Sunday, November 2, 2008

Stanley Mouse Album Art

Stanley "Mouse" Miller (born 1940) is an American artist best known for his psychedelic art designs for 1960s rock concert posters, as well as Grateful Dead album cover art. Along with artists Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley, Victor Moscoso, and Wes Wilson, Mouse founded the Berkeley Bonaparte distribution agency in order to produce and sell psychedelic poster art. Mouse and Kelley also worked together from 1971 as lead artists of Mouse Studios and the Monster Company, which produced album cover art for the rock bands Journey and Grateful Dead and hot rod memorabilia respectively.

In 1965 Mouse traveled to San Francisco, California with a group of art school friends. Settling initially in Oakland, Mouse met Alton Kelley. Kelley, a self-taught artist, had recently arrived from Virginia City, Nevada, where he had joined a group of hippies who called themselves the Red Dog Saloon gang. Upon arrival in San Francisco Kelley and other veterans of the gang renamed themselves The Family Dog, and began producing rock music dances. In 1966, when Chet Helms assumed leadership of the group and began promoting the dances at the Avalon Ballroom, Mouse and Kelley began working together to produce posters for the events. Later the pair also produced posters for promoter Bill Graham and for other events in the psychedelic community. Producing posters advertising for such musical groups as Big Brother and the Holding Company, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Grateful Dead led to meeting the musicians and making contacts that were later to prove fruitful.

Mouse and Kelly are credited with creating the skeleton and roses image that became the Grateful Dead's archetypal iconography and Journey's wings and beetles on covers from 1977 to 1980.

The cover for The Steve Miller Band "Book Of Dreams" album won a Grammy Award for the artwork, but even though Mouse and Kelly did the artwork, the award went to the art director, Ray Kahara.

The Blind Faith and Grateful Dead "Go To Heaven" albums, Mouse was the art director for those covers.

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