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Charity grateful as Jerry Garcia's guitar fetches £1.5m

A guitar played everywhere from San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom to Egypt's Great Pyramids by Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia has fetched more than 1.9 million dollars (£1.5m) at a New York auction.

The guitar, named Wolf, was sold at the Brooklyn Bowl, a bowling alley, restaurant and music venue.

Proceeds from the sale will go to the Montgomery, Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC). The sale price includes the buyer's premium.

The guitar was owned by devoted Deadhead Daniel Pritzker, a philanthropist, musician and film director, who bought the instrument in 2002 for 790,000 dollars (£617,000).

"I've been a fan of The Dead since I was a kid and playing this iconic guitar over the past 15 years has been a privilege," said Mr Pritzker.

"But the time is right for Wolf to do some good."

SPLC president Richard Cohen said the organisation was grateful Mr Pritzker "is willing to part with this piece of music history to support the SPLC's mission fighting hate and bigotry".

The auctioneer says Wolf first appeared in a 1973 New York performance the Grateful Dead gave for the Hells Angels.

The instrument bears a devilish looking, cartoon-like image of a wolf's face - eyes menacingly narrowed, ears pricked up, red tongue hanging out, fangs at the ready.

The 1977 film The Grateful Dead Movie was directed by Garcia and features extensive footage of the instrument.

Garcia died in 1995.

AP

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