NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A guitar that Jerry Garcia played everywhere from San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom to Egypt’s Great Pyramids fetched over $1.9 million at an auction Wednesday night.
The Grateful Dead frontman’s guitar — named Wolf — was sold at the Brooklyn Bowl bowling alley, restaurant and music venue. The proceeds are earmarked for the Montgomery, Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center.
The guitar was sold by devoted Deadhead Daniel Pritzker, a philanthropist, musician and film director who bought the instrument in 2002 for $790,000.
“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,” said Pritzker. “But the time is right for Wolf to do some good.”
SPLC President Richard Cohen said the organization is grateful Pritzker “is willing to part with this piece of music history to support the SPLC’s mission fighting hate and bigotry.”
The auctioneer says Wolf first appeared in a 1973 New York performance the Grateful Dead gave for the Hells Angels.
The instrument bears a devilish looking, cartoon-like image of a wolf’s face — eyes menacingly narrowed, ears pricked up, red tongue hanging out, fangs at the ready.
The 1977 film “The Grateful Dead Movie” was directed by Garcia — who died in 1995 — and features extensive footage of the instrument.
Wednesday’s live auction featured a performance by Brooklyn Bowl regular Joe Russo accompanied by over a dozen fellow Deadhead musicians.
For more information on the guitar’s auction and the performance by Joe Russo’s Friends With Benefits, click here.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)