Is Grateful Dead Steal Your Face Gear Available?

Is Grateful Dead Steal Your Face Gear Available?

A well created emblem is often just as famous as the group’s name for many illustrious bands. The Rolling Stones’ protruding tongue and lips emblem, Waylon Jennings’ “Flying W,” and Social Distortion’s twirling “Skelly” are all vibrant, creative components of the history and identity of illustrious performers.

It should not be shocking that the members of the Grateful Dead possess a limited library of iconography to draw from.

The visual component regarding their presentation has been a strong force from the band’s formation, making them one of the initial bands to use psychedelic light displays and vibrantly designed tour posters. Dedicated fans would likely identify a long list of pictures with the Dead, but there are still two that stick out above the rest.

Its “Steal Your Face” thunderbolt skulls and dancing bears are two of the most adored and well-known Deadhead symbols. Both patterns have quite innocent beginnings, and as anyone might expect, it is difficult to interpret what they signify.

What is the Origin behind the Steal Your Face Logo?

The majority of deadheads quickly identify the Grateful Dead’s Steal Your Face as their emblem. If you are capable of thinking of it, there probably is a Stealie for it. That is, someone has added their own flavor to the mix, and made it an emblem of their own, borrowing the skull and lightning from the band as a starting point.

The mark continues to be used across numerous applications to express love for the grateful dead steal your face album and its iconic logo, and it is frequently seen with the focal point customized for demonstrating any number of cross-section interests, like home state, favorite team, appreciation of additional bands, hobbies, etc.

Uncommon knowledge holds that when a trademarked symbol, like the Stealie, has been altered to serve as a caricature of the original, it cannot be protected. However, how did a Stealie come to represent the Grateful Dead? What’s the story behind the emblem and how it became adopted by the band as their official emblem prior to being noted for the dancing bear logo?

The Grateful Dead’s logo

The Grateful Dead’s first sound engineer, Owsley “Bear” Stanley, recognized they needed a sign to identify the instruments as the band started appearing in bigger venues and alongside other performers. The 13-Point Bolt emerged as a result of his collaboration with graphic artist Bob Thomas.

Around 1969, the term “Steal Your Face” or “Stealie” had not yet been coined for the skull plus lightning bolt sign. The Grateful Dead symbol was the only term used to describe it.

What Happened to Make It The “Steal Your Face” Logo?

The band released “He is Gone” in 1972, around three years after the Grateful Dead emblem made its debut. In this song, Mickey Hart’s father, who was hired in 1969 to serve as the bands’ manager, is described. Click here to read more on the role of a band manager, and how they traditionally are to serve the band and their needs.  

He got caught stealing funds from the band less than a year after taking on the position, left town with the stolen money, and the band was left in financial ruin. It could have been a nightmare that left the band without a chance to recover, but they turned it into cash.

However, when the song first came out, many listeners focused on the lyric, “Steal your face immediately off your head,” and interpreted it to mean that the music might “steal” your face. This essentially implied that if you “got” the Dead, you wouldn’t be the same afterward.

Steal Your Face by the Grateful Dead

Due to this, the Grateful Dead’s logo first went by the term Steal Your Face, simply Stealie. However, the name was officially established in June 1976 when the Dead composed ( and issued an extra live album under the same name.

The album was recorded between October 17 and 20, 1974, inside the Winterland Ballroom near San Francisco, supposedly as a “farewell run” before an at-the-time indefinite break. The Skull logo appears on the record cover, and after that it developed a reputation for being a Steal Your Face emblem.

When the lightning skull debuted on the inner gatefold cover of the Dead’s 1970 self-titled LP The “rose skeleton” artwork by Stanley “Mouse” Miller that some fans contend belongs in any significant discussion of the Grateful Dead is featured on the front cover of that album. Although the lightning cranium design was created to be utilitarian and benign, its overall significance has transcended its modest beginnings.

If you believe message board rumors, the 13-point lightning bolt depicts either the 13 steps required to create LSD or the original American colonies, depending on who you ask. There are suggestions that the bolt represents the transforming abilities of nature’s all-consuming force.

Written by Enaa Mari

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