August 30, 2019

Jerry Garcia Instrument History (Guest Post)

By Michael Clem

    First off, I will clarify a few things about this project.  This endeavor was started because of the lack of really in-depth information on the internet pertaining to Jerry's instruments.  Also, this project was strictly for instruments alone, not at all about the electronics. There is plenty of information on that topic in multiple books, especially Blair Jackson's "Grateful Dead Gear."  I talked with Blair for this project to try to confirm some information that we were questioning. He was as helpful as he could be, I might add, but unfortunately could not answer some of the questions.
     I was assisted on this project by a few other scholarly Heads named Mike Weber and Christopher Martin.  For details on the banjo and pedal steel information, I was helped by my friend Corey Woodcock, who plays banjo and steel.  Also, we were lucky enough to be given access to the photo archives compiled by German Deadologists, Volkmar Rupp and Uli Teute.  They have done extensive work over the last few years compiling a vast archive of photos that is constantly being added to, date-confirmed, and updated. They were as important to this project as the rest of us that participated, and I would like to give them a special "thank you."
     Corrections from Jerry's Brokendown Palaces have been included. 
     The list below is all confirmed through photographic and video evidence. I have tried to make the notes as clear as possible.  This is pretty much a show by show guide to what Jerry played through the years; hopefully you will appreciate it as much as we do. If there are any discrepancies noticed, please feel free to comment.



Danelectro U-1

Sears Silvertone 
(Not pictured.)

Acoustic Guild F-50

Acoustic Martin D-21 

1965 - 5/20/67
Red '62 Guild Starfire III

(He had two. There was a second Starfire III, a '64-65 model, after the first one was broken at the Trips Festival in January '66.)

Acoustic '58-'66 Epiphone Texan

5/29/67 - 10/31/67
1st Black '57 Les Paul Custom

(He had two - the first one bought at Draper’s on 5/27/67. The second, with Bigsby vibrato, bought from Mike McKenna during the Cafe A Go Go shows 6/1-10/67.)

By August '67 he's using the Bigsby tremolo:

‘59 Les Paul Special  
This is seen being played off to the side, but we do not believe it was actually played in the show, only the black Les Paul.
(Hand-painted by Garcia. Owned by Peter Grant.)

'55 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop

5/24/68 - 10/18/68
2nd '57 Black Gibson Les Paul Custom

10/20/68 - 10/17/69
'67 Gibson SG Standard

1969 - 1970
Martin acoustics  
A couple different acoustics are seen this year – a '36 Martin 000-18S guitar in the 1/18/69 Playboy After Dark TV taping:

And a Martin 00-45, used in the Aoxomoxoa/Workingman's Dead studio sessions and later '69 live shows, and apparently in the early 1970 acoustic sets as well.

Guild Starfire XII Electric 12-string
This was used for Dupree’s Diamond Blues; it was likely played in earlier 1969 shows as well. 

10/24/69 - 4/19/70
'63 Rosewood Fender Stratocaster

By February '70 he's added a flag sticker.

(An unknown Stratocaster is seen on 12/28/69 - it looks lighter but is possibly the Rosewood pre-flag sticker.

4/24/70 - 12/31/70
'66 Gibson SG Standard

Different flag sticker on this one...the third guitar he's put the flag on!

In fall '70 he adds a skull sticker as well.

Summer 1970
Martin D-18 and D-28 acoustic (during Festival Express & American Beauty sessions)

Although not used onstage after 1970, the '42 Martin D-28 Herringbone guitar was spotted being played as late as '72: 

A Small 1970 Mystery... 
Photos from 5/15/70 show an unknown Fender propped up behind Garcia in the acoustic set. It does not seem to be David Nelson's or Bob Weir's, so it's possible Garcia used the Fender specifically to play in acoustic sets. It may be the Strat he'd been using the past few months.

Played in the Festival Express jam with Ian & Sylvia. 
(The Telecaster belonged to Delaney Bramlett, given to him by George Harrison.

Jerry plays an unknown guitar with NRPS instead of pedal steel.
Information from Joe Jupille:
(No picture.)

Unknown Gibson 

Unknown White Stratocaster

1/21/71 - 4/29/71
Rick Turner Peanut

Guild S100 

5/29/71- 6/21/71
'57 Fender Stratocaster 

This was a gift from Graham Nash, later to become Alligator. It's first spotted in Feb/March 1971, possibly used at a Garcia/Saunders show.

Then it turns up in a Dead show at the end of May '71, but is only used for a couple shows.

7/2/71- 8/7/71
Les Paul TV

'59 Sunburst Gibson Les Paul Standard

8/23/71 - 7/26/72
'57/'63 Stratocaster (pre-Alligator)

The Nash Strat returns... 

By March '72 it has a couple stickers on it:

 The Alligator sticker is added by June '72:  

Possibly a '56 or '57 Gibson 175 
The Gibson 175 Jerry is playing is from an unconfirmed date. The photos are from a Garcia/Saunders show with Tom Fogerty, so it is only a handful of possible shows. We believe them to be 1/72.

8/12/72 - 9/10/72, 9/21-9/30/72
’58 Sunburst Fender Stratocaster (the “Veneta Strat”)
(This might be the guitar Garcia gave to David Hidalgo in 1987.

(Note: although Garcia switched back to the Alligator on 9/15, during the shows at the end of the month, 9/21-30, he was again playing a sunburst Strat, possibly the same one he'd used in August.)

9/15/72 - 9/2/73


11/18/72 – 12/12/72
Erlewine Stratocaster
Only known to be played on 11/18/72, 11/19/72, 11/22/72, 12/10-12/72 (on two of the nights, but Alligator was also played), and 5/13/73. 

Distinctive as the only known show in which Garcia played three electric guitars (Alligator, Erlewine Strat, 1st Irwin "Eagle").

The "Eagle" was Doug Irwin's first guitar made for Alembic; Garcia later gave it to Ramrod. (This guitar, and the Erlewine Strat, are two that I tried getting more information from Blair Jackson about.)  
Wolf, Tiger, and Rosebud were later made by Irwin after leaving Alembic to work on his own.

9/5/73 - 8/13/75

The Wolf sticker was added in December '73:

'53 Telecaster played with NRPS 
(This was believed to belong to Dave Nelson, but may be the guitar now owned by Bob Weir. Supposedly it was played on Workingman's Dead.)

Garcia sits in with NRPS again, not known what guitar he played.
Info per Corry Arnold of the Lost Live Dead blog:
(No photo.)

9/28/75 - 7/21/76
Travis Bean TB1000A

8/2/76 - 9/3/77
Travis Bean TB500

9/28/77 - 7/1/79
Wolf (modified) 

Ibanez MC-500 

Also spotted at a JGB show that year: 

(Ibanez designed another guitar for Garcia that year, but he rejected it and never played it onstage.)

Acoustic Guild D-2

Travis Bean TB1000A

8/4/79 - 8/19/89


1980 - 1982 
Takamine EF360S acoustic  
Used from the fall '80 acoustic sets to the June '82 Garcia & Kahn acoustic shows.

Yamaha SC-1000 (borrowed guitar)

1982-1988 acoustic shows with John Kahn & the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band
Takamine EF360SC acoustic

Garcia had two of these cutaway models, one with light wood and a Martin headstock used from late summer '82 to early '85.

Another '85 EF360SC was used from 1985-88.

Modulus Blackknife (with JGB)
(Photo pending.)

Supposedly the Steinberger guitar with no headstock was played at the Palace of Fine Arts "Ritual and Rapture" show.

Gibson ES-335 (played with Los Lobos - belonged to David Hidalgo)

Gibson Les Paul Goldtop (played with Los Lobos - belonged to David Hidalgo) 

(Jerry is also seen in a photo playing a Gibson ES-175 with Bigsby vibrola - photo pending.

Fender Jazzmaster (played during a performance with Elvis Costello - was Costello's guitar)

9/30/89 - 12/30/89

Black Stratocaster with MIDI during Space 

12/31/89 - 6/26/93


Older guitars continued to be used: Wolf appears on 7/23/90, 2/23/93 & 12/17/93 (among others), Tiger and Wolf in the Nov. 1991 JGB run.

Alvarez Yairi DY Virtuoso acoustic guitar (played 9/24/94, and in shows with Grisman) 

(Garcia had five different models of the Alvarez-Yairi.)

1990s - Grisman studio sessions
1939 Gibson Super 400N (along with a Martin D18 and D28)

8/7/93 - 6/4/95
Lightning Bolt 

Lightning Bolt was made by Stephen Cripe, and was the first guitar he built for Garcia, prior to "Top Hat" (which was ordered in 1995 and never made it to the stage). Bolt made its first appearance at the 8/7/93 JGB show.

Bolt and Rosebud were both used in the last two years - Bolt in fall ‘93 and ‘94, and spring ‘94 and ‘95; and Rosebud on the ‘94 and ‘95 summer tours, and in the spring JGB shows.
Rosebud and Tiger were both played at the last show, 7/9/95.


Unknown banjo traded in for a Weymann (traded in 1963 along with Sara's Martin)
'30s Weymann banjo from 1963-1974
A second Weymann gifted from David Crosby (unknown year)
'50s Gibson RB250 Bowtie
'37/'38 RB12 Top Tension Gibson
RB 3, 4 or 75 Mastertone
Marshall Freelands 1937 TB-7
Top Tension (played with Grisman)
These were used from 3/73-5/74 while playing with OAITW & GASB.
Gibson RB800 was played for Garcia/Grisman shows in the 90s.


Fender pedal steel 
(Supposedly sold to Lowell “Banana” Levinger of the Youngbloods, but Banana doesn't recall this.

5/69 - 4/15/71
Zane Beck ZB Custom D-10 pedal steel

(Purchased in April '69 at Guitar City in Lakewood, Colorado; started playing it immediately with John Dawson thereafter; started playing it at Dead shows on 6/20/69; later gave to Peter Grant.)

In fall '70 he put a flag on it... 

4/24/71 - 4/72
Emmons D10 pedal steel

MSA White Mica Classic D10 pedal steel


(From a Scotty's Music Store newspaper column on 10/26/72: “Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead was in St. Louis last week and he is [now] the owner of a new MSA steel guitar. That makes the fourth steel guitar he has bought. He has an Emmons, Sho-Bud, and ZB, plus his new MSA.”
The ZB was given to Peter Grant. The Emmons was later sold at Scotty's Music Store in St. Louis. The Sho-Bud is otherwise unknown.)

MCI pedal steel (played with Bob Dylan)



The Guild S100 in 1971 and Irwin Eagle in 1973 seem to only have been played the one time each that are mentioned. The Ibanez in 1978 also appeared in a JGB show, believed to be sometime in 6/78, but cannot confirm the date. Again Blair Jackson could not provide any details as to why it vanished.

In 1979 Garcia gave a '66 Gibson Byrdland with a Gretsch Bigsby tailpiece to guitarist Perry Lederman. Whether Garcia had ever played it is unknown. 

Garcia appeared with the California Brothers in the Lone Star Cafe, NYC on 4/6/87, and played a borrowed Stratocaster that was set up for him. (Info from Corry Arnold.)

Garcia participated in a Guitar Player magazine "Garage Jam" in Cupertino, CA on 6/16/87, and apparently played another borrowed Stratocaster, as well as his Takamine. (Information on this provided by Corry Arnold (found in a 1987 Relix) and Joe Jupille.)

For more on Garcia’s equipment and guitar history, see:


These guitars were never played onstage, but were spotted in Garcia’s hands at one time.

National Tricone steel guitar (jam at 710 Ashbury)

(Comment: "It was Pigpen's. He bought it off Curly Jim, before whom it belonged to Jorma Kaukonen.")

Micro-Frets Spacetone (in Scotty’s Music Store, St Louis) 

Fender Telecaster Thinline (backstaqe at Princeton)

Stratocaster (studio rehearsal)


  1. This post is still a work in progress; there are bound to be corrections and additions to make, so please comment if you spot any. (Links to pictures are recommended.)

  2. Special thanks for help from Mike Weber(Zeb), Volkmar Rupp, Christopher Martin, Corry Arnold, Blair Jackson, and Harry Angus.

  3. This is awesome. Do you have a blog about notable bustout song dates? My buddy was just reminding me about Dark Star bust out at Hampton Coliseum 1989. I saw a Casey Jones bustout at RFK in 1991. I was 15 years old. A bustout post would be sweet.

    1. There's a list of song revival dates in the second half of this post:

    2. I was there for that CJ bustout also, it was 1992 RFK. Train whistle and all!

  4. 11/17/78 acoustic looks like a Guild D35.

    1. I should have linked to a photo:

      This post is awesome! Love finally being able to picture all the different 70-71 Strats.

  5. Taken from The Encyclopedia of Jerry Garcia Music Venues, after ten years of research it’s now at the book designer’s desk!

    I started at the top and worked my way down the list. Please correct whatever you see needs correcting. I've got 122 instruments in the book.

    I think there was also a Sears Silverstone he took to Ft. Winfield Scott. I don’t think he kept the original Danelectro U1 for four years.

    Guild F-50

    Guild Starfire III was a 1962 model. There was a second Starfire III, a 1964-’65, after the first one got broke at the Trips Festival.

    Epiphone Texan 1958-’66

    “By August '67 he's added a Bigsby tremolo”:
    Gibson Les Paul 1957 black non-vibrato-bought at Draper’s on 5/27/67.
    Gibson Les Paul 1957 black with Bigsby vibrato -bought from Mike McKenna during the Cafe A Go Go shows 6/1-10/67.

    ’59 Les Paul was hand painted by Jerry. Owned by Peter Grant.

    Gibson Les Paul Gold -Jerry also played David Hidalgo’s gold top on 5/26/89.

    Gibson SG’s
    1966 standard-Played from April 24, 1970 to November 21, 1970.
    1967 standard-Played from December 1968 to August 1969., It was auctioned at Christie's on December 17, 2004, selling for $41, 825.

    Playboy After Dark-Martin 000-18S, 1936 acoustic
    Aoxoamoxoa + Workingman’s Dead-Martin 00-45 acoustic
    He also had a Martin D-21 pre 1962 in 1963 and a Martin D-28 Herringbone, 1942 played at the Bolinas sessions.

    It’s a Guild Starfire XII-12 string, unknown vintage

    Fender Strat 1963 rosewood was Jerry’s primary stage guitar from September 1969 (or late August, possibly Hartbeats 8/28) to April 15, 1970.

    Fender Stratocaster 1956 sunburst with all maple neck
    Played on September 21, 1972.
    Fender Stratocaster 1959
    Jerry played this guitar on 9/30/72 at American University, Washington, DC.
    These two may be one and the same.

    '61/'62 Gibson SG-This is the ’66. There was no ’62.

    12/31/70 Unknown White Stratocaster is not from 12/31/70. Larry Hulst took a photo with Alligator from 12/31/70. Who took the photos of the white strat?

    Gibson Les Paul Standard cherry sunburst 1959-played 8/14+15/71.

    ’57 Strat is actually the Fender Stratocaster 1958 gifted to David Hidalgo on August 8, 1987.

    There were two “Eagles.”
    Irwin Eagle-the first guitar Irwin had made for Alembic. Of the first dozen Alembic instruments made, five were guitars for Jerry.

    Crime Eagle-This guitar was most likely to be Jerry’s next guitar. This guitar was built at the same time as Jerry’s “Top Hat."

    12/15/73 Telecaster was likely the 1953 that is at Weir’s studio.

    Travis Bean guitars-Jerry had 2 TB1000As and two TB500’s.

    11/17/78 is a Guild D-25

    Takamine-Jerry had three, basically F360S (non-cutaway) used for 1980 acoustic sets and early 1982 G&K
    F360C (cutaway, light wood, "Martin" headstock) used from late summer 82 to mid -85

    6/28/82 non-cutaway:
    9/6/82 cutaway:

    Takamine EF360SC 1983 or ’84 with Martin"/"lawsuit" headstock-Played 1983-1985

    Takamine 1985 EF360SC, Serial #84111605-Made in Japan.-Played from about 1985 until 1988.
    Stage sightings:
    10/87 Lunt Fontanne Theater, NY
    12/17/87 Warfield Theater SF
    1988 Bridge School Benefit

    Takamine EF360S with Martin-like headstock (late 70's/'80)
    Stage sightings:
    10/9/80-10/25/80 Radio City Music Hall
    4/13/82 David Letterman Show
    5/31/83 Beverly Theater[1]
    6/5/85 and 6/6/82

    Modulus-he had two
    blacknife w/bloodwood pre 1985
    blacknife “sometime in the 1990’s”

    Gibson ES-335 featuring black inlays was Hidalgo’s guitar.
    Jerry is also seen in a photo playing Gibson ES-175 with Bigsby vibrola.
    Fender Jazzmaster was Elvis Costello’s guitar.

  6. Jerry had 5 Alvarez-Yairi guitars
    DY98 1991 custom-A one-of-a-kind custom-made guitar for Garcia, sold at auction for $102K.
    DY99 1992 virtuoso modulus-"The good fellers at Modulus told me there were around 15 Modulus neck tree of life DY99s made in 1992. None have neck and headstock binding...Jerry's customs do except for the DY98 he played most with David Grisman. Now that guitar is easy to identify because it had the dark stained top and the dy88 style headstock with no tree of life inlay.”
    GY-1 1990-“It’s unique, in that it has a graphite composite neck and a peghead shape,” he continued. “It’s very identifiable. You can see him using it in the Warfield Theater in San Francisco, in Squaw Valley in California, in all kinds of venues.

    Played at Sweetwater, Mill Valley, CA on 12/17/90
    GY-2-Designed by Jerry, played on 12/23/91, Le Club Front, San Rafael.

    Fender pedal steel- Banana doesn’t know anything about it.

    Zane Beck D-10-The Garcia Zane Beck, the 9th one made in Bakersfield by Zane (and Tom, I suppose), has black pickups and black fingerboards. [3] It was thought that Rusty Young helped Jerry pick it out at a Happy Logan’s Music Store in Denver, CO or possibly Edwards Music in Lakewood, CO but Rusty says it wasn’t him and that he never met Jerry Garcia. Currently owned by Pete Grant.

    Emma’s D-10-It was for sale at Scotty's Music Store, Overland, MO in 1974.

    MSA (Microspace Anderson) White Mica Classic D-10 pedal steel pre-1972
    This was Jerry’s fourth pedal steel as of October 26, 1972.

    MCI late 70's-early 80's pedal steel guitar
    Played on 4/7/87, Meadowlands.
    Played on 7/4/86 and the 1987 Dylan and the Dead tour. Foxboro Stadium 7/4/87 behind Dylan on I'll Be Your Baby Tonight. Also, 7/26.

    Phil Lesh owns one of Jerry's pedal steel guitars. It's unknown which one.

    1971 Fender telecaster thin line-In a photo, Jerry plays a Fender Telecaster Thinline 1969-’71 backstage at Dillon Gym, Princeton, NJ on April 17, 1971.

    1979 Stratocaster- I don’t know this one but in 1981 ”He was sent two complimentary Stratocasters. Garcia kept the American-made one and gave the Japanese one to me.-a former “runner.”

    1. My goodness, thanks for all the details! I'll see what I can incorporate into this post.

    2. "12/31/70 Unknown White Stratocaster is not from 12/31/70. Larry Hulst took a photo with Alligator from 12/31/70. Who took the photos of the white strat?"
      Larry Hulst's photo with the Nash Strat (aka Alligator) is in fact 12-31-71.
      The two Jerry photos 12-31-70 are by Robert Altman, the "white Strat" could as well be the Nash Strat.

    3. Since the Fender is gone, and Peter Grant has the ZB, it must be the Emmons or MSA that Phil owns.

    4. I'll go with 12/31/70. It does look like an all-white Strat to me, though the bright stage lighting could be deceiving.

  7. Nice work all, this kind of thing is sorely needed.

    Surprised to read that his 1970 SG was a 66, rumors abounded that it was one of the earlier 'Les Paul' versions (though maybe that was still going on in 66.)

    1. The ’66 version has the small black pickguard while the '67 has the big “batwing” pickguard.
      “This, the 2nd red SG went through several different appraisals: for several years (starting 10-15 years ago), the accepted year for it among the gear freaks, based on a fairly convincing post from a Gibson enthusiast was 1961 or 62 “Les Paul SG.” After I went through a lot of research on Gibsons and comparisons of images of vintage SG's, that ‘61-‘62 was way off. I took a few tries at nailing it, until the “Hard to Handle” Festival Express video with view behind Jerry's left elbow finally revealed the neck profile with a particular taper near the heel indicating a 1966.” [1]

      1.) Wright, Tom

    2. Ah, so there you have it.

      I noticed the pickguard difference a while back, also the one he played in 70 does not have the telltale scars of a removed bigsby.

      Just now I did a search and found both styles of pickguard on the 66, I was probably going off that RU kind post, which was indeed convincing, but Tom Wright's sleuthing would seem to be decisive.

  8. Also, There's a relatively recent photo of Weir with a 53 Telecaster that belonged to Garcia, supposedly he played that on Workingman's Dead

    Hope that link works, it was originally from TRI's facebook page

    1. Can't seem to edit, I see now that Jerry's Brokendown Palaces mentioned that one.

  9. Garcia's 67-68 Gibsons seem to all have the P90 pickups, which are single-coil pickups like the Strat but with a less bright tone.

    His SGs seem to have had PAF humbuckers, but there was at least one SG of his at one of the auction houses that had P90s in it.

    Basically he had a tendency to alternate between single coils and humbuckers starting in 69 until he settle on the Alligator in 71. Wolf was built to mimic the pickup configuration of the strat.

    He did the same thing with the two Travis Bean guitars before returning to Wolf in 77. This time Wolf had overwound Dimarzio single coil pickups, and before 78 was out he added the coil tap function which combined humbucker and single coil capabilities. 'Wolf 2' also had the onboard effects loop he'd pioneered with the Bean guitars. Apart from the addition of MIDI he would keep this basic configuration going forward.

    While it seems he liked the pickups in the Stratocaster, he didn't seem to be a fan of the other attributes; one of the first mods to Alligator was the addition of a Gibson-style stopbar tailpiece. He also had a brass nut put on.

    I'm sure there are other details that don't necessarily turn up with photos, he was an inveterate tinkerer, and also liked to replace or change the pickups as he thought the magnets got worn out.

  10. Not a major exception, but on April 26 '87 Garcia made an appearance at The Lone Star Cafe with The California Brothers--David Nelson, Sandy Rothman, Peter Albin, Spencer Dryden, and played a few numbers.

    Per Sandy Rothman's reminiscence Garcia played a Stratocaster already set up on stage.

  11. In 1979, guitarist Perry Lederman, an old pal of Garcia's lost everything in a fire. Garcia gave him a guitar, a 66 Gibson Byrdland with a Gretsch Headstock. The details came out when Lederman passed away and the guitar was auctioned off. How much Garcia actually played the guitar is unknown. Here's a link, with a picture:

    1. This could be the one pictured 1/72.

    2. Hmm, that could be, that guitar does look more like a Byrdland than a 175 (the switch is on the bottom rather than the top of the guitar), though it doesn't seem to have the vibrato bar attached.

      That raises another question - of the guitars Garcia had actually used live, how many did he give away? Was the Strat he gave to David Hidalgo in '87, for instance, one he'd actually played in 1972 or an untouched duplicate? Perhaps there should be an appendix on this issue...

  12. In what is likely to be the only thing I can contribute here, Garcia apparently played a borrowed Strat at the 6/16/87 Guitar Player jam in Cupertino.

    1. It's funny that Garcia would show up for a Guitar Player jam and not bring a guitar!

    2. yup, probably figured he could find one there ...

  13. Good contributions, all! I have been updating the post.

  14. The last picture, "1979 Stratocaster (studio rehearsal)" seems to be dated "85-3-18". Jerry also has a similar appearance to the Frets magazine cover featured on JGMF's 'Strung Out And Busted' from 85-01-18.

    There used to be an online article detailing the afternoon of the Guitar Player magazine jam that seems to have disappeared. Found this picture though:

    1. Well, that there is not a Strat. Scott Allan's "Fragments" column in Relix 15, 1 (February 1988), p. 31, says that the session included Iko Iko, The Weight, I’ve Just Seen a Face, and Slippin’ Into Darkness.

  15. The studio Stratocaster picture - that 3/18/85 date came from here:
    However the date was incorrect, and 1979 seems to be verified; at least it's shown as '79 here:

    The Guitar Player jam - looks like Jerry brought his usual Takamine after all. But he could have borrowed a Strat at another point in the jam - there was an acoustic and an electric set.
    According to the UPI story, "Garcia first joined eight other musicians - all of whom work for GPI Publications...for an electric set in the GPI garage that included songs like 'Iko Iko' and 'Slipping Into Darkness.' Then he shared a crowded stage with 12 others for a rousing acoustic set that featured 'Teach Your Children' and a variety of folk tunes."
    Robert Hilburn of the LA Times also said there were electric & acoustic sets, and noted that Garcia sang 'It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry.'


    and what do we see behind PigPen.. the dobro late 69 our assumption

    1. A National Tricone not Dobro I think, it was Pig's who bought it off Curly Jim before whom it belonged to Jorma. Pig talks about it in one of the Hank Harrison interview tapes. It got dented when it fell off Jorma's motorcycle.

    2. Here's Pig's National guitar story as told to Harrison. I've tidied it up a bit, the San Jose club he can't remember the name of is the Offstage.

      You know that old silver National steel guitar I've got? That used to be Jorma's. The way that I found out that it was Jorma's guitar, what happened was like years ago, '63 or '64, something like that, there was a party in San Jose because we always used to hang around, what was the name of that place? On First. Paul Foster folk club in San Jose. Anyway, Paul Foster used to run this place, and it was during that time that Jorma would play there a lot, and Paul Kantner would show up and Casady, y'know would be around. And shit like that. That was before they ever met Gracie. [Harrison: Which Cassidy, Neal Cassidy?] Jack Casady. So one night, y'know after everybody played there we went over to this party in San Jose and there was this incredible silver guitar, right? National steel guitar and everybody had a whack at it to see what they could do with it. OK, now later Jorma went to the East Coast and he was carrying it and it fell off a motorcycle and it got a couple of dents in it. And then years later when we were living on Ashbury Street who should show up but Jack Casady and say "that's Jorma's guitar! Where d'you get it?" And I said "Well, Curly Headed Jim sold it to me." [general hilarity] He had gotten it from somebody else, and somebody else... That was a long time before the Airplane. Some guy had it. Curly Headed Jim bought it, brought it over to me and said "Do you want to buy it?" I said "Well, OK." Then a few days later, a week or so later Casady comes over, comes into my room and sees the guitar and says "That's Jorma's old guitar!" It was the same guitar that I had played for the first time in San Jose years before.

  17. Jerry's Sunburst 72 Ventera Strat-- I believe its a '56. At least the neck is 56' or earlier because of round string tree. Fender switched off of the round sting tree after 56.

    1. I'm helpless on guitar years so maybe others can weigh in. Some of his guitars were customized & stitched together - for instance the Strat he got from Graham Nash had a 1957 body and a 1963 neck.

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  19. The Gibson used on 8/14/71 is a 1971 Les Paul Deluxe. It's a first year cherryburst with the mini-humbuckers...

  20. One of the victims of the 12/26/04 tsunami was my neighbor in Portland, Luke Scully, whose father was Rock Scully and whose mother I believe was Tangerine. When Luke learned that I had some personal connection to the Dead, he showed me a Black 1963 Fender Precision bass that he told me Jerry gave him when he went to College. Perhaps somebody could fill in this blank, but I believe he told me that Rock and Jerry lived in side by side townhouses at the time so he saw a lot of Jerry. When I learned about Luke's passing I called John Perry Barlow to tell him the news but I also told him about the bass in the upstairs closet of the house Luke shared with his girlfriend Angie, who was also lost. Barlow was appreciative and agreed that somebody should know about the "Jerry bass" "before the garage sale," as Barlow phrased it. I think he might have passed along this information to Nicki Scully, who lives in Eugene and was minding the house to some extent as best I can recall. That was 15 years ago and I'm sure I have forgotten details, but there you have it. Jerry apparently owned a black '63 Precision.

    1. I wonder if this was the bass Jerry had played in the Zodiacs in 1963...Pigpen specifically remembered that "Garcia would occasionally sit in on Fender bass."
      This might be unlikely. I assumed Jerry used a borrowed bass in the Zodiacs (he worked in a music store at the time). Bandleader Troy Weidenheimer said that "my regular bassist was a jazz player on Fender bass." I'm not sure if Jerry had the funds in 1963 to buy a new bass, or if he would have kept it for 30 years.

  21. The info on this page has Jerry playing a a '57 black Les Paul Custom from 5/29/67 to 10/31/67 after which he played a '55 Les Paul Goldtop from 11/1/67 through 5/18/68, when he started using a second black Les Paul. A note regarding that history: in February 2008, the Crystal Ballroom in Portland staged a 40th anniversary Phil and Friends show honoring the 2/2/68 show at the Crystal, a show which provided some source tapes for Anthem of the Sun. The afternoon of the show, the venue hosted a presentation by Dennis McNally. At one point Dennis asked if anybody present had attended the 2/2/68 show. An old timer stepped up and said "I was here and Jerry was standing right there (pointing to stage right - ultimately the Phil side) playing a black Les Paul." That show occurred on "The Quick and the Dead" tour. I wonder if there are any photos of the band on that tour showing Jerry playing either the black Les Paul or the Goldtop Les Paul.