The struggle for ownership of several guitars owned by the late Jerry Garcia has hit another snag -- this time over taxes -- surprising even the judge who thought the dispute was nearing an end.

The struggle for ownership of several guitars owned by the late Jerry Garcia has hit another snag -- this time over taxes -- surprising even the judge who thought the dispute was nearing an end. It's the latest in the legal battle between Grateful Dead Productions and Doug Irwin, who built for Garcia the guitars known as "Tiger," "Wolf," "Rosebud," and "Headless."

When Garcia died in 1995, he left the guitars to Irwin. But the Novato, Calif.-based production company that oversees the band's affairs maintained the guitars belonged to the Dead, not Garcia. Collectors have estimated the guitars could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Both parties recently agreed to compromise and walk away with two guitars each.

Marin County Judge Michael Dufficy was expected to sign off on the deal Tuesday. But Irwin's lawyer argued that "Tiger" should pass through Garcia's estate, meaning Irwin would not have to pay taxes on it. Dufficy will consider the conflict at a hearing scheduled for May 14.


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