A Grateful Dead "kitchen beater" acoustic guitar used at 710 Ashbury Street, 1960s
Lot 13
A Grateful Dead "kitchen beater" Kay acoustic guitar used at 710 Ashbury Street, 1960s
Sold for US$ 4,800 inc. premium

Lot Details
A Grateful Dead "kitchen beater" acoustic guitar used at 710 Ashbury Street, 1960s A Grateful Dead "kitchen beater" acoustic guitar used at 710 Ashbury Street, 1960s A Grateful Dead "kitchen beater" acoustic guitar used at 710 Ashbury Street, 1960s
A Grateful Dead "kitchen beater" Kay acoustic guitar used at 710 Ashbury Street, 1960s
The body spruce with darker mahogany stained sides; the fretboard ebony with five "homemade" sticker inlays created and affixed by Pig Pen himself [Ron McKernan]; an interior label seen through the sound hole reads "The Classic Guitar / Style No. K 4020 / Kay Musical Instrument Co;" included is a newer black case not original to guitar.
Length: 38in

Footnotes

  • "Almost every young student of fretted acoustic instruments in the 1950s and early 1960s probably learned on a Kay-built guitar. Kay produced instruments that were reasonably priced, reliable, simple, and easy to play. They also created a plywood standup bass preferred by Bill Monroe and hence a sound that has defined bluegrass music to this day. It is only fitting that this Kay could usually be found parked in our pantry at 710 Ashbury Street. We called it “the kitchen beater” because it was kept in that room and because it was old, even back then. It was briefly beat on by the best: all members of The Dead (including Pig Pen who even went so far as to add its inlays himself), Eric Burdon and all The Animals, Steve Miller, Elvin Bishop, and Mike Bloomfield, plus most of the local and visiting musicians of the day who stopped by at one time or another for a drink, a smoke, and a hoot. (Pig Pen wisely kept his own nearly pristine Kay guitar in his bedroom, the same one now being offered in LOT 14.) This "kitchen beater" guitar was soon replaced by much finer instruments so we retired her. I dressed this guitar up in a 1920s-era lady’s corset that I bought on Haight Street and then hung it on the front door of 710. She remained there for a number of months before being swiped. Several years later, I found this exact same guitar at a flea market. The guy I bought it from thankfully had no clue of its history. I knew it was the same guitar because of Pig Pen’s homemade inlays still intact -- weird that it came back to me all those years later."
    -Rock Scully
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armor, Coins & Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, and Wine & Whisky:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first $100,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from $100,001 to $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12% on the excess over $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. A processing fee will be assessed on any returned checks. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Similar Items