Colts Owner Jim Irsay Shares Tiger Guitar With Dead & Company
One of the more iconic guitars Jerry Garcia used over the course of his career was an axe made by luthier Doug Irwin dubbed “Tiger.” Garcia utilized Tiger as his main axe between 1979 and 1989 before moving on to a similar guitar made by Irwin called “Rosebud.” If the current owner of Tiger has his way, John Mayer may use the historic instrument during Dead & Company‘s upcoming tour.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay took possession of Tiger in 2002 after reportedly paying nearly a million dollars for the instrument when it went up for auction. Indy Star reports Chris McKinney, who curates Irsay’s collection of rare guitars and other memorabilia, was sent to San Francisco “to let members of the Grateful Dead become reacquainted” with Tiger. While Mayer had yet to use the famed guitar as of Indy Star publishing its article, the paper reports “Irsay and McKinney are opening the door for [John Mayer] to play the instrument on upcoming concert dates.”
Bob Weir discussed Tiger during a conference call with reports last month. “You know, the guitar was made to be played,” Weir said. “Even if it someday ends up in a museum, I think half the time it should be trotted out and played, because that’s what it was built to do. I know that Jerry would feel that way.”
Dead & Company played a free show at The Fillmore in San Francisco last night, where Mayer did not use Tiger. The band embarks on Summer Tour starting in Charlotte on June 10.