Last night’s final Fare Thee Well show; the final joint appearance, ever, by the Grateful Dead’s "core four" of Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann—if you take them at their word—began and ended the same way: with a group bow and a huge roar from a giant crowd.
Jerry Garcia looked around the Grateful Dead’s rehearsal studio in San Rafael, California, and smiled. “It’s good to not die,” said Garcia, who suffered a nearly fatal diabetic coma in July of ’86. The legendary guitarist whose mercurial improvisations are the life’s blood of the Grateful Dead’s music has made a miraculous recovery from an illness that at first left him incapable of walking, speaking clearly or playing.
What a difference a year makes. In February 1969, the Grateful Dead recorded a series of shows at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom and Fillmore West in the hope of finally capturing on tape the psychedelic alchemy of their already legendary onstage interplay. The double album Live Dead, released in November that year, showcased the Dead at their adventurous and exploratory acid-peak best and cemented their reputation as the premier jamming band of the era.
The Grateful Dead played 2,318 live shows, more than any other band in the history of music. For 30 years, the band's live performances were constantly morphing and evolving, making every show a unique experience.
Alvarez, which has had a long-standing friendship with band members Bob Weir and the late Jerry Garcia, has commemorated the group's 50th anniversary by releasing its new Grateful Dead series of guitars—a stunning, limited-edition line.
On December 6 and 7, Julien’s Auctions will host a two-day auction, Icons & Idols: Rock n’ Roll. Its highlight will be Jerry Garcia’s Custom Travis Bean TB500 Electric Guitar. Many will argue this guitar was played during the pinnacle of Garcia’s most musically creative period with the Grateful Dead. Garcia’s tone enchanted multitudes of “Deadheads” throughout the band’s 30-year career and beyond.
Jimmy Herring is a stunning jazz/rock virtuoso. Though his resume includes touring with classic rock legends The Allman Brothers Band, fusion icons Lenny White and Billy Cobham, and jam staples The Dead and Widespread Panic, he has remained relatively unknown within the guitar community.