A one-of-a-kind Fare Thee Well commemorative guitar was auctioned for $526,000 during intermission of the Grateful Dead's July 5th concert in Chicago, benefiting 17 charities tied to the band. The D'Angelico EX-DC guitar was played on stage by the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir on June 28th, and was signed by the four living original members of the group and the three guest performers.
It was purchased by Bill Rathburn of Dallas, TX.
The funds will be split among the charities, with each organization receiving approximately $30,000 from the guitar alone.
The auction was organized by the non-profit organization HeadCount as part of an effort called "Participation Row" that gave Grateful Dead-related charities a significant presence at the Fare Thee Well concerts. Weir and Fare Thee Well promoter Peter Shapiro sit on HeadCount's Board of Directors.
The guitar auction opened at just $5,000 during the first Fare Thee Well concert in Santa Clara, CA on June 27th, but quickly grew after Weir played the guitar on stage the next night during the song "Row Jimmy."
The auction also included signed posters, Remo drumheads and "pit" tickets, and generated over $250,000 without the guitar. A signed poster sold for $21,000, and San Francisco Giants pitcher Jake Peavey picked up another signed poster for $15,000. A signed Remo drumhead also generated more than $10,000. The funds will be split evenly among all the charities.
HeadCount, best known for its work registering voters at concerts, also organizes a Participation Row and silent auction at the Lockn' festival in Arrington, VA. More information can be found at HeadCount.org/
For more information contact HeadCount Executive Director Andy Bernstein at andyb@HeadCount.org.