View full screen - View 1 of Lot 24. Courtenay Pollock | Stage-used “Geometriart” tie-dye speaker cover, ca. 1971.

Property of Steve Parish

Courtenay Pollock | Stage-used “Geometriart” tie-dye speaker cover, ca. 1971

Lot Closed

October 14, 06:23 PM GMT


3,000 - 5,000 USD

Lot Details


Property of Steve Parish

Courtenay Pollock

Tie-dye speaker cover, ca. 1971

Speaker cover (30 x 24’’). Tie-dyed cloth mounted on wooden frame; a few closed tears, soiling.

A quintessential piece of the Dead’s live shows

In 1968 the Dead’s long-time friend, first roadie, and one time sound engineer, Bob Matthews suggested that they add some color to their stage setup, by replacing the basic wire and mesh coverings that typically came on speaker cabinets. Matthews purchased colorful fabric, with psychedelic patterns, paisleys, and flowers, and placed them over the cabinets—and by 1969, the band had a mix of standard mesh and some fabric coverings.

Around late 1969, or early 1970, Alembic started manufacturing blonde wood speaker cabinets for the Dead. Rosie McGee, another friend of the Dead, suggested that Alembic use tie-dye speaker covers for their P.A.’s. McGee’s tie-dye graced Alembic’s speaker cabinets through 1970, and saw live use with the Dead and other bands.

In the summer of 1970, the Dead met the artist Coutenay Pollock at Bob Weir’s ranch, where he introduced them to his specific “Geometriart” technique for tie-dye, which created symmetrical mandala-like patterns. The Dead were instant fans and asked for tie-dye amp covers, and by June 1971 they had a full array of Pollock’s speaker covers, along with the work McGee had done for the Alembic cabinets.  

By late 1971, McGee turned over the task of updating the Alembic cabinets to Pollock, and the Dead continued to use his tie-dye regularly on tour. The speaker covers would go on to be an essential part of the Dead’s live performance—another element of the captivating spectacle of their shows.