It is well known that Jerry Garcia had very few guitars when compared to other players of his caliber. Alembic made only a few custom guitars for the Grateful Dead. Alembic guitars are rare, especially from 1972 when they first started handcrafting Alembic guitars and basses. To this day, Alembic does not produce instruments in large numbers. They are hand made, one at a time and only four where crafted for Jerry. As a side note, please realize that Alembic have always followed a strict no endorsement policy. Everyone, including Jerry Garcia, has paid for their instruments. In Alembic’s view this is the best endorsement of all. According to Alembic’s records for 1972, #2 was made for Bob Weir (now at Hard Rock), Phil Lesh had #8, Mickey Hart #19. Alembic #3, #13 & #25 were made for Jerry Garcia (#3 is now back at Alembic, #25 Ramrod's Eagle was auctioned in 2007). Garcia was also owner of #6 for a while until he damaged it and traded it in for a new one. It is very rare for a guitar of this distinction to come up for auction.

Doug Irwin was working at Alembic, learning his luthier skills while contributing to the creation of Lucky #13 and #25. We believe #25 later evolved into what is now known as Eagle. The Alembic logos on #25 changed into an Eagle over the years and so did Eagle's serial numbers; from Alembic's #25 to GD 025 and also D. Irwin 025. Jerry gave Eagle to Ramrod after playing it for only a couple of years. Jerry kept Lucky #13 for 8+ years before giving it to Matthew Kelly in the early 80’s. In 2007, Ramrod’s son auctioned Eagle for $186,000. Wolf, one of  Jerry Garcia's most famous guitars, also re-crafted by Doug Irwin with lots of Alembic DNA in the bones, went for $789,500.

Lucky #13 stayed in Jerry's personal collection for many more years than Eagle’s brief 2 years. Lucky #13 spent most of the time in Bob Weir's studio, Aces. It was here in Aces that Jerry gifted the guitar to Matthew Kelly during the recording sessions of Kelly's "A Wing and a Prayer" album in the early 80’s. According to Bob Weir's Letter of Authentication, "It is believed that Jerry played this guitar on his first Jerry Garcia album which was recorded in Bob Weir's recording studio."

"I believe that musical instruments, especially those made out of wood - cellos, violins, guitars, I believe that they resonate, musically, even when they're not being played. They have a memory. Every note that's ever been played on them is still inside of them, resonating in the molecules of the wood." - The Limits of Control (2009)

View Matthew for his 30+ year association with the Dead. This clarifies the connection between Matthew, Jerry, Bobby and Jerry Garcia’s Alembic guitar, Lucky #13 and the Fender Harvard amp, both donated by Matthew to Amicus for auction. Your winning bid  is a tax deductible donation to Amicus (501(c)3, Federal ID #95-4047820).

Thank you from all of us at Amicus

Jerry warming up with the Fender Harvard Amp

As of June 2012, Jerry Garcia’s Guitar, Lucky #13, has been sold. All the proceeds Matthew Kelly received from the auction has been donated to his Charity, Amicus Foundation

Matthew with

Lucky #13

Steeped in Grateful Dead History

Handcrafted for Jerry Garcia by the guitar building masters: Doug Irwin, Ron Wickersham, Rick Turner, and Frank Fuller. Lucky #13 is believed to have been played on a Jerry Garcia solo project according to a signed Letter of Authentication by Bob Weir and possibly used on Bobby Weir’s Ace album.

This authenticated Jerry Garcia guitar made by Alembic: serial number #72-13, was custom made for Jerry Garcia in 1972, the thirteenth instrument made by Alembic (nicknamed Lucky #13). A Letter of Authentication for the guitar has been provided by Bob Weir.

Virtually all proceeds from the auction went to benefit Amicus Foundation. Amicus is dedicated to helping children at risk, developing educational opportunities and working with impoverished communities in Thailand. Matthew Kelly is one of the founders and Bob Weir is on the advisory board.

A 1950's tweed Fender Harvard guitar amp that Jerry used backstage to warmup before shows was also sold by Matthew to benefit Amicus foundation.

Also included in the auction was a letter to Jerry. Hand written by John Schneider, musician and former KPFA DJ. John describes how he over-dubbed guitar licks on “the Boarding house Wednesday night tracks”. This letter was found by Matthew Kelly inside the guitar case.