Jerry Garcia's guitar fetches $1.9M at New York auction

First appearing with Garcia in 1973, Wolf was the first of several custom guitars built for Jerry by noted luthier Doug Irwin.

The guitar, named Wolf, was sold at the Brooklyn Bowl, a bowling alley, restaurant and music venue. Wolf was made by famed guitar-maker Doug Irwin, and after Garcia's death it was sold it in 2002 for almost $1 million-at the time was a record price for a guitar.

The original buyer put the guitar back on auction to raise money for the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Alabama-based group which wages legal battles against white supremacists and other hate groups. Pritzker, who is also a musician and film director, bought "Wolf" for $790,000 at a 2002 auction at Studio 54, also run by Guernsey's. The two guitars still more expensive than "Wolf" are a Fender Stratocaster signed by a long list of guitar heroes and John Lennon's Gibson Acoustic-Electric.

Devoted Deadheads identify five classic guitars which Garcia played at different times: Alligator, Rosebud, Lightning Bolt, Tiger and Wolf.

An anonymous charity matched his pre-premium $1.6 million bid, bringing the total donation for the Southern Poverty Law Center to $3.2 million.

Halligan - who co-wrote a book on the Grateful Dead s lessons for marketing - promised to take good care of the guitar and to lend it upon request.

(Grateful Dead) "Saw my baby down by the river". "As extremism moves from the fringe to the mainstream, we have a lot of work to do".

Indeed, the 1977 film The Grateful Dead Movie directed by Jerry features extensive footage of the beloved musician onstage playing Wolf.

Watch Jerry play it live in 1978 in Egypt at the Great Pyramids.

  • Larry Hoffman