A freshly formed band of rock and blues musicians were looking for a new name. Guitarist Jerry Garcia happened upon the little-known phrase "grateful dead" in a dictionary, a preciously brief moment, but one that would influence entire generations of rock and roll fans.
The Grateful Dead went on to have one of the most storied careers in all of rock and roll. They produced dozens of albums and played thousands of shows around the globe, growing a legendary following of loyal fans that continue to celebrate the band to this day. In 1994, the Grateful Dead were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Grateful Dead's relationship with Alvarez began in the 1980's, when both Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir collaborated with our luthiers to create their own signature models. The team experimented with many shapes, from Dreadnoughts to Jumbos, and incorporated favorite attributes from both bandmates, like a Modulus neck and Tree of Life inlay. These designs culminated in Bob Weir's WY1BW, the result of years of fine-tuning, which Bob still plays today.
Grateful Dead enthusiasts will love the official artwork, applied to the cedar tops by an innovative screen printing process, and all guitarists will appreciate the fine construction, playability and tone of these instruments.
Each model features a solid A grade western red cedar top, screen printed under a flawless satin finish. Other appointments include custom mother of pearl inlays, a rosewood fingerboard and bi-level bridge and 12th fret lightning bolt inlay. Both models are constructed using the Alvarez FST2M hand finished, forward shifted, scalloped bracing system for optimal performance and response.
Inspired by classic Grateful Dead images, the designs have been applied using a custom screen printing process. Thanks to Mother Nature, each guitar top varies slightly in both grain and color, making every Alvarez Grateful Dead guitar a unique instrument.
The “Lightning Bolt” is a Grateful Dead icon, and a design used on Bob Weir’s WY1. The Inlay is made from premium Mother of Pearl.
Like the artwork applied to the top, the guitar itself is meant to be full of surprises. We could not resist adding the dancing bear to the back of the headstock.
Each Grateful Dead Series guitar is very slightly unique due to the screen printing process developed to apply the artwork. This process allows the color and grain pattern of each top to contribute towards the aesthetics. Since every piece of wood is unique then the look of each guitar is, too. The printing process also gives the Grateful Dead series a cool vintage vibe and the color of the solid western red cedar top is allowed to be part of the artwork, again adding individuality, making each one of these guitars a unique, and special instrument.