Jerry Garcia’s ‘Wolf’ Guitar to Be Sold at Benefit Auction
One of Jerry Garcia's most famous guitars, the custom-made "Wolf," will be sold at an auction through Gurnsey's on March 14 at the Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, N.Y. The entire proceeds from the sale will benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that combats hate groups and racism.
Built by Doug Irwin, Wolf, according to Garcia's website, made its debut on Sept. 5, 1973 at a gig that Garcia and Merl Saunders played for the Hell's Angels in New York. Over the next five years it underwent a few modifications by Irwin, including new pickups, adding the inlay a repair to the headstock when it fell off a stage. Garcia is holding the guitar on the cover of his 1974 album Compliments.
At some point, Garcia stopped playing Wolf, but he returned to in the late '80s when he was experimenting with MIDI synthesizers, and he last played it in Oakland on Feb. 23, 1993. Irwin gained posession of the guitar following a lawsuit with the group, and he sold it an an auction. The person who bought the guitar is now selling it
“I’ve been a fan of the [Grateful] Dead since I was a kid, and playing this iconic guitar over the past 15 years has been a privilege," said the guitar's owner, whose name was not revealed in the press release we received. "But the time is right for Wolf to do some good. My wife and I have long supported the efforts of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and if ever we needed the SPLC, we sure do need them now.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center was formed in 1971 to fight the last remnants of Jim Crow segregation. It has since gone on to fight white supremacy by tracking the actions of hate groups, teaching diversity and tolerance and expanding its reach to protect children, women, the disabled, low-wage immigrant workers and the LGBTQ community.
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