Andy Logan is a Dead Head who recognizes (along with the rest of us!) that Dead music is our common heritage and a nurturing source of love for us all. Wanting to support that, and having a collection of guitars, he began to lend and sometimes give special instruments to gifted players who didn’t have the means to acquire them on their own. This came to include not only first-quality examples of the types of guitars that Garcia and Weir had played, but then instruments built for them, as well as instruments Jerry owned, most famously “Alligator,” his axe from the era of Europe ’72 and the Martin acoustic he used to record American Beauty.
It is time to formalize this practice, and so today, June 8, 2021, we are announcing the official founding of the Grateful Guitars Foundation. Our mission statement: “Grateful Guitars is a 501c3 foundation that obtains world-class musical instruments for talented players who seek to carry on the tradition of jam band music into the 21st century and beyond. We identify musicians who thrive in live settings and we secure the gear they need to reach their fullest musical potential. Through the powerful connection between the skilled player and the highest quality instrument, our aim is to ensure that jam band music thrives for generations of live music fans.”
Logan added, “There’s just no doubt in my mind that the more really good instruments are out there, the more the jam band scene thrives, the more that Grateful Dead music continues to grow and touches more people, even if the band is no longer playing. And it’s fun to help feed that growth by gifting guitars to musicians, kind of helping them and helping the scene that I love.”
After a basic East Coast Dead Head youth (first show Hartford 4/3/88), Andy followed his wife-to-be to the Bay Area (bonus: more shows!), and after a career in high-tech marketing, earned his credentials as a psychotherapist. In 2008 he began to learn guitar, and naturally bought the guitar Garcia played on Live Dead, a Gibson SG. Not too long later, he stepped up and purchased the Steven Cripe guitar “Tribute,” also known as “Saturn” for the rings inlaid on the neck, which had been built for Jerry but was not yet complete on August 9, 1995. Before Andy even took possession, he realized that it had been made to play live music, and he had to share it with the GD community as the original builder and player had intended.
He naively popped up just before showtime at a Dark Star Orchestra show at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco—in the future he’d learn it was better to arrive before sound check and give the guitarist time to make friends with the guitar—and Jeff Mattson graciously subbed it into the night’s festivities. It was a revelation to watch him, and later other musicians, be inspired by the equipment and watch that energy flow to the fans. Soon after, when Phil Lesh and Friends began a re-creation of shows (one a year for the 30 years), Andy lent Stu Allen a vintage Guild Starfire for 1965 and then many more Garcia guitars for later years, as well as some Weir-style guitars to Grahame Lesh and Scott Law. Then Stu Allen began a similar re-creation at Ashkenaz, and the GD gear flow continued, including when Andy found a Fender Deluxe like Garcia’s for the 1971 show. The tone moved not only Stu but also a person in the audience who’d been present at the original show at the Berkeley Community Theater some 45 years before.
His efforts have drawn in luthiers like Rich Hoeg, a former Modulus employee who still builds for Weir, Leo Elliott of Scarlet Fire Guitars, and Kevin Burkett of Travis Bean Design, who has made copies of the Travis Bean guitars that were Garcia’s 1975-1977 axes of choice, which Andy gifted to Stu Allen (formerly of Phil & Friends and Melvin Seals & JGB), Mik Bondy of the Garcia Project, Zach Nugent (formerly Melvin Seals & JGB, and now Dead Set), and Garrett Deloian of Jerry’s Middle Finger. The circle grows, and with today’s launch it can grow much larger.
Jerry used to say to his bandmates, “Serve the music.” Andy and the Grateful Guitars Foundation are working to do just that. Dead Heads who want to share in the process should go to www.gratefulguitars.org
“It’s hard to know where to start to describe how important and influential Andrew Logan has been to the community of working musicians. His dedication to providing us with amazing instruments cannot be put into words. Imagine Picasso with no paint or canvas? What Andrew has done with his foundation helps struggling musicians have the tools to be their best. I have no words that can fully express my gratitude for what the foundation has done for me personally, but also for the people building these fine instruments. I’m so very grateful for what this foundation has done for so many of us who work very hard for very little. Having a quality instrument in the hands of musicians like myself helps make the world a better place and creates better musical experiences for us all.”
Rob Eaton, Dark Star Orchestra
“I wanted to start off by telling you all how instrumental Grateful Guitars Foundation was in recognizing my luthier skills before they fully matured. The orders they placed early on gave me the capital to purchase the top quality equipment I needed to make the best I instruments I could. The GGF facilitated a more widespread awareness of my art by putting my instruments in the hands of premier artists, playing the music that Andy, I and thousands others love. I view GGF as a bridge between luthiers who create and artists who play, synonymous with the patron and artist relationships from the Renaissance period. GGF’s love for the music of the Grateful Dead and their willingness to commit resources to make the experience of the players and concertgoers alike just exactly perfect is a beautiful thing. Good luck with all your future endeavors!”
Leo Elliott, Scarlet Fire Guitars
“Grateful Guitars Foundation is a museum meets a library founded by one of the most dedicated and compassionate people I have met in the music world. Andy Logan reached out to me while I was touring with Melvin Seals and JGB in 2015. It was the first time anyone had taken a serious interest in my guitars and equipment. The guitar I was playing was wearing out after four years of solid touring and I had little time for repairs. Andy loaned me a black Tiger clone made by a reputable builder while I got my instrument set up and ready for the road again. It was truly a life-saving moment for me and also an eye-opening moment into the possibilities that happen with a better instrument in your hand.
Since then, a number of musicians have spent time with Andy exchanging information and learning more about the guitars of the Grateful Dead and 21st century jam bands alike. To be able to tap into the knowledge and the history of the gear while having hands-on access to a collection of instruments through the Grateful Guitars Foundation is an experience like no other. It has helped me and other artists reach a higher musical purpose and potential. This unique foundation connects great players with amazing instruments for a devoted and grateful fan base. I look forward to seeing where Andy takes this foundation, and the joy it brings to musicians and the fans.”
Dave Hebert (Abear), Steely Dead, Very Jerry Band, Xtra Ticket, Melvin Seals and JGB 2011-2016
“GGF is a brilliant idea of Andy Logan’s! This foundation helps Grateful Dead/Jam bands get the gear that can be financially out of reach! Over the years, Andy has impressed me with his generosity and kindness. I feel lucky to call him my buddy.”
Rich Hoeg, Hoeg Guitars
“I have known Andy Logan for several years now and I cannot speak highly enough of his dedication and devotion to the music we all love and to the musicians who perform it. Through the establishment of the Grateful Guitars Foundation, so many talented jam-band musicians’ dreams can be fulfilled and their full potential reached, ensuring the survival of high-quality live music to delight fans and music aficionados for generations to come. The future is in good hands with the GGF!”
Evan Jones, Xtra Ticket
“The jam band world has inspired players, builders, technicians, and fans alike. It’s no secret that the costs of high-quality tools can be prohibitive for many. The folks at Grateful Guitars are genuinely passionate about making dreams come true. It’s inspiring and encouraging to know that somebody values what we musicians do and unites us with our dream gear to bring our musical visions to fruition.”
Alex Jordan, Midnight North, Cubensis, Stu Allen & Mars Hotel, Alex Jordan Band
“Grateful Guitars is an inspiration on many levels. I’m personally invested in the organization since I’m a player who has benefitted from the generosity and vision set forth by GGF. Grateful Guitars assures that players have gear, keeps builders hard at work, and provides the highest quality stage gear for fans to enjoy.”
Nate LaPointe, Cubensis, Bobby Womack, Selena Gomez
“The work that Grateful Guitars is doing is of invaluable assistance to the musicians of the jam band community. Unfortunately, due to the difficult struggle of being a working musician, musicians are in fact the last people able to afford the best, high-quality instruments that they should have access to. I personally have been the benefit of the largesse of Grateful Guitars and have been given and loaned some of the finest instruments that a guitar player (particularly one who plays the music of the Grateful Dead such as myself) can hope to play. In fact, I consider the opportunities I have had to perform on the actual Stratocaster that Jerry Garcia played from 1971 until 1973 to be some of the highlights of my professional life. This foundation goes a long way to correct the symptom of society where the finest instruments are not in the hands of creative musicians but on the walls and in the glass cases of collectors, never to be played again. I fully support the work that Grateful Guitars is doing and I applaud their generosity and kind spirit.”
Jeff Mattson, Dark Star Orchestra, The Zen Tricksters, Jeff Mattson and Friends, Donna Jean Godchaux Band
“I’ve been part of the jam scene for quite a while now—just about half of my life. I’ve shared the stage with members of the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia Band, Phish, Allman Brothers, and many, many more. The growth I’ve found in myself as a player and throughout my overall career has been exponential since linking with Grateful Guitars. In just the last four years, I’ve had more fun and connected more deeply with my gear and instruments than all of the prior years combined. I don’t know where I’d be without Grateful Guitars, and I consider myself and the rest of my scene beyond blessed to be connected with such a beautiful, generous, and loving organization.
Zach Nugent, Melvin Seals & JGB, Zach Nugent Band, Dead Set
“I'm so thankful that Grateful Guitars arranges for iconic instruments to be put into the hands of today's masters for them to bring back the tones we never thought we'd hear live again.”
Nica Orlick-Roy, Director of Operations & Special Events, Terrapin Crossroads
“The music of the Grateful Dead that Dark Star Orchestra performs spans generations. Fans have come to appreciate the band’s unique attention to detail when it comes to the actual sound of recreating the Dead’s music. Grateful Guitars Foundation helps get world class instruments into the hands of our players. The band and fanbase community benefit from this Grateful Guitars Foundation collaboration, as it adds an upgraded historical component to DSO’s already fanatical attention to detail.”
Tim Walther, Manager, Dark Star Orchestra
“It’s hard to overstate what GGF provides to artists. Many artists do not have access to the beautiful tones and moods that these vintage instruments are capable of invoking. An exceptional instrument doesn’t just change your sound, it changes your playing and your posture, and fills you with reverence for the moment. What would Van Gogh be to us without the color blue?
Thank you, GGF.”
Stu Allen, Melvin Seals & JGB, Phil Lesh & Friends, Stu Allen & Mars Hotel