Most non-Americans will never have heard the LSD-tinged lyrics and rambling guitar solos that epitomise the work of the Grateful Dead. But most recognise the name as the icon of the psychedelic era, the archetype of San Franciscan flowers-in-the-hair hippiedom and the spiritual symbol of a summer of love that for many diehard fans has never ended. When 53-year-old bandleader Jerry Garcia died in a drug rehabilitation clinic in 1995, his group was still one of America's top-grossing live acts and his obituaries resounded across the nation like a nostalgic last flashback to the 1960s acid trip. But much as Garcia tried to live his life into middle age free of the bourgeois constraints that his generation rejected, his death has seen the ugly ghosts of 90s life hovering round his grave, dressed as lawyers. It is the classic scenario that visits so many famous corpses: the fight over the estate. The legal battle currently taking place in a courtroom, just a few riffs across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, is pitting Garcia's widow against his second wife, and seeing some of the Grateful Dead's colourful history replayed for the TV cameras. At issue is whether a piece of paper signed in 1993 between Garcia and ex-wife Carolyn Adams, granting her US$5 million (HK$38.65 million) over 20 years is valid; or whether his last wife, Deborah Koons, who married him only 20 months before his death, was legally within her rights to tear up that agreement and stop the payments to an ex-wife whom, by all accounts, she could not abide. Ms Koons, who appears satisfied with her one-third of Garcia's estate, cuts a very different figure from her rival in love and probate. She turns up to court in pearls and dark business suits, while Ms Adams, with her beads, dishevelled hair and laid-back manner, comes across just as she is: a wilting 60s flower child. Ms Adams certainly can lay claim to a large share of the Garcia legacy, if not his cash. She went down in folklore as a member of the performance troupe, the Merry Pranksters, who under the leadership of author Ken Kesey of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest fame, appeared with the Grateful Dead all over the San Francisco area advocating the use of LSD in large amounts. Armed with Kesey's love-child, Ms Adams moved with Garcia in 1967 into a house in the legendary Haight-Asbury neighbourhood. The two stayed together for many years, although they did not marry until 1981. Sometime during that period, Garcia - who seems to have taken the free love message literally - had a brief affair with a young Ms Koons, who as a groupie boarded his tour bus after a 70s concert. They later rekindled the romance and married in 1994. Ms Koons' lawyers have tried to convince the court that Ms Adams' US$5 million agreement was never legal, nor was their marriage. They claim the couple only married for tax reasons, and that Garcia was too addicted to drugs to have been alert enough to sign a legal contract. Garcia had handed over US$400,000 to Ms Adams by the time his widow cut off the flow. What the court decides could hinge on how much Garcia was worth at his death. Ms Koons says it is only US$6 million, Ms Adams a lot more. There have been many arguments as to what his royalties are still worth, and some interesting nuggets have emerged - such as the US$250,000 a year Ben and Jerry's ice cream pays to his estate for continuing to market its popular 'Cherry Garcia' brand. This column recently touched upon the cash crisis that has seen Washington DC's mortuary look like the reception room for Hades. But even once one is lucky enough to get buried, the problems do not end there. In Prince George's County, a middle-class suburb, parents have filed lawsuits against a cemetery claiming their young children's bodies have secretly been dug up and moved. Those accused of doing the graverobbing are the cemetery's management - allegedly, the parents say, to make way for a garish mausoleum to house the grave of Bishop Walter 'Sweet Daddy' McCollough. While no one doubts that the bishop, ex-head of the colourfully-titled United House of Prayer for All People, should be able to meet his maker in style, the cemetery is accused of moving graves from a special enclosure called Babyland to construct Sweet Daddy's resting place. The cemetery claims the mothers are mistaken in saying the graves were moved, and says they got confused because of a new path and other changes. So who you gonna call in such a situation? Eternal Justice, of course. The bizarre group, formed by a former graveyard operator, Carolyn Jacobi, is a self-styled cemetery watchdog. At the grave of one of the babies alleged to have been moved, Ms Jacobi's probe strikes a shallow solid object - proof, she says, that the body was reburied. But the parents have yet to win approval to have their children's graves dug up for inspection.