Grateful Dead 'farewell' guitar brings over $500,000 in charity auction



2015-07-07 10:11:33

A guitar signed by the remaining members of the Grateful Dead has sold during their farewell show for more than half a million dollars.

The legendary band played the final concerts of their 50-year career last week, as the two-city, five-date 'fare Thee Well' tour drew Dead Heads from around the world to Santa Clara and Chicago.

And as part of the concert series, the band offered a collection of memorabilia in an auction organized by HeadCount, a non-profit organization that "works with musicians to promote participation in democracy".

Bearing the motto 'Fare Thee Well' and the band's iconic skull logo, the commemorative six-string D'Angelico guitar had been signed by Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, along with guest performers Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti who had joined the band onstage for their final shows in Chicago.

Bidding on the guitar had opened at $5,000 during the first show in Santa Clara on June 27, but the price shot up the following night when Weir played it onstage during the band's classic track 'Row Jimmy'.

By the final gig the price of the guitar had soared to a remarkable $526,000, and was snapped up by winning bidder Bill Rathburn of Dallas, Texas. Money raised by the sale was set to benefit 17 different charities linked to the band, with each one receiving roughly $30,000 from the guitar alone.

Further items sold during the concert series included a Remo drum head which realized more than $10,000, and a signed poster which brought $21,000. In total, the rest of the memorabilia was auctioned for more than $250,000.

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