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Jerry Garcia’s Legendary “Wolf” Guitar Being Auctioned to Benefit Southern Poverty Law Center

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For millions of passionate Grateful Dead fans, there is only one “Wolf”: Jerry Garcia’s beloved guitar. Custom made by luthier Doug Irwin, Wolf was delivered to Jerry and first appeared in a 1973 New York City performance the Grateful Dead gave for the Hell’s Angels. Over the following two decades, Wolf became almost as well known as the performer himself as it appeared in countless concerts and on treasured recordings throughout Jerry’s fabled career. 

Years after the musician’s passing, Wolf returned to Doug and was sold in a 2002 Guernsey’s auction conducted at NYC’s electric Studio 54, where it fetched close to $1 million, more than doubling the existing world record. Now, Wolf’s buyer, wishing to support the important efforts of the Southern Poverty Law Center and its continuing fight against racism and hate groups, has returned Wolf to Guernsey’s for an unprecedented one lot auction of this most treasured guitar. Every penny of the amount bid on this extraordinary instrument will go to SPLC. This Guernsey’s event, additionally supported by the Relix Group, will be held on March 14th, live at the fabulous Brooklyn Bowl in New York City. Of course, absentee bidders will be accommodated.

From San Fran’s Winterland Ballroom to NYC’s Palladium to Egypt’s Great Pyramids, Jerry and Wolf travelled, appearing in front of massive, passionate audiences. It is no wonder that the devoted Deadhead who purchased the Wolf in 2002 has said, “I’ve been a fan of The Dead since I was a kid, and playing this iconic guitar over the past 15 years has been a privilege. But the time is right for Wolf to do some good. My wife and I have long supported the efforts of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and if ever we needed the SPLC, we sure do need them now.”

Rarely, if ever, has there been an item as memorable and noteworthy as the Wolf being sold in support of a worthy cause. Guernsey’s, a great believer in the work of SPLC, is thrilled that the return of Wolf will go a long way to combat racism and injustice across the country.

Those interested in bidding on the Wolf, or attending the auction and preview events should visit www.guernseys.com or contact the auction house in New York at 212-794-2280.

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12 thoughts on “Jerry Garcia’s Legendary “Wolf” Guitar Being Auctioned to Benefit Southern Poverty Law Center

  1. Richard Keefe Reply

    “My wife and I have long supported the efforts of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and if ever we needed the SPLC, we sure do need them now.”

    According to the SPLC’s online tax records, released last week, the company took in over $58 million last year and its unrestricted cash endowment grew from $302 million to $319 million over the same period.

    Charity Navigator says the SPLC could keep its doors open for the next seven years without raising another dime. If you strip out the 42% of the budget the company spends on fundraising it could live off the interest from its bloated cash reserves indefinitely.

    What a waste when so many real charities are desperate for funding. What a waste.

    • L. Johnese Reply

      SPLC is a reputable charity. Charity Navigator rates it 86 out 100 overall, 88 on Finances and 97 out of 100 on “Accountability and Transparency””.
      Of course, the alt./right and white nationalists hate it because of the work it does. I can’t speak for Jerry–no one can–but the owner of Wolf has every right to donate it to whomever he wants. If anyone has a problem with his decision, don’t bid on it. Or buy it yourself. Otherwise, in the words of Jerrys’ old band mate, Bob Weir, STFU. Just my humble opinion…

  2. francis Reply

    Long live the spirit of Jerry and the money will go to a good cause
    now that Sessions is AG .

    Eat a peach for peace and love your brother .

  3. John Reply

    The name of the club is Hells Angles…. NOT Hell’s

    • Cras Reply

      I bet they are terrible at geometry too

    • Jamil Reply

      The name of the club is Hells Angels, NOT Angles…

  4. Mike Reply

    First of all a little research would have told the writer of this piece that the Wolf guitar sold at auction originally for $450,000, it was Garcia’s Tiger guitar that sold for over a million dollars, with the auction fees and taxes added to the $850,000 gavel price>

    • Stephen Reply

      The Wolf originally auctioned for $750,000. It is currently the 7th most valuable guitar ever sold at auction.

  5. MK Reply

    A hearty huzzah! and thanks to Wolf’s current owner- enjoying the guitar for 15 years and then passing it on to another aficionado with all the money raised going to the Southern Poverty Law Center! The SPLC has long advocated for those least represented and least protected in our society and because it stands up for minorities and the powerless, its employees and offices are constantly under threat of violence. The organization also provides outstanding resources on civil rights and creating positive inclusive communities to schools across the country- free of charge. Unfortunately, its work is still needed. The increasing number of hate crimes and incidents of hate speech are evidence enough.

  6. Stephen Reply

    I just heard that the auction date has been changed from March 14th to the new date of May 31st.

  7. Danny Hooley Reply

    Oh, so you’re an expert on what would have had Jerry “rolling over in his grave.” Riiiiight.

    Get lost, Trumphole. LOL

  8. Hugo Fukuself Reply

    HUZZAH

    Great guitar

    GREAT CAUSE!!!

    LONG LIVE THE SPLC!!

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