Lot 247

The Grateful Dead | Jerry Garcia Stage-Played "Winterland Ballroom" Travis Bean Electric Guitar (TB 500 #11) and Stage-Used Slavedriver Synth with Photo
The Grateful Dead | Jerry Garcia Stage-Played "Winterland Ballroom" Travis Bean Electric Guitar (TB 500 #11) and Stage-Used Slavedriver Synth with Photo
The Grateful Dead | Jerry Garcia Stage-Played "Winterland Ballroom" Travis Bean Electric Guitar (TB 500 #11) and Stage-Used Slavedriver Synth with Photo
The Grateful Dead | Jerry Garcia Stage-Played "Winterland Ballroom" Travis Bean Electric Guitar (TB 500 #11) and Stage-Used Slavedriver Synth with Photo
The Grateful Dead | Jerry Garcia Stage-Played "Winterland Ballroom" Travis Bean Electric Guitar (TB 500 #11) and Stage-Used Slavedriver Synth with Photo
The Grateful Dead | Jerry Garcia Stage-Played "Winterland Ballroom" Travis Bean Electric Guitar (TB 500 #11) and Stage-Used Slavedriver Synth with Photo
+ 16
;

The Grateful Dead

Jerry Garcia Stage-Played "Winterland Ballroom" Travis Bean Electric Guitar (TB 500 #11) and Stage-Used Slavedriver Synth with Photo

Estimate

$200,000 - $300,000

Sold Price

$520,000

A 1976 Travis Bean TB500 solid body electric guitar, stamped 11 on the headstock, in white finish. Owned and extensively played by Jerry Garcia, songwriter, vocalist and lead guitarist for The Grateful Dead. Paired with the Slavedriver 360 guitar synthesizer, the first-ever guitar synth played in-studio. Used at numerous Grateful Dead concerts including The Dead's three night stint at the Winterland Ballroom in 1977.

Garcia’s dissatisfaction with then-current production guitars lead to him commissioning something very different with Travis Bean. The brand, helmed by Gary Kramer, Marc McElwee, and namesake Travis Bean, forged a new path in guitar making with unique body shapes and the use of aluminum for the necks, which isn’t susceptible to changes in heat and humidity like traditional wood necks. Equally unique were the company’s pickups, which were incredibly hot, or overwound, for the time. This yielded a bigger, bolder sound which gave Bean an advantage over Fender and Gibson of the 1970s.

This is one of two such instruments Garcia used from ’76-’77, the other one being #12. #11 is said to be the second TB500 produced, and is the one that Garcia gave to equipment manager Steve Parish, who worked with Garcia from 1969-1995. By his account, the guitar was heavily used in both The Grateful Dead and The Jerry Garcia Band.

A 24.75” scale length aluminum neck, T-cutout headstock with six Schaller tuners, a 22 fret rosewood fretboard, three single coil pickups plus a synth pickup between the bridge and middle units, installed by Dan Healy. Hardtail bridge, three on/off switches, an on-board effects loop, and attached cable for the synthesizer system.

Includes hardshell case with a heavily worn “There Is Nothing Like A Grateful Dead Concert” sticker; a Slavedriver 360 synth module; a letter of provenance provided and signed by Steve Parish; a photo of Garcia using this guitar live onstage in October of 1976 at the Alameda County Colliseum in Oakland, California; and a hardcover edition of The History of The Grateful Dead by William Ruhlmann.

Sounding off with guest contributor: Alan Light
The Grateful Dead had deep roots in traditional American music, but it never stopped them from embracing new technology. This Travis Bean solid-body electric guitar was one of two instruments by the innovative brand commissioned by Jerry Garcia and used extensively in 1976-’77 with both the Dead and the Jerry Garcia Band. The instrument illustrates the company’s unique body shapes and use of aluminum for the necks, less susceptible to changes in heat and humidity than wood, and it’s paired with a Slavedriver 360 guitar synthesizer, the first-ever guitar synth played in-studio. Crucial during this fertile period in Garcia’s career, the guitar helped establish, as it says on a sticker on its case, that “There Is Nothing Like a Grateful Dead Concert.”

Julien's Auctions | 13007 S. Western Avenue, Gardena, California 90249

Phone 310-836-1818 Fax 310-742-0155

© 2003-2024 Julien's Auctions