If you know me, you know I’m a big fan of Jerry Garcia, who played Travis Bean guitars for several years in the 70s with the Grateful Dead and the Jerry Garcia Band. So having these lefties here is a special treat for me.
This very limited edition TB-1000 Artist JG guitar from Travis Bean Designs is a spot-on lefty recreation of Jerry’s first Travis Bean stage guitar, serial #51, a first generation 1000A. The carve, color and electronics are matched to Jerry Garcia’s original 1000A, with Travis Bean high gain Alnico 5 humbucker pickups, direct re-creations of Jerry’s original pickups made to spec from the notes from the original guitar. 500K pots, Sprague capacitors, Thermax coax cable from NASA, Switchcraft input jack and 3-way switch, Schaller M6 tuners and a brass nut.
The tone is pure 75-76 Garcia; these guitars have the pickups mounted directly to the billet of T6061-T6 aluminum that the neck is milled from, and the sustain is tremendous, like playing a tuning fork. These guitars are not lightweight instruments by any stretch but that actually helps them balance better due to the weighty neck. Eat your Wheaties.
Travis Bean Designs is a venture formed by Kevin Burkett and Rita Bean; its origins date back to when Travis and Rita decided to reissue updated versions of his landmark guitars in 1997. Unfortunately, Travis passed before it came to fruition, but his friend and original business partner Marc McElwee provided notes and specs from the original designs from the 70s and signed off on the newer prototype designs based on Travis’ own prototypes. Marc’s notes included specs from the original guitars built for Jerry Garcia in the mid 70s. Other notable Travis Bean players include Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, Slash, Ace Frehley, Joe Perry and John Mayer.
Condition: New; Body: African mahogany, carved top; Neck: Aluminum, rosewood fretboard, 12 radius; Nut: brass; Color: white; Pickups: Travis Bean high gain Alnico 5 humbuckers; Scale: 24.75; Orientation: Lefthanded (of course)