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Grateful Dead fanatics petition for Jerry Garcia stamp



Published: Sat, August 27, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Supporters point out than an Elvis stamp made a profit for the post office.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

As Grateful Dead fans everywhere know, the music never stopped when Jerry Garcia died 10 years ago, and now a grass-roots campaign wants to memorialize the Dead's driving force with a U.S. Postal Service stamp.

The centerpiece of the effort, so far conducted in the mellow fashion one would expect from Deadheads, is an online petition, first posted on Aug. 9, the 10th anniversary of Garcia's death at age 53.

Everyone involved recognizes that a Garcia stamp would be a leap for the post office by honoring a rock-era figure associated with hippies, casual drug use and a way-laidback lifestyle.

But they proudly point out that Garcia was a great musician whose work blended many styles, a father figure to millions of Americans and others around the world, and a philanthropist.

Besides, they say, in 1993, the Postal Service honored Elvis Presley -- who died of a heart attack after years of abusing prescription drugs -- and ended up with a best seller. About 517 million of the 29-cent Elvis stamps were sold, and the Postal Service ended up with a $36 million profit. About 95 percent of those stamps are still in collectors' hands.

Early success

So far, the Garcia petition to the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee has garnered more than 6,000 signatures without any publicity to speak of other than word of mouth or by fans finding the effort at www.petitiononline.com/Garcia/petition.html.




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