I owe a debt of gratitude to all of you on the Grateful Dead Forum http://www.RUKIND.com
. As many of you may know by now, my Doug Irwin
"Dragon" bass, built for me in 1976-77 from the same piece of wood as Jerry's "Tiger" by Luthier Tom Lieber was stolen from me in Germany in 1978 at a Jefferson Starship concert in Germany. Tom worked with Doug in his shop. We completely lost track of the instrument...every so often Tom and I would lament the loss of this beautiful, one of a kind work of art. Then four years ago Tom placed a photo of the bass on your Forum asking people to come forward if they had any idea where it might be. We offered a reward. Magically, a few weeks ago a fellow in Germany who had bought the bass in 1991 came forward saying it had been sitting in its case unused for many years...he had stopped playing in bands. He recently decided to get back into playing and did an Internet search to try and find out about the bass and came across the photo on Tom's forum post. He decided he couldn't play a bass he knew had been stolen...even though he felt he legally owned it. We came to a monetary arrangement and I now have the bass back. Tom has restored the original pick-up configuration, refretted the neck, and mended a crack in the peg head. I played "Dragon" for the first time with "Moonalice" at the Bottlerock Festival in Napa, California last Thursday. I can't believe it is back in my hands again after 35 years. It plays like a dream. My thanks again to the forum, and to Klaus for coming out of the woodwork...we may never have recovered the instrument otherwise.
My best to everyone, Jerry's smiling down.