Photo Credit: ©2023 Jon R. Luini/ Chime Interactive

This past weekend, Los Lobos celebrated their 50th anniversary of live performances with a night of music at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium. Elevating the specialty of the occasion was the inclusion of a historic instrument: Jerry Garcia’s Fender Strat, known as “Alligator,” a nod to the affixed sticker, resembling a cartoon reptile. Taking charge of the storied axe was David Hidalgo, who generously was gifted the opportunity via Andy Logan and Grateful Guitars Foundation. 

The pair of concerts yielded special musical moments, elevated by the visible pleasure plastered on the musician’s face as he riffed on the fabled instrument. Fellow member of Los Lobos, Steve Berlin, commented that during Friday’s show, he heard notes unlike any he’d seen before from his longtime bandmate, Hidalgo. 

Notably, Hidalgo and Garcia shared a bond–during one of the first outings following the Grateful Dead guitarist’s 1986 diabetic coma, he went to see Los Lobos perform at a small bar in San Rafael, the location of the official Grateful Dead offices at the time, a spot called New George’s. As the saying goes, Jerry had big ears and loved the Wolves.

Hidalgo’s experience was made possible by Logan and Grateful Guitars Foundation, whose mission is to share very special and historic instruments with some of the best players in America. “These instruments should be played, not mounted on a wall.  I wanted to share them with the fans and players who have loved the Grateful Dead so that the jam scene is enlivened by their unique tones and historical significance,” Logan offered, outlining his endeavor. 

Learn more about Grateful Guitars by visiting their official website