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Garcia's guitars


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I am one of Doug Irwin's attorneys in the pending litigation for the

guitars.. I have read all 100 messages in this thread .. here are a few

answers to your questions..

1) The whole tax issue has been a red herring from the beginning.. Why would

anyone listen to Robert Hunter for tax advice anyway ?? The facts are that

the estate will and always would have paid the taxes. The law favors

specific bequests of personal property. If at all possible, any residual

cash ( of which Jerry had plenty ) will be used to pay taxes so that the

beneficiary might have the actual thing devised to him. The reason Doug

doesn't have the guitars has nothing to do with taxes. But I will tell you

that they have vowed to fight us all the way to the Supreme Court to keep

the guitars.

2) The current litigation will be heard in the Probate Dept. of Superior

Court of Marin County, California. We filed the action specifically in

probate so that the guitars we recover WILL go through probate and the taxes

would be paid by the estate. However, the law says title passed upon Jerry's

death. Doug owns the guitars.

3) While I only have an e-mail address for the attorney representing GDP

which I will not divulge, you may certainly voice your displeasure by

writing to GDP at P.O. BOX X NOVATO, CA 94948 and we certainly encourage you

to do so if you can spare the 34 cents. Those living in the Bay Area could

just picket the office at 265 BEL MARIN KEYS BLVD NOVATO, CA 94949 (Just

kidding about the picketing)

4) Doug will sell the guitars in order to fund a school to teach the art of

woodworking and instrument building. We are in hopes that they will be

bought by a museum (EMP, Smithsonian, or R'n'R Hall of Fame) or a prominent

player who will use the guitar in concert. After all, if he wanted a cool

guitar for himself, he'd build one, and these guitars can do a lot of good

for a lot of people. What better way to honor Jerry's memory than to teach

people how to build the instruments he loved so much. Doug once told me,

"Some people put on their pants in the morning, Jerry put on his guitar".

How do I know Doug ? He built me a guitar in 1976 ( between the Wolf and

Tiger)Pictures will be posted on our website listed below.

we will be putting up a Irwin vs. GDP page on our website at LAWROMAINE.COM


anyone wishing to offer their support and well wishes to Doug may e-mail me

and I will be glad to get him the message

peace Douglas S. Long, Attorney at Law

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So why is the lawyer referring to him as Douglas Irwin, when in Garcia's will, he's known as Douglas Erwin?

Sounds like a loop hole.

I'm going to change my name to Douglas Erwin.

-from the lawyer's page http://www.lawromaine.com/id20.htm

-from Garcia's will

"I give all my guitars made by DOUGLAS ERWIN, to DOUGLAS ERWIN, or to his estate if he predeceases me."

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I had no idea we had a lawsuit of our own...

"I also give every recorded note of my playing, currently residing in the 'Vault', and accessed via any given media, to Marc-Andre Joseph Bouchard Jr."

"I also give all of my black t-shirts to Michel Joseph Bouchard Jr., Lord knows he can always use a clean t-shirt"

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"and if any person shall claim and establish any right to participate in my estate other than as provided in this Will, whether as heir or in any other capacity whatsoever, I give and bequeath to each such person the sum of One Dollar ($1.00)."

so, all i have to do is contest his will and i'll get $1 from jerry's estate to go with my check from grateful dead enterprises. good times good times

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Letter to Dead Heads: March 27, 2001

During the time that GDP was a partnership, and then later when it became a corporation, we as a group always bought and maintained the instruments used by the band on stage and in recording. We did this purposely. Because all of the stage instruments were bought and maintained in the same way, we thought we had avoided any arguments over who owned what. We all owned it all. All for one and one for all. We always knew that the whole of what we were was greater than the sum of its parts and that our musical legacy should never be broken apart, even after we stopped touring. This is not the position of "just another corporation," as some have suggested. It is a fact which was at the heart of our business from the earliest days. None of the band members, by common agreement, can give away our instruments or any other GDP property. No-one's passing changes this. We believe we can prove that the Irwin guitars were bought by and belong to GDP and that they should remain in our possession. What Jerry actually said in his will was "my Irwin guitars," and we feel and understand that that applies only to instruments he never used onstage and are not the celebrated guitars Doug and his attorneys are seeking.

Doug Irwin's motives and those of his lawyers appear pretty clear. They want the money the guitars will bring at public auction. Our months of discussions have centered on the claim that Mr. Irwin is broke and needs the money to attend to his personal needs. While we actually do sympathize with Mr. Irwin's financial problems, he is sufficiently desperate to also claim that we (and presumably everyone else in the world) has no right to publish or use any photograph of Jerry Garcia playing any of the instruments Irwin built unless a copyright royalty is paid to him. If this were the case, Fruit-of-the-Loom, which made Jerry's black T-shirts, would own GDP by now. We have also rejected that claim.

Seemingly lacking faith in their legal case, Mr. Irwin and his lawyers will doubtless keep coming at us in the public forum, trying to pressure us into caving in to their demands by publicly claiming a moral high ground, but it will eventually be seen that they have a narrow field of focus: their pockets. For example, on Thursday, March 15, we were actually sitting in a face to face meeting with Doug Irwin and his attorney, Doug Long, which was supposed to be a good faith negotiation when we received information that Mr. Irwin and his lawyers had, without notice, called a press conference for that same afternoon. Mr. Long claimed to our face to be unaware of the press plans, which was obviously not true.

GDP has said from the beginning of our discussions with Doug and his succession of lawyers that the guitars belong to the fans and GDP has always intended to place them on public display as a complete group so that the fans could enjoy them. If Irwin and his lawyers succeed, they will be sold to the highest private bidder and will likely disappear from view forever. The simple fact is that none of the museums to which everyone would like the instruments to go will be willing to pay the price Mr. Irwin believes the guitars will bring. They have quoted numbers in the millions of dollars. GDP, along with any museum, would disappear from the bidding early on. Even if an acceptable museum was willing to pay what Mr. Irwin demands, however, we do not believe that we should be forced to let others decide how our legacy, of which Jerry was obviously an integral part, be presented. Because our right to possess the guitars is now apparently in question, we intend to immediately arrange for their display in the best venue we can locate and provide at least this opportunity for the guitars to be viewed pending the outcome of the lawsuit filed by Doug Irwin.

We do not mean to dishonor either Jerry's memory or the spirit of his will. We have attempted to resolve this dispute with financial offers to Irwin. We do not believe, however, and will not be convinced, that Jerry meant for his instruments to be sold at public auction to the highest bidder by Doug as the centerpiece of a '60s memorabilia sale and that they would thereafter disappear from the view of the fans forever. Jerry was a modest man. He never believed the hype about himself and we think he would be wearily shaking his head at the prospect that the guitars are potentially worth what Mr. Irwin and his lawyers allege they are. In any event, what the guitars are "worth" to GDP has nothing to do with money. They are a part of the Grateful Dead legacy and GDP will never voluntarily sell them to anyone under any circumstances at any time.

We clearly disagree with most of what Doug's lawyer has written here in the past few days, but we will not respond issue by issue. A few of the statements made by Doug Long, however, cannot stand unchallenged. Long says in one of his posts that no financial offer of any kind has been made to Doug Irwin. That isn't true and he knows it. Long also alleges that GDP has admitted that the Wolf guitar belongs to Doug Irwin and refuses to deliver it. That is also false. The Wolf was listed on a preliminary inventory of the Estate in which no band member or executive of GDP was involved. Ownership of all of the instruments remains in dispute and Long is very well aware of that.

As we know you must believe, the very idea that GDP would place the guitars in the hands of a "stand in" Jerry Garcia and that the Dead will thus play again is simply ludicrous. Mr. Irwin knows that and his lawyers know that. We have told them of our long-term display plans on virtually every occasion we have talked with them. In contrast, they have simply dressed up Mr. Irwin's desire to sell the instruments with a story about funding a school and the "fear of a fake Jerry" story in the past few days for public consumption to gain sympathy. They want you to be angry with us. They want to pressure us to do what they think is right. As you know, we have always done what WE think is right and we are doing so here.

Finally, there is a theme in some circles that GDP is becoming just like other corporations and that it is now run by faceless executives who do not understand the Grateful Dead journey. The corporation is now, and always has been, a democracy made up exclusively of members of the band. At present, the directors and sole owners are Bob, Phil, Billy and Mickey. No one makes decisions for us and no one is leading us down any garden path. We respect your right to disagree with what we think is best, but understand that the same people who have always made the decisions still make them.

Regrettably, this matter will apparently be decided in the courts. We believe we will prevail and we also believe that we have dealt with Doug in good faith and that he and his lawyers have not dealt with us in the same way. No one detests litigation more than we do. We did not start this. But we must finish it.


Bobby Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann for Grateful Dead Productions

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i actually did notice that andre, after i posted, but didn't bother to edit the message.

well has the new gdp statement changed anyone's minds yet?

It is an interesting turn if the guy would get "ALL" of jerry's guitars just to sell. Like every single guitar seems a little excessive, don't you think?

however, i still think that jerry's will is pretty damn clear so shit, eh?

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This is a hard discussion to get involved with. On one hand Jerry's will should be honoured but on the other, Jerry was not the keenest of business minds so who know what kind of contracts he could have signed that contradict the will.. Guess we will have to just wait and see... I do however believe that Jerry would not want his guitars sold for profit...

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yep, the will is clear. but it's hard to think of them just being sold off. i totally agree with gdp. and probably, if jerry knew that it would come to this he would have made his will differently. but....he didn't and he didn't.

and remember.....karma always wins

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