Today, moe. guitarist Al Schnier turns 49 years old. In honor of Schnier’s birthday, we’re taking a look back at the moe.’s February 7th, 2015 show at Denver’s Ogden Theatre, when Al got the chance to play the late Jerry Garcia‘s Travis Bean TB500 #11 guitar, an axe that Garcia used in 1976.
We spoke to Al about the experience in 2015, and he told us the story of how this came to be. “Preston Hoffman, our lighting designer, told me maybe a month before, ‘I’ve got something for you that I’m going to have at the Denver show.’ And I said ‘Okay, cool!’ The last time he said that, he showed up with a pair of socks for me. (Laughs) And they’re great socks, he got me these really great wool socks. He found these socks that he loved and he bought them for everybody in the band. It was a really nice gesture. So I’m thinking to myself, ‘Maybe it’s underwear this time.’
So a month had gone by, and I had completely forgotten about it and I show up and the Travis Bean is sitting onstage and I’m thinking “Oh! That’s what you were talking about!” I knew that he knew the guy, we had talked about it. I didn’t know what the deal was with it. I didn’t know how long it was going to be there. I thought maybe just for the sound check… whatever. Then I found out it was gonna be there the whole weekend and I was going to get to play it as much as I wanted. That was awesome! That guitar happened to be my favorite guitar of Jerry’s.”
You can watch video of Al playing the Grateful Dead‘s “Deal” on the TB500 at the Ogden below (via YouTube user Mike Maciunski):
You can also listen to audio of the full show below, via archive.org user moewu4u:
Setlist: moe. | Ogden Theatre | Denver, CO | 2/7/15
Set 1: Jazz Wank> Buster, Deep This Time, Shoot First, Silver Sun> Deal1
Set 2: Hi and Lo> Big World> Ricky Marten> Down Boy> Billy Goat> Skrunk> McBain
Encore: 32 Things
Notes: Al played Jerry Garcia’s Travis Bean ’75-’76 #11
Happy birthday, Al! Here’s to many more!
[cover photo via Jay Blakesberg]