Alvarez Grateful Dead Series - NAMM 2015

Alvarez introduces the Grateful Dead Series signature guitars as part of the company's 50th Anniversary celebration, coincidentally, this year is also the band's 50th anniversary.

Alvarez Grateful Dead Series

These guitars are based on Bob Weir's WY1BW acoustic-electric and comes in two models, the AFGD65 Flag and Montage. Both guitars feature custom artwork inspired by classic Grateful Dead images, printed on the instrument using a special silk screening process.

It's quite a coincidence that Alvarez started out on the same year that guitarist Jerry Garcia happened upon the phrase "grateful dead" dead in a dictionary. This phrase became the name of Jerry's newly formed band which went on to be among the best known bands in history, which recently earned them the prestigious Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Alvarez and the Grateful Dead's first collaborated in the '80s, both Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir worked together with the company's luthiers to produce signature models for the two artists. The artist and Alvarez' team tried various shapes, from Dreadnoughts to Jumbos, and utilized the favorite attributes of both Bob and Jerry, which include the Modulus neck and Tree of Life inlay. According to the Alvarez, their combined efforts and years of fine tuning resulted in Bob Weir's WY1BW, a guitar that Bob still plays today.

Alvarez Grateful Dead Series

St. Louis Music Senior VP and Alvarez Development Head Chris Meikle, said “We’ve been really blessed by our partnership with the band over the years. Creating a guitar worthy of the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary was very important to us. We wanted to create something that was, of course, very playable with great sound, but was also fully ‘tattooed’ with Grateful Dead artwork, which presents a lot of challenges.”

The defining feature of the new Grateful Dead Series is the official artwork applied to the cedar top. The custom graphics are applied via a combination of modern and traditional screen printing process that allows the grain to be shown through the paint. This turns the top into a part of the artwork itself, and since each top has a unique natural wood pattern, every Grateful Dead series guitar becomes a one of a kind collector’s item.

The two Grateful Dead models feature solid western red cedar top, screen printed with a satin finish. Other features include a rosewood fretboard with custom mother of pearl inlays, bi-level bridge and 12th fret lightning bolt inlay. The “Lightning Bolt” is a familiar Grateful Dead icon, and was used on Bob Weir’s WY1 signature. The top are supported by forward shifted, scalloped bracing system.

The MSRP for the Alvarez Grateful Dead Series is $499, incredibly affordable for a limited edition commemorative instrument. Visit Alvarez Guitars for more information.

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