Rock

Jerry Garcia's Guitar, Wall of Sound Equipment & More Grateful Dead Items Going Up for Auction

Jerry Garcia
Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Jerry Garcia with the Grateful Dead perform at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, Calif. on July 15, 1984.

Legendary jam band also offering classic shows on Coda Collection.

Sotheby's announced the upcoming From the Vault: Property from the Grateful Dead and Friends on Wednesday (Aug. 25), which will feature a variety of items from the legendary San Francisco jam band.

Among the items up for bid culled from the collections of Grateful Dead Productions and the group's inner circle are late lead singer-guitarist Jerry Garcia's stage-used 12-string Guild Starfire guitar (estimate $50,000-$70,000), as well as 1990s-era stage racks used by Garcia and fellow singer-guitarist Bob Weir (estimated $10,000-$15,000 each) and Garcia's beloved McIntosh 2300 amplifier with "Budman" sticker ($5,000-$7,000).

According to a release announcing the online auction -- slated to take place from Oct. 7-14 -- it will explore "the vast cultural impact of the Grateful Dead, and is highlighted by stage equipment from all eras of Grateful Dead tours including surviving components from the legendary Wall of Sound, as well as Jerry Garcia’s stage-used equipment and other touring equipment. There will also be personal items from crew members “Big” Steve Parish and Lawrence “Ram Rod” Shurtliff, including the latter's psychedelic jumpsuit (estimated $20,000-$30,000).

A public preview will be on display at Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries from Aug. 19-30, and the full sale contents will be revealed in a public exhibition at York Avenue Oct. 9-13. “The Grateful Dead are renowned around the world as one of the most famous and beloved bands of all time — attracting an incredibly devoted and loyal community of fans formed over decades that transformed the group into a touchstone of pop culture that goes far beyond just their music," said Richard Austin, Sotheby’s global head of books & manuscripts in a statement.

"In carefully curating the auction to capture the spirit of the band and the community that it supported, it is especially gratifying to have worked directly with Grateful Dead Productions and their inner circle to select objects that chart the earliest beginnings of the Grateful Dead throughout their legendary career, while illustrating the vast influence of the band’s musical and cultural legacy."

Other items in the sale include:

  • Garcia's frequently used, cigarette-burned blackface Fender Twin Reverb shell ($2,000-$3,000).
  • A chemistry set from legendary "King of LSD" chemist Owlsley "Bear" Stanley ($10,000-$15,000).
  • Garcia's skull-embroidered custom Nudie pants; worn during a few shows in Texas ($20,000-$30,000)
  • Pieces from the band's legendary "wall of sound" system -- the largest concert sound system ever made at the time -- created by Stanley for the Dead's 1974 tour, including McIntosh amps, hand-built stage cabinets used by Weir, Garcia and drummer Mickey Hart (est. from $2,000).
  • Hart's stage-used Sonar drum set with cymbals and hardware (est. $10,000-$15,000)

The Dead and Rhino Records announced on Wednesday that they've teamed with the  Coda Collection to host a series of exclusive archival content, kicking off with the streaming debuts of three concert films from one of the band’s most beloved eras (1989-1991). The shows include Live in Foxboro 7/2/89, the group's summer tour opener from Foxboro, Mass., which will premiere on the channel on Wednesday.

The other films include Live in Washington, D.C. 7/12/89 (which will premiere on Sept. 8) and Live at Giants Stadium 6/17/91 (coming Sept. 29), which features Bruce Hornsby on keyboards and the first "Dark Star Jam" since 1974.