Welcome to GeeDeeTees : Gratefully-Inspired, Phamily-Friendly Tees, Prints and More!

Like so many, my life has been shaped in fundamental ways by the music and community that is the Grateful Dead. One dusty summer day in 1988, weaving my way through a forest of tie-dyed fans, I arrived at the front of the stage and absorbed my first Dead concert. I was 16, with a shaved head and an angry disposition, feeling clever in my Dead Kennedys tee shirt. Just a week before I had stood on this same patch, shuffling my doc martins in the mud to the din of Metallica, Van Halen and various other Monsters of Rock. The crowd cheered loudest when Rudy Shencker of the Scorpions twice sustained near-fatal electrical shocks from the sheets of rain washing over his guitar rig. Good times.

But now (er... then) here (or there, rather) I was: overwhelmed, six senses fully-dilated, my mind consumed by the patterns and structures emerging and dissolving in the music, emotions buoyed by the cathartic dancing and contagious grins of those around me. Strangers all, but family now, somehow - bound by sweat and song, bedraggled and joyous. I am not a religious man, but this was my Baptism, my Mitzvah, and the first of many Walkabouts. The Dead revealed to me the raw spiritual energy that burns inside all of us, and for that I am forever grateful. I guess I've been on the bus ever since, with a few stops along the way for parenthood and such.

Back in the day, I designed and peddled a few shirts and stickers to help get me and my '72 westy to the next show. Now, with the bus passed along, and this amazing internet thing at my disposal, I thought it would be fun to run a few more shirts. A few dozen requests later and GeedDeeTees.com was born. I am tickled to see a few of these getting ordered from places far and strange, though. And every time I see one of my shirts walk by on the lot, I smile for miles.

10% of the profit from each sale at this little shop will go to either the Rex Foundation or the Waterwheel Foundation, depending on the inspiration. Because, let's face it: while these designs were made with great love and care, in the end they are but humble nods* to the great graphic works of Griffin, Kelly, Mouse, Crumb, and many others who have colored our long, strange trip. And of course the musicians. Notes once played, but heard a thousand times since, echoing in my earbuds for the past twenty-five years, the very soundtrack to my life. Thank you.

 

* My uncle says I should probably also explain that the designs offered here are both derivative and parodic works, lawful and protected by established US copyright law. For some reason he found the Mustached Stealie particularly hilarious and mumbled something about Mona Lisa's "hot tail." Lawyers are weird that way.