D’Angelico Guitars has teamed up with renowned contemporary artist Mister E to create five custom Dead & Company guitars to be auctioned off on Participation Row during the band’s 2021 tour. As always, proceeds from the guitar auctions will benefit HeadCount, REVERB, and various other charities in the Dead’s orbit.
The tradition continues in 2021 with five new guitars, four of which commemorate specific tour stops (Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles) and one of which simply commemorates “Tour 2021.”
Mister E has also been commissioned by celebrities such as Floyd Mayweather, Adam Sandler, Miley Cyrus, Lionel Richie, Dana White, and more.
This year’s guitars are hand-painted and collaged to include sheet music from original Grateful Dead song books. The songbooks wrap around the body of each city guitar, along with several hand-made “dancing bear” stamps and lyrics from “Truckin’” in the traditional style of Mister E’s work. Each guitar has a custom engraved back plate with the lyric “What a long strange trip it’s been” and both the front and back have details to commemorate this summer tour. All five are Deluxe Bob Weir Bedfords, a signature D’Angelico model co-designed with Bob Weir.
Past Dead & Company tour guitar auctions dating back to the band’s inception in 2015 have raised more than $1.3 million a variety of causes.
As Mister E said of the partnership, “As an artist It’s an honor to paint these guitars to raise money for a great cause, but as a guitar player and fan of the dead for years, it is truly humbling to be working with Bob Weir and Dead & Co.”
“These custom guitars have fast become a tradition on Dead & Company tour, but Mister E’s designs have taken it to a whole new level,” said Andy Bernstein, HeadCount’s executive director. “This is one of the most creative and rewarding ways to raise funds, both for ourselves and the other ‘Dead Family’ charities.”
Bids will be accepted on the guitars throughout the tour, in both the Participation Row activism village and the Loose Lucy’s VIP lounge. Remote bids can also be accepted. Anyone seeking more information can contact HeadCount’s Major Gifts Director, Kristina Raines, at email@example.com.
Fans visiting Participation Row will also have the chance to enter a free drawing for a D’Angelico signed guitar signed by Dead & Company. To enter, each fan just has to visit three of the Dead Family charities who have booths on Participation Row and take an action with each. Fans then also receive a free limited edition “VOTE” pin, courtesy of Casely.
Participation Row is organized by HeadCount, which promotes civic engagement through music and culture, and REVERB, which partners with musicians, festivals and venues to green their events while engaging fans face-to-face to take environmental and social action.
Check out some photos of the 2021 custom Dead & Company tour D’Angelico guitars designed by Mister E below.