By Christopher Scapelliti
A guitar signed by members of the Grateful Dead sold for $526,000 at auction during the band’s final “Fare Thee Well” farewell show at Chicago’s Soldier Field on Sunday, July 5.
The guitar, a D’Angelico EX-DC Stairstep Tailpiece, was signed by surviving Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, and by guest performers Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti. The custom instrument features “Fare Thee Well” artwork on both sides.
Bidding for the instrument began at $5,000 during the band’s anniversary concert on June 27 in Santa Clara, California. Weir played the guitar the following night for a performance of the song “Row Jimmy,” as seen in the photo at top.
The winning bidder is Bill Rathburn, of Dallas.
The auction was organized by HeadCount, a nonprofit nonpartisan organization that works with musicians to promote democracy.
Other items auctioned included signed posters, drum heads and pit tickets, which together totaled more than $250,000. The proceeds from the auctions will be divided among 17 charities selected by the Grateful Dead.