Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

I Stick My Double-Neck Out For No Man

bob weir double-neck englishtown

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:

ibanez artwood twin

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:

jerry bobby englishtown

Nothing makes sense.


  1. Somewhere recently I read that the intent at Englishtown was to do the Terrapin Flyer section of Terrapin station.

    Bobby needed a twelve string for that (?) and was ready to go but Mickey was still incompletely healed from the car accident and they decided not to torture him with that section of the song.

    Does that make sense? Is it useful or useless to the discussion..

    Can we talk about the Roadie’s pants instead.

    Or can we surmise that the addition of a 12 string would make between song tuning absolute hell.


    • I think we dodged a bullet here. Imagine if they had done the full Terrapin suite. Imagine it went well and they enjoyed it.

      The Grateful Dead would have become a double-neck guitar band.

      Disaster narrowly avoided!

  2. From Oral History.. quoting Weir.

    We had worked up the Terrapin Flyer section for Englishtown, I even put on the double necked 12 string and was gonna play it but then Mickey decided that it was too hot and he was exhausted. … blah blah blah..

    Something about 32nd notes on the cymbal.

  3. The Central Shaft

    February 23, 2016 at 1:53 am

    None more cocaine.

  4. This ebay lot claims to have been the same guitar in photo, sold in january.

    Ebay Item number.. 201496141556

  5. Luther Von Baconson

    February 23, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    what’s Phil playing here? Classical Gas?

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