Earlier this year, it was announced that Jerry Garcia’s legendary “Wolf” guitar is going to be auctioned off by Guernsey’s in at Brooklyn Bowl in New York City on May 31st, with all proceeds benefiting the Southern Poverty Law Center. But before being handed over to its new owner, as the event information indicated, the guitar would be played by a group of “celebrated musicians.”

Today, the event organizers (Guernsey’s, Relix, and HeadCount) have announced the artist lineup for the event and, true to their promise, the list includes some seriously celebrated talent, led by Brooklyn Bowl mainstay Joe Russo. The band for the performance, billed as Joe Russo’s Friends With Benefits (note: we see what you did there), the show’s massive lineup includes Russo, John ScofieldNels Cline (Wilco), Neal Casal (Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Circles Around The Sun), Billy Martin (Medeski Martin & Wood), Cass McCombsDave Dreiwitz (Ween, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead), Dave Harrington (Darkside, Hooteroll? + Plus), Tom Hamilton (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead), Delicate SteveScott Metzger (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, WOLF!), Jon Shaw (Bob Weir, Shakey Graves), Erik Deutsch (Charlie Hunter, Hooteroll? + Plus), Alecia Chakour (Tedeschi Trucks Band), Eric D Johnson (Fruit Bats), Jonathan Goldberger (Red Baraat, Hooteroll? + Plus), and Cochemea Gastelum (Dap-Kings).

Garcia played with Wolf during the course of two decades of continent-spanning touring with The Grateful Dead. The beautiful guitar, crafted by luthier Doug Irwin, made its debut in 1973 during a Grateful Dead performance for the Hell’s Angels. After Garcia’s death, the instrument returned to Irwin, and in 2002, it was sold for $700,000–at that time breaking the record for most expensive guitar sale.

The anonymous current owners are ensuring that all of the proceeds from the sale of the famous instrument go the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit organization that fights bigotry through education, litigation, and advocacy. As the current owner said of the auction and of the guitar: “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. But the time is right for Wolf to do some good. My wife and I have long supported the efforts of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and if ever we needed the SPLC, we sure do need them now.”

Tickets will be available here on Monday, May 8th. Those interested in bidding on Wolf, or attending the auction and preview events should visit Guernsey’s or contact the auction house in New York at 212-794-2280. More information can be found on the Brooklyn Bowl website.


[Cover photo via Andrew Rios]