Skip to main content

Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead’s custom “Chrysler” Fender Bassman has surfaced on Reverb for $55K

Grateful Dead Chrysler Bassman
(Image credit: Reverb/Gordie's Guitar Shop)

The Grateful Dead has one of the most fiercely loyal fanbases out there, and now Deadheads have the chance to buy a unique part of the band’s history, as a custom ‘Chrysler’ Fender Bassman that once belonged to Jerry Garcia has surfaced for sale on reverb.com (opens in new tab) with an asking price of $55,872 (£46,531.73).

The amp - being sold as-described with no returns - was part of Garcia’s arsenal and served mostly as a backup amp during rehearsals, but did however, reportedly make it onto a record when it was used to record an overdub on Shakedown Street, the song which shares its title with the band’s 1978 album.

Longterm Grateful Dead roadie, “Big” Steve Parish, tells Reverb that the amp was purchased by the band in 1969 from Leo’s Music (now out of business) in Oakland, California. “It was already covered with a white plush tone covering and [had] a custom leather handle at the top." 

Jerry’s Fender Bassman is thought to have been made circa 1960, and as mentioned is covered with white padded vinyl, as well as having had a Chrysler badge mounted to the front edge.

Aside from the obvious customisations, there’s little information on the “Chrysler’s” condition or any further mods, although reverb.com (opens in new tab) adds that the amp’s original speakers are present and intact.

The amp is listed on reverb.com (opens in new tab) via Gordie’s Guitar Store in Langley, Canada with the facility to make an offer also available.  

Stuart Williams
Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.