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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

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 #136721  by waldo041
 Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:09 pm
I am gonna say no, this is not an irwin.
Dozin wrote:It doesn't have any of Doug's characteristics to it.

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~waldo
 #136722  by TI4-1009
 Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:01 pm
Wouldn't you expect the eagle on the headstock by mid-70s?
 #136732  by TI4-1009
 Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:10 am
Now THAT'S interesting!
 #136735  by Dozin
 Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:59 am
Id like to see the joint on the back of the peg head
 #136743  by waldo041
 Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:31 am
Dozin wrote:Id like to see the joint on the back of the peg head
I thought the same thing, but that is sorta an alembic thing rather then an Irwin. Meaning this could be another alembic employees after hours work, such as a Dolan.

~waldo
 #136754  by Troy Estes
 Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:50 pm
I wonder who made it. It came from California around 1976. It was purchased for 3K in '76 new. Any ideas? I've allowed a couple guitarists to play it, they're lovin it. The luthiers in the area are sure about the circuitry. There has to be a builder out there somewhere that has see the neck/body joint style and wood use. Thanks for the info.
 #137196  by seamones
 Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:15 pm
playingdead wrote:I believe this is the real deal (bought by a friend of mine in a music store near SF years ago):

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That guitar is sweet! Is that a maple top? Mahogany back?

Thanks
 #137241  by TI4-1009
 Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:07 am
playingdead wrote:There's one on eBay ...

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200 ... =824&kw=lg

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Reminiscent of the famous screaming dollar Irwin.

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This one's back on ebay- I guess there were no takers :lol:
 #137256  by tatittle
 Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:58 pm
Im hardly a master woodworker, but the neck joint doesn't look like it was modified from a production guitar to me. The way the body wood and neck meet and follow the shape of the carving seems so perfect it would need to be planned from the outset. Interesting groove on the back too...I am wondering if my thumb would fit in that groove perfectly when playing up high? That would be ergonomic, perhaps be a bit annoying in the frets right under those though.
 #137263  by barefootdave
 Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:34 pm
I emailed the eBay guy requesting anything that could validate his claims. No response at all, just relisted it.
 #137264  by tatittle
 Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:32 pm
If Mr. Irwin is no longer active publically re: guitars, making dishonest or liberal claims about something being his work have less risk of being exposed or challenged legally unfortunately. In this respect, especially considering the collectability, reputation, and demand, he may be an especially ripe target for miserable scammers.

Those pickups are interesting too. Could they be early Alembic? Parts of the guitar appear rather blocky to me, yet others refined. I would bet against it being Irwin but I haven't even held an Irwin guitar; thus it isn't even an opinion, but merely a guess.

I was commenting on the 1st pictured guitar with rosewood fretboard and skunkstripe. But I just realized the negative space guitar resembles the figures that 1980's SoHo artist used to do...they were everywhere. Keith Haring. Its like one of his figures jumping for joy, especially from the back. Wonder if he was an influence for it, or if it is just coincidence due to the use of negative space.
 #137275  by waldo041
 Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:24 am
tatittle wrote:I was commenting on the 1st pictured guitar with rosewood fretboard and skunkstripe. But I just realized the negative space guitar resembles the figures that 1980's SoHo artist used to do...they were everywhere. Keith Haring. Its like one of his figures jumping for joy, especially from the back. Wonder if he was an influence for it, or if it is just coincidence due to the use of negative space.
Rick Turner, Frank Fuller and Alembic was doing them in the 70's.

Here is an Example.
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http://www.gruhn.com/features/jwinter/ez4787.html

~waldo
 #137314  by tatittle
 Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:37 pm
I noticed the lines/seams that follow the neck(thru?) are skewed at the bottom, I presume due to the process of creating the dragon. If you look at the neck joint on the original guitar it looks like it has a similar type thing going on. That along with the pickups and control layout suggests it could indeed be a very early project (pre-Alembic even?) of one of those guys to me (as Waldo suggested). My understanding is Irwin wasn't part of the earliest days but a hired hand at Alembic, so he wouldn't be a likely candidate if above is accurate, especially with the lack of any clear Irwin trademarks.