For millions of passionate Grateful Dead fans, there is only one “Wolf”, Jerry Garcia’s legendary guitar. Customized by luthier Doug Irwin, and labeled “D. Irwin 001”, Wolf was delivered to Jerry and first appeared in a 1973 New York City performance the Grateful Dead gave for the Hell’s Angels. Over the following two decades, Wolf became almost as well known as the performer himself as it was played in countless concerts and on treasured recordings throughout Jerry’s fabled career. Indeed, the 1977 film “The Grateful Dead Movie” directed by Jerry features extensive footage of the beloved musician onstage playing Wolf.
Years after the musician’s passing, Wolf returned to Doug and was sold in a 2002 Guernsey’s auction conducted at NYC’s electric Studio 54, where it fetched close to $1 million, more than doubling the then existing world record for any guitar ever sold.
Last night, Brian Halligan, the co-founder and CEO of HubSpot and the co-author of the book Marketing Lessons From the Grateful Dead, purchased the guitar for $1.9 million, with an anonymous charity matching the pre-premium bid of $1.6 million to make for a total sale of $3.2 million. This makes “Wolf” the most expensive Garcia guitar ever sold, and, according to Guitar Player, the third most expensive guitar ever auctioned.