Jerry Garcia’s ‘Wolf” guitar expected to bring in millions at auction

The instrument is being sold to benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center. Alicia Powell reports.
Auction history may be set when Jerry Garcia’s “Wolf” guitar hits the auction block on May 31.

In 2002 the instrument, used by the Grateful Dead front man, became the most expensive guitar every sold fetching just under a million dollars.

Guernsey’s president, Arlan Ettinger, says the amount it might bring in is unknown.

SOUNDBITE: Arlan Ettinger, Guernsey’s president, saying (English):

“The world record for any guitar ever sold, which had been this and its mate Tiger at a million dollars, has since been eclipsed over the last 15 years. So now it’s slightly above two million, but we’ll see where this goes.”

The guitar is being sold by California resident Daniel Pritzker, who was reluctant to sell, but feels it is for the greater good.

SOUNDBITE: Arlan Ettinger, Guernsey’s president, saying (English):

“When Dan called and said that with the divisiveness going on in our country today he wanted to do something meaningful with “Wolf.” And with that he re-consigned, gave it back to us with instructions to resale it and give all the money, he didn’t want a penny of it, all the money to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which for nearly 50 years has been fighting racism, poverty.”

The one-of-a-kind guitar was made specifically for Garcia by Doug Irwin and tagged “D. Irwin 001” on the back of the headstock.

The new documentary, “Long Strange Trip,” which will stream on Amazon Prime Video on May 26, shows Garcia playing the instrument which he used for two decades.

The live sale will take place after a concert featuring 20 musicians at Brooklyn Bowl.

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