Alameda Journal: Grateful Dead truck up for auction in Alameda, October 30, 2014


"What a long, strange trip it's been," the Grateful Dead song "Truckin'" goes, and so it has for the 1949 Studebaker pickup the band used to shuttle amplifiers, microphones and other equipment for their first gigs.

Known as "The Dred" and just about forgotten for decades, the truck will be up for bid Thursday at Michaan's Auctions, 2751 Todd St., Alameda. Potential buyers can preview it starting Friday.

"It was part of the rolling revolution," said owner Steve Cabella, a specialist in modern and midcentury art who discovered the truck rusting away in a shed in the Berkeley hills. "When I found it, I did not know it's history. But I immediately knew it was an iconic representation of a moment in time."

Owsley Stanley, the Grateful Dead's first sound man and an underground chemist who specialized in LSD, purchased the truck in 1966, the same year the Black Panthers were formed and Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California.