CHICAGO – A pair of D'Angelico guitars will be auctioned at this weekend's Dead & Company concerts in Chicago, potentially generating tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities chosen by the band.
One guitar – on display in the "Participation Row" social action village that travels to each tour stop – is already up to $49,000 and will be up for bid through intermission at the Saturday, July 1st tour finale. A second guitar specifically celebrating the two Wrigley Field concerts will be auctioned at the same time.
The one-of-a-kind D’Angelico guitars can be viewed in the stadium when the gates open at 4:30 PM before Friday night’s concert.
Each is signed by Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir, singer/guitarist John Mayer, Allman Brothers bassist Oteil Burbridge and “Fare Thee Well” and RatDog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti. Both guitars are Premier Weir SS models, which Weir and D'Angelico designed and developed together.
The last time a commemorative D'Angelico guitar signed by members of the Grateful Dead was auctioned in Chicago – at 2015's Fare Thee Well 50th Anniversary concerts – it sold for an eye-popping $526,000. HeadCount, a voter registration and civic participation non-profit, organized the guitar auction series for Dead & Company and Fare Thee Well.
HeadCount also helped produce an event last month where "Wolf," a guitar once owned by The Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia, was auctioned for $1.6 million, generating a total of $3.2 million for the Southern Poverty Law Center through an anonymous donor match.
On this summer's Dead & Company tour, three D’Angelico guitar auctions have already generated $70,000 for the band's various charities, which include HeadCount and the environmental group REVERB, the co-organizers of Participation Row.
In all, more than a dozen organizations will receive a share of the guitar proceeds.
Some of the recipients include: The Rex Foundation, The Jerry Garcia Foundation, The National Parks Conservation Association, Positive Legacy, the Hawai’i Alliance for Progressive Action and the Veterans Health and Integration Program.
Nightly signed poster auctions have generated an additional $25,000. By the time the band takes the stage for the last time this summer, the total charitable contribution could easily surpass $250,000.
"Dead & Company and their fans are incredibly generous," said HeadCount executive director Andy Bernstein. "They've helped turn Participation Row into an active and loving home for all the various causes tied to this community."
Dead & Company concert attendees have also taken nearly 20,000 socially-conscious actions on Participation Row throughout the tour – things like writing postcards to Congress, registering to vote, or taking quizzes about environmental impact. Any fan who takes three actions is rewarded with a limited edition Dead & Company pin from Participation Row sponsor Clean Energy Advisors. Fans also get a chance to win one more D'Angelico guitar signed by the band in a free drawing.
HeadCount harnesses the power of music to drive social change. Since 2004 we have registered nearly 500,000 voters, and helped organize various initiatives in the live music community to promote civic participation. With 20,000 volunteers, street teams in most major U.S. cities and affiliations with over 200 touring musicians, HeadCount ranks as one of the largest and most active music-based non-profit organizations in America.