Joe Russo, Nels Cline, John Scofield and Many More Help Auction Jerry Garcia’s “Wolf” Guitar for Record Price

June 1, 2017

Last night, Brooklyn Bowl hosted an auction for Jerry Garcia’s famed “Wolf” guitar, which was sold for $1.6 million plus a $300K buyer’s premium. The bid was matched by an anonymous donor, garnering $3.5 million in total for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which marks the most money ever generated from the auction of one guitar. The evening also featured Joe Russo leading an all-star cast of “Friends with Benefits” that included most of his Almost Dead bandmates and many more, some of which had the pleasure of played Wolf before it went to its new owner.

Prior to the auction, the first set of music saw Russo team up with Neal Casal, Scott Metzger, Erik Deutsch, Cass McCombs, Billy Martin and Jon Shaw as the core band, which kicked off with Grateful Dead favorites “Truckin’” and “Dire Wolf” before welcoming saxophonist Cochemea Gastelum for “Eyes of the World.” The set also featured guest spots from Fruit Bats’ Eric D. Johnson and closed with “Morning in Marin,” a cut from Garcia and Howard Wales’ Hooteroll? album that Russo explored with friends at the Capitol Theatre in April, which featured Russo, Deutsch, Gastelum, Wilco’s Nels Cline, John Scofield, Billy Martin, Dave Harrington and Jonathan Goldberger.

The Wolf auction then followed with a short bidding period that was eventually won by Brian Halligan, author of Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead and founder of HubSpot. Set number two started with a similar core band that included Almost Dead’s Tom Hamilton and Dave Dreiwitz and played through “Help On the Way” > “Slipknot!” and “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider.” Guitarist “Delicate” Steve Marion would later join the fray in the second half of the set, which included a cover of Jerry Garcia Band’s “Magnificent Sanctuary Band” and a set closer of “Turn On Your Lovelight” with Alecia Chakour on vocals.

The night’s encore, which featured a core band of Almost Dead’s Russo, Hamilton, Metzger and Dreiwitz plus Deutsch filling in for regular keyboardist Marco Benevento, extended to several songs and also saw the band welcome Casal to the stage for the finale run of intertwined “Not Fade Away,” “St. Stephen” and “The Eleven.”

See the full setlist and select videos below.

Joe Russo & Friends
Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY

Set I: [email protected], Dire [email protected] > Eyes Of The [email protected]# -> Stella [email protected]$ > Wharf [email protected]% > Bird [email protected]^, The Music Never [email protected] -> Drums& -> Morning In Marin*


Set II: Jam + -> Help on The Way+ -> Slipknot!+ -> China Cat Sunflower+ -> I Know You Rider+, The Stranger/Two Souls In [email protected]@#$$ -> [email protected]@# -> [email protected]@# > Magnificent Sanctuary [email protected]@, I Second That [email protected]@$$%% > [email protected]@$$

Enc: ^^
Terrapin Station > Throwing Stones, Not Fade Away&& -> St. Stephen&& -> The Eleven&& -> St. Stephen&& -> Not Fade Away&&

@Core band was Scott Metzger (Gtr & Vox), Neal Casal (Gtr & Vox), Jon Shaw (Bass), Erik Deutsch (Keys), Cass McCombs (Gtr & Vox), Billy Martin (Drums), Joe Russo (Drums & Vox)

#With Cochemea Gastelum on Sax

$With Eric D. Johnson on Keys & Vocals

%With Eric D. Johnson on Guitar & Vocals

^Contained a verse of “Shady Grove” (Doc Watson)

&Just Billy & Joe, band switch

*Core band was John Scofield (Gtr), Nels Cline (Gtr), Jonathan Goldberger (Gtr), Dave Harrington (Bass), Cochemea Gastelum (Sax), Billy Martin (Drums), Erik Deutsch (Keys), Joe Russo (Drums)

+Core band was Tom Hamilton (Gtr & Vox), Neal Casal (Gtr & Vox), Dave Harrington (Gtr), Dave Dreiwitz (Bass), Erik Deutsch (Keys), Billy Martin (Drums), Joe Russo (Drums & Vox)

@@Core band was Tom Hamilton (Gtr & Vox), Delicate Steve (Gtr), Dave Dreiwitz (Bass), Erik Deutsch (Keys), Joe Russo (Drums)

$$With Alecia Chakour on Vocals

%%With Eric D Johnson on Vocals

^^Core band was Tom Hamilton, Scott Metzger, Dave Dreiwitz, Erik Deutsch, Joe Russo

&&With Neal Casel (Gtr & Vox)