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Plastic-Free "Ocean" Guitar Unveiled in Honor of Jerry Garcia's 75th Birthday

(Image credit: Milo Stewart Jr./Press Release Photos)

In honor of the late Jerry Garcia's would-be 75th birthday (August 1), the Jerry Garcia Foundation has commissioned luthier and artist Tom Lieber to create an eco-friendly, plastic-free electric guitar. The new guitar, named "Ocean," is made from sustainable maple and features a fingerboard inlay image of a Garcia's etching titled "Fish."

The instrument will be played at benefit events to support causes that were meaningful to Garcia, including coral reef preservation.

Jerry's daughter Keelin and his wife Manasha were delighted to meet Lieber—of Lieber Instruments Inc.—at a foundation benefit event. "This guitar, Ocean, has been conceived with love and intent to serve as a symbolic vehicle for the Jerry Garcia Foundation to utilize in its continuing effort of expanding the positive world impact of Jerry Garcia's creative legacy," Lieber said.

Doug Irwin and Lieber were the designers and builders of Garcia's two most famous guitars, "Tiger" and "Wolf." In June, "Wolf" sold at auction for $1.9 million and raised more than $3 million for charitable causes.

The new eco-friendly guitar's journey will begin this month as the Jerry Garcia Foundation invites artists to play the instrument at benefit events in support of ocean conservation in addition to other worthy causes. In his lifetime, Garcia was an active advocate for coral reef preservation. Coral reefs are vital to the ecosystem and known as the "rain forests of the sea."

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Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.