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Jerry Garcia's historic Travis Bean guitar offered for sale at Bonhams London
Legend’s guitar is the first to be offered for sale in Europe. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- Bonhams is offering an electric guitar which belonged to The Grateful Dead’s renowned guitarist, Jerry Garcia. The white Travis Bean TB500 electric guitar with serial number 11, gifted by Garcia to his equipment manager Steve Parish, is valued at £80,000-£120,000.

This significant instrument was one of only three Travis Beans owned by Garcia and was played on stage with The Grateful Dead from 1976 onwards. The guitar was later modified for use together with a synthesizer and this is believed to be the first time this technique was used in a studio.

Bonhams is the only auction house to hold dedicated sales for The Grateful Dead memorabilia. Garcia owned three Travis Bean guitars and this is the third and last to appear at auction. In 2007 a white Travis Bean electric guitar owned by Garcia was sold for $300,000 as part of the auction: ‘Life on the Golden Road with the Grateful Dead’ held at Bonhams, San Francisco.

Garcia was one of the founding members of the hugely influential group, The Grateful Dead. Though he denied it, he was seen by many as the spokesman for the band. He and his band mates led a true rock and roll lifestyle, touring almost constantly from their formation in 1965 until Garcia's tragic death in 1995. It was a thirty year stretch labelled ‘the endless tour’ that saw 22 albums, over 2300 concerts and gained die-hard fans who would follow the tours for months or even years on end.

The guitar is offered with a Travis Bean hardshell guitar case with indigo blue lining. Inside, and also included for sale, is Jerry Garcia's owned and worn brown tooled leather guitar strap with blue, white and green painted motif.

The guitar will be sold as part of the Entertainment Memorabilia sale at Bonhams Knightsbridge, in London on Wednesday 18th December.

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