San Francisco, CA
Poster Art by Stanley Mouse & Alton Kelley
In 1966 Kelley and I were in the San Francisco public library looking for inspiration for a poster we were doing for the Grateful Dead. We stumbled upon an illustration in the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, a twelfth-century Arabian work of poetry. Kelley said, “Is that the Grateful Dead or is that the Grateful Dead!?” I responded, “that’s got Grateful Dead written all over it!”
Fun fact: The Avalon poster is titled FD-26 (Family Dog 26) and the original Skull and Roses image (rendered by Edmund Sullivan) appeared on page 26 of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. On the accompanying page were these words:
O, come with old Khayyam, and leave the Wise To talk;- Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
one thing is certain, that life flies;
One thing is certain, and the Rest is lies;
The Flower that once has blown forever dies.