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Jerry Garcia's TB1000A #715 up for auction.

Kanada Kev

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Jerry Garcia's TB1000A #715 up for auction.

So something worth talking about came up the other day. On May 8th at Bonhams, Jerry Garcia's TB1000A (Artist) will be auctioned off. Jerry Garcia was one of the first 'big name' artists using Beans and was a great supporter for many years. He owned a couple of models over the years (TB500s and the upcoming auctioned TB1000A). The guitar is a great white (which has aged to that awesome vintage creame color now) Artist example with what looks to be some modifications.

You can view the Auction info here .

Along with the guitar are some Garcia items: "his guitar strings, a tuning fork, a string winder and an unopned pack of his non-filterd Camel cigarettes" -- quoted from Bonhams.

The estimate is at a whopping $250,000 - $300,000!!!!


This guitar has brought up some interesting questions, and maybe a few of you will be able to shed some light on it. There seems to be some timeline questions. The first interesting point. The Artist serial is #715, which seems like a higher serial number for 1975 as stated. I'm not able to get definitive timeline for the Artists, but do have 'some' numbers and years to base this.

1974 Artists and Standards were started starting at #21

mid 1977 we have #1100 produced

late 1978 - stated painted models started using Magnolia and Poplar bodies (Auction info states that body is made of Koa, but that might not have been verified).

The other interesting point is the possible pickup modification. It appears that it has been fitted with TB500 pickups. This is interesting since TB500s didn't start production until late 1977. He must have really enjoyed the hot pickups from his 500s and wanted them in the Artist at a later date. Or could this have been a proto-type pickup that would later be used for the 500?

There is a thread on the forum about this... if anyone has any ideas or information please post them here .


Sale 15537 - Life on the Golden Road with the Grateful Dead: The Ram Rod Shurtliff Collection, 8 May 2007

220 San Bruno Avenue

Back to catalogue

Copyright © 2002-2007 Bonhams 1793 Ltd.,

Images and Text All Rights Reserved

Lot No: 19W

A Jerry Garcia electric guitar by Travis Bean, circa 1975

The body made of koa painted a crème color, two black plastic pick-ups noting "Travis Bean," a silver metal pickguard; the neck made of silver metal, the fretboard made of ebony with ten iridescent mother-of-pearl rectangular-shaped inlays; the headstock silver metal with a pressed-stamp reading "715." Included is the custom-made black leather case (that only a TB1000 guitar fits in), with some of Garcia's items still inside: his guitar strings, a tuning fork, a string winder, and an unopened pack of his non-filtered Camel cigarettes. (Please note this guitar shows signs of wear and age as Garcia played it for a number of years.)

Length: 39in

Estimate: $250,000 - 300,000


One of the most well known of the Garcia guitars, he played it during some of The Dead’s and The Jerry Garcia Band’s most famous shows. Garcia owned three Travis Bean guitars; two TB500s and one TB1000 Artist. The TB1000 Artist (which this one in Lot 19 is), was a top-of-the-line instrument and only 755 were ever made. Garcia owned only this one. Seen in countless photos, this was one of his all-time favorite guitars. He played it at the Golden Gate Park show in 1975, the Orpheum Theatre show on May 21, 1976 (with The Jerry Garcia Band), and the other Orpheum Theatre show on July 12, 1976 (as well as at that show’s soundcheck). Additionally, he played this guitar during the recordings of the "Steal Your Face" album and "Terrapin Station" album. It is also the same guitar he was holding on the covers of the recently released albums titled "Don't Let Go" and "Grateful Dead: Live At The Cow Palace, New Years Eve, 1976." Included are two printed images of Garcia with this guitar, a CD of "Don't Let Go," and a DVD of the soundcheck from the Orpheum Theatre where he can be seen playing this instrument.

A photograph of Garcia holding this guitar appears in the book by Jerilyn Brandelius, Grateful Dead Family Album, (New York: Warner Books, 1989), p. 79.

Lots of pics here:


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