Version 1.0

(??/??/1970-3/1971)

1955 Fender Stratocaster

Serial# 7310

Graham Nash bought the 1955 Fender Stratocaster at a Pawn Shop in Phoenix and exchanged in leau of pay for his work on his album "Songs For Beginners".

The Pickguard, Pickup Covers and Knobs appeared to be non original Bakelite that would have been on an original stock 55 Strat. The Neck Pickup is seen upside down (magnet stagger is backwards), and its cavity was routed to accomodate the space needed.

These photos are from the Guitar Player April 1971 Article and Front Page. . No modifications and no stickers. The interview and photos from the Guitar Player magazine were taken backstage at The Matrix late 1970.

Alligator weighs 7.54lbs

 

 

 

Jerry seen using Alligator for the New Years Eve December 31, 1970 Show at Winterland,

 

Raytheon Knobs Added, NO wiring changes

 

 

 

The A String height shows the Neck Pickup was Reversed when Jerry received Alligator and its pocket in the cavity was routed/chipped out to accomodate the new position and Silver painted over. This was before Rick Turner swapped the Potentiometers out for Clarostat RV4's

 

 

 

 

 

 

Version 1.1

(03/??/1971-06/21/1971)

" I would have done the wiring and shielding. Frank blocked the trem cavity and installed the bridge and tailpiece, I made the scalloped brass nut (and the Alembic Brass Bridge). A lot of this "Alembicizing" work was handed back and forth." ~ Rick Turner

Stock Potentiometers swapped for Mil-Spec Conductive Plastic Rv4 Clarostats.

Shielded with Silver Conductive paint, to include the pickup covers.

 

Herouville, France - June 21, 1971

 

 

Version V1.2

(07/31/1971-01/02/1972)

Scalloped Brass Nut

Schaller Tuning Pegs/Gears

Footmans Loop Brass String Tree Bar on the Low E, A, D, G Strings, B and high E Strings have the Stock 55 Button String Tree

Stock Frets Removed and Tallest available added

Why was the control cavity portion of the pickguard modified?

"Right after i started doing guitars for the Garcia band. Jerry was playing an old Fender Stratocaster, and the plastic plate that holds the knobs broke while he was playing and they all fell off the guitar. We had to rig up a quick template on the spot. ~GP July 1988 -Steve Parish~

The first Control Cavity Cutout " Quick Template" turned out to be cut from a Masonite Clipboard and its color slowly changed to a darker brown with time.

 

 

Gaelic Park 08/26/71

 

Version 2.0

(03/5/1972)

Modded " Tune"o"Matic Bridge w/Thumbscrew Height Adjustment and new Tailpiece, Per Frank Fuller it's bottom was grinded down to shave off some height.

The Tune"o"Matic Bridge first appears sometime around March 5, 1972. Frank Fuller custom fabricated the Brass Tailpiece.

The Trem cavity was "Blocked" wih a Mahogany block and epoxied in place to fill the Tremolo cavity hole to accomodate for the installation of the Rick Turner fabricated Brass Sustain Block under the bridge.

"Keep on Truckin" Crumb Sticker added to the body

A Small Mahogany Shim was placed toward the neck pickup in the neck pocket

Stock Jackplate

 

 

Version 3.0

(03/21/1972)

An Onboard Alembic Prototype Blaster(no trimpot or 6.8uf capacitor = Static 3db Gain) was installed and experimented/tested briefly on March 21st 1975..

Steve Parish and Kidd Candelario both confirmed and stated " No Battery" was used in Alligator. The Proto Blaster was removed at some point in that March run just before they went to Europe in April and not used again.

Hand Hammered Brass Plate under the Stock Fender Jackplate was made for placement of the Blaster for the experiment per Frank Fuller.

The Harley Davidson sticker appears between 6/17 - 7/16, Rumor is Sam Cutler provided this sticker.

Ron Wickershams custom designed the Prototype Blaster for Jerry Garcia,

The Production model of the Alembic Blaster as known today with the added gain and bypass switch was not produced until 1975.

Jerry never used the Alembic Blaster, except for the prototype experiment, as sold from 1975 to today.

 

 

Version 4.0

Europe April 1972

At the Beat Club during Europe 72 Tour Jerry put another sticker on the guitar that came from a European Music Magazine called Musiek Express.

(Note: The Above Pillhuhn Drawing is a depiction of what it looked like and is not the Original Design.)

Kidd Candalerio stated the added Alligator Sticker was found in Europe 72.

 

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Other Guitars used on various dates from 8/27/72 thru 11/26/72 and Spring '73
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Version V4.1

(12/10/1972-08/01/1973)

Healy Wiring #2

Custom Alembic (Turner) Brass Bridge

Rosewood riser underneath the Tailpiece butted against the Sustainer Block

Rick Turner Hand Hammered Brass Control Plate replaces the first Masonite/Clipboard one used

A Pendleton Rodeo Sticker is placed on the upper horn.

 

 

 

 

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Gator is retired from stage use. Last used 8/1/73. Wolf V1.0 Appears 9/5/73
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Version 5.0

This final version of Alligator was not seen in any photo used onstage and was left with the Volume control removed.

Arrives at Auction on December 10, 2019

https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/25922/lot/323/

 

Policeman Helper was not on Gator when played with the GD.

 

 

 

 

Auction Photos

Wiring as seen at Auction.

 

 

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