatively young guy, was pretty late to the Grateful Dead, unfortunately didn't start listening until 1970 and 71 and didn't start going to shows for a year or two after that.
|brain baked at the Sam Boyd Silver Bowl|
But what's next, kind veggie parking lot burritos at Chez Panisse starting at $38 an entree? Ripple sponsorships? We already have Grateful Dead underwear, shoes, socks and soap, an early idea of mine that I should have actualized. Maybe high end designer acid vacations, their time has certainly come.