LOS ANGELES.- Bonhams
will offer Alligator, a Fender Stratocaster owned and played by Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, in the sale of Alligator! A San Francisco Rock Star's Guitars, Art & More at Bonhams Los Angeles on December 10. The guitar was nicknamed Alligator after the dancing alligator sticker on the pickguard. It has an estimate of $250,000-400,000. The personal collection of over 70 lots also includes additional guitars, paintings by Jerry Garcia, his large collection of comics, as well as his Hawaiian shirts.
A build date of 1955, Alligator is believed to have been gifted to Jerry Garcia in 1970 by Graham Nash (ex-Hollies; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) in appreciation of Garcias guitar work on Nashs solo album Songs For Beginners. Nash supposedly bought the guitar in 1970 for $250 at a pawn shop in Phoenix, TX. The guitar has numerous external and internal modifications largely carried out by Frank Fuller and Rick Turner of Alembic, a company founded in 1969 composed of a small group of instrument and hi-fi specialists who were closely involved in achieving the Deads signature sound of the 1970's.
Giles Moon, Bonhams Director of Music & Entertainment Memorabilia, commented: This iconic Fender Stratocaster was Jerry Garcias guitar of choice from early 1971 until the fall of 1973. It was clearly a favorite, as it was the first of only a handful of Garcias guitars that were ever named. Garcia played this guitar in numerous live performances, notably on the Grateful Deads 1972 European tour.
Additional highlights in the sale include:
A Watercolor of an Alligator by Jerry Garcia (1942-1995), watercolor on paper (estimate: $4,000-6,000).
A Martin D-28 Acoustic Guitar played by Jerry Garcia on The Festival Express Tour, Canada, 1970 (estimate: $30,000-50,000).
A Hawaiian Shirt owned and worn by Jerry Garcia, early 1990s (estimate: $500-800).
A pair of prescription sunglasses owned and worn by Jerry Garcia, circa 1990 (estimate: $2,000-4,000).
A Jerry Garcia group of a near complete run of EC Comics Crime Suspense Stories, early 1950's (estimate: $1,000-2,000).