Mister E – a Florida-based contemporary artist who has designed work for the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Miley Cyrus and Dana White – has customized five Dead & Company-branded electric guitars to celebrate the rock outfit's in-progress US tour.
With one model commemorating the tour as a whole, and the other four marking the band's forthcoming stops in Boston, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles, the quintet of six-strings – all D'Angelico Deluxe Bob Weir Bedfords – are signed by each member of Dead & Company, and are adorned with songbook imagery and colorful Dancing Bear stamps.
Additionally, each guitar features a custom-engraved backplate with the lyric “What a long strange trip it’s been," taken from The Grateful Dead's 1970 track, Truckin'.
“As an artist it's an honor to paint these guitars to raise money for a great cause, but as a guitar player and fan of the Dead for years, it is truly humbling to be working with Bob Weir and Dead & Co,” says Mister E.
Adds Andy Bernstein, HeadCount's executive director: “These custom guitars have fast become a tradition on Dead & Company tours, but Mister E's designs have taken it to a whole new level. This is one of the most creative and rewarding ways to raise funds, both for ourselves and the other Dead Family charities.”
Proceeds from the sales of the guitars will go to HeadCount – an organization which uses the power of music to “promote participation in democracy” – Reverb – a charity which partners with musicians, festivals and venues to help events become more climate-friendly – and the “Dead Family” charities.
Bids will be accepted on the guitars throughout the tour both remotely, and in the HeadCount Participation Row Activism Village and Loose Lucy's VIP lounge.
Auctioning off guitars has been a Dead & Company tradition since the band's first tour in 2015. Thus far, the auctions have raised over $1.3 million for the “Dead Family” charities.