Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Question about Garcia's Alligator strat

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by televiking, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. televiking

    televiking Tele-Meister

    Age:
    46
    490
    Dec 28, 2004
    Finland, Helsinki

  2. byrdbrain

    byrdbrain Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 5, 2006
    Sweden
    Not very informative, but from Guitar Player:
    Perhaps Alembic made the tailpiece/bridge a well.
    There's a discussion about it here.
     

  3. televiking

    televiking Tele-Meister

    Age:
    46
    490
    Dec 28, 2004
    Finland, Helsinki
    Thanks a lot Byrdbrain.

    You made my day.
     

  4. Joisey

    Joisey Tele-Holic

    Age:
    49
    517
    Dec 30, 2007
    Northern NJ
    That was his answer to blocking the bridge. A brass plate that screws down the piece of wood that is shoved under the bridge.
     

  5. Rooney

    Rooney Tele-Meister

    391
    Apr 25, 2008
    Philadelphia
    My guess would be an Alembic creation as well as they did a lot for the Dead back then.
     

  6. bradpdx

    bradpdx Friend of Leo's

    Jul 16, 2006
    Portland, OR
    I used to work for Alembic, but after the involvement with the Dead. Garcia's Strat was an amalgamation of repairs (the funky pickguard) and ad hoc changes.

    [​IMG]

    Someone at Alembic may have fabricated the tailpiece, but I believe the bridge itself was a some aftermarket piece with Gibson string spacing - which was probably Garcia's main concern as he played with that parameter repeatedly on later guitars. There is no documentation at Alembic about the guitar AFAIK - it would have been very informal.

    There was probably an Alembic Stratoblaster pre-amp as well, but unlike production models there is no visible switch. The Stratoblaster is a very simple single FET preamp that would isolate the pickups from the cable capacitance for a brighter sound. Garcia always used preamps in later guitars in order to achieve a high degree of control over tone regardless of cables.
     

  7. Joisey

    Joisey Tele-Holic

    Age:
    49
    517
    Dec 30, 2007
    Northern NJ
    I want to build an Alligator out of a honey blonde in the worst way.
     

  8. ole AZ

    ole AZ Banned

    Age:
    30
    Sep 22, 2008
    Verde Valley, Arizona
    Sounds fun. Me too!
     

  9. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Fort Collins, CO
    That Strat is to my ear the best sounding guitar Jerry ever played. I heard him use it with the Dead and with his side bands (mostly Merl Saunders & company) many, many times. I liked the sound of the SG he played around '69 a lot too but I always think of Alligator as the iconic Jerry-Tone.

    I had a chance to pickup a blonde '50's Strat back in the early '70's but it got away. One of the best Strats I ever played.
     

  10. FirstBassman

    FirstBassman Friend of Leo's

    Mar 18, 2008
    Virginia
    As I've mentioned a few times before, a very nice book to have:


    [​IMG]
     

  11. JoeCaster7

    JoeCaster7 TDPRI Member

    13
    Jun 24, 2009
    Connecticut
    Does anyone know what ever happened to Jerry's "Alligator" strat? I never saw it mentioned in any of the grateful dead auctions...maybe it just quietly disappeared.
     

  12. robb3566

    robb3566 Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 14, 2004
    Down the shore
    I like the upside-down sticker on top that says 'Policeman Helper.'
     

  13. woodman

    woodman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free + Supporter

    Age:
    71
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    my memory of the time is a little hazy :eek:, but i was living in SF and following the Dead pretty closely when he made the transition from the SG ... i associated him with the SG and was surprised when he showed up at a Winterland show (i think — possibly Fillmore West) playing a Strat. but i seem to recall it was a sunburst, not the Alligator.

    i'm among those who think Europe '72 was Jerry's finest tonal hour.
     

  14. Fret Wilkes

    Fret Wilkes Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

    Mar 23, 2003
    Harmony, R.I.
    Check out this guys site, you can make a pretty close replica using his stuff...stickers and all! I must say I've been tempted to give it a go.

    JackofRoses
     

  15. mark norwine

    mark norwine Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    59
    Mar 3, 2003
    New Jersey
    How cool! I just might need a mini aligator on my guitar......Sort of a "thanks, jer...for everything"
     

  16. Joisey

    Joisey Tele-Holic

    Age:
    49
    517
    Dec 30, 2007
    Northern NJ
    Not hazy, he did play a sunburst often.
     

  17. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 26, 2003
    Augusta, Maine
    The 'burst might be the '58 (seen on Festival Express) that he gave to David Hidalgo. Just judging by the album photos, I think he played the '58 a lot on Europe '72, too.

    Yeah, I think of him with an SG first, too.
     

  18. Bill  Hullett

    Bill Hullett Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    Nashville Tn.
    SAD.....

    You know if that's a '57 strat....... notice that it has an ash body ......Meaning that originally that was a Mary Kaye white blonde strat!!!! :(

    Oh Well....
    Bill Hullett
     

  19. Fret Wilkes

    Fret Wilkes Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

    Mar 23, 2003
    Harmony, R.I.
    Hi Charlie,

    The AFAIK the Europe '72 tour was the natural Alligator Strat and given to him by Graham Nash. I don't remember any SB pictures in the booklet. He used it up until mid to late '73. I saw them in September '73 and he had switched over to "The Wolf" by Doug Irwin although it did not yet have the Wolf sticker which later became an inlay.

    Speaking of the Europe 72 booklet, when I was a kid I used to stare at those pictures endlessly while listening to the Dead. It was almost like if I stared long and hard enough I could be there! :lol:

    Edit: Charlie, last year I did a gig in Starks, ME with a Dead band. Have you ever been to the festival(s) in Starks?
     

  20. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 26, 2003
    Augusta, Maine
    You've got to be right - I haven't looked at those photos in years.

    Never been up to Hempstock. I'd love to play at it, though. My free-form sometimes-band Sextet Offensive would be perfect for it.
     

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.