There is very little scholarship needed on the subject of Weirdo Guitars the Dead Were Photographed With: there’s just a few pictures, and it’s an exceedingly trivial subject. A scholar should be embarrassed to study it.
Luckily, I am not a scholar, so I can link to some Guitar Nerd bullshit, and then make stuff up.
It would be a shame to leave Bobby out: you’ve probably seen this photo before; I’m sure I’ve posted it. It turns out to be a bit of a mystery.
An interview with the head of Ibanez (actually a more interesting read than it sounds) says this:
When I first went to see the Dead in ’74 or so, I didn’t really know what guitar or guitars to take to show them. The copy we did of the Rex Bogue doubleneck was about the snazziest thing we had, so I brought it. I can’t recall what else we took down there. I brought my partner in crime, Roy Miyahara, with me to the show, which was at the old Philadelphia Civic Center – one of those massive airplane-hangar-style joints.
You might already see the problem: not only is the picture clearly not of a joint, massive or otherwise. In fact, I thought it was Englishtown. It can’t be ’74 for many reasons, not the least of which is the missing 75-ton sound system.
By the date of Englishtown, Ibanez already had a double-neck in (limited) production and it wasn’t the one Bobby’s playing. Look:
That’s not the guitar Bobby’s playing. Compare the headstocks. The one Bobby’s playing is a copy of John McLoughlin’s custom-made guitar.
Here’s the point where I become lost: that picture of Bobby up above is definitely from Englishtown. Here’s a picture I got directly from Garcia’s website that labels it as 9/3/77:
Nothing makes sense.