Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

When it doesn't fit anywhere else
 #138319  by elroy2288
 Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:34 pm

Below is a link to a crisp video of Jeff Mattson playing the Steve Cripe Tribute from last Saturday (4/12/14) at the GAMH in SF.

The link doesn't want to open in the window for some reason. I tried with the "youtube" button and the "URL" one to no avail, so you have to copy the link into your browser to see it. It's worth it! :smile:

Andy ... nn__2IT27A
 #138336  by elroy2288
 Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:10 am
Thanks for the tip on posting youtube videos!

Your band site is great. I especially enjoy the gear pages and the sweet axes.

If you guys consider a Bay Area visit, let me know and I'll bring the Cripe! :wink:

 #138352  by Rusty the Scoob
 Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:51 am
Oh, you own it!! :hail: Wouldn't mind hearing the story of how that came to happen if you don't mind sharing. No problem if you'd rather keep it private. Thanks for the kind words, I'd love to make it out to the Bay Area somehow! :cool:
 #138365  by elroy2288
 Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:26 pm
I've only owned it for a little over a year. And I don't mind sharing the backstory, though it may take a day or so to post. I will open a photo bucket account, and upload some photos that help tell its recent history.

Andy :-)
 #138366  by tatittle
 Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:44 pm
Mattson is probably my favorite "Jerry style" player. I am not familiar with too many of the Garcia players since I haven't gotten out much in recent years (lol), but he really has that X factor that moves me which I haven't experienced with other guys Ive seen. I should really try and see him when he is in the area. He has terrific blues playing in Jerry's vein and nobody Ive seen is as smooth really plays "in the pocket"--always something to say too.
 #138400  by elroy2288
 Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:54 pm
I finally uploaded some shots to photo bucket, so I can share a visual story of the Tribute. If you want to see all the shots in the album, go here: ... t=2&page=1


I was a fan starting in 1986 when I went to boarding school in CT, where I grew up, and was introduced to the band's bootlegs. I saw over 78 shows from Hartford in April of 88 to Vegas in May of 1995. I moved to the Bay Area in 1992 after graduating from college, so I also saw about 25 JGB shows, mostly at the Warfield. I was an avid fan, but not a musician. After Jer died, I learned to play the drums, as I was afraid I couldn't play the guitar. It seemed too difficult. After having kids, I decided that was lame, so picked up trying to learn the guitar in 2006 and have been collecting guitars as I go ever since. My first GD-style guitar was a Thomas Lieber, American Beauty classic from 2008. I bought a Moriarty Wolf in 2012. I also have some off the shelf ones that were influenced by JG, like the SG, Les Paul, Strat and a vintage Bean, though none of these have an OBEL. I also have worked on putting together a JG rig, which is now complete, with the gracious help of Mike Wald.

The Cripe backstory is that I was surfing the net over Xmas in 2012 and looking at photos and information on Steve Cripe. On Steve Armato's great Cripe website, I saw an ad for the sale of the guitar. I figured it would be too costly, but gave it a shot and inquired. It was priced very fairly and so I spoke to Steve and then the seller, Adam Palow. Adam was to be Cripe's apprentice when he suddenly passed in 1996 and had the guitar mostly in its case since. He was looking for the right buyer and loved the idea that I would do my best to get it played on stage by Jerry-inspired players. With the support of Steve Armato, Mike Wald, photographer's Bob Minkin and Suzy Perler and Jerry Day creator Tom Murphy, getting it out there has become a reality. As a fan, it always bothered me that Tiger was on some wall and never to be seen by Deadheads. I also adore the Cripe story, as it is the ultimate fan story. From doing lots of research, I have learned how particular Garcia was about his sound and his tools and it simply blows me away that he would put down his trusted Irwin axe for an unknown and unproven fan's creation. That must have been so validating for Steve! I recognize that the Tribute was never touched by Jerry, but I love that it was intended for him in the lineage of Lightning Bolt and Top Hat and especially that it was finished as a tribute to him. It seems really right that it should be played by Jerry-inspired players that have "kept the conversation going," as these players and us fans are also a tribute to Jerry and his lasting legacy. I also have thought about the idea of the Grateful Dead and how it's about fulfilling destinies of those who have passed on, so if getting Cripe's guitar played does that at all, it really pumps me up. I also know that Jerry was not a material guy and would want it to be ripped on the way it was intended versus hanging on a wall.

So, if you know of a player that is visiting the Bay Area, have them contact me. I will buy a ticket to their show and bring it along!

All the best,
Andy :smile:

 #138404  by ccw3432
 Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:30 pm
Andy, Your story and intent with this guitar makes me happy. This is what it's about. What a pleasure it would be to play that guitar. What a wonderful and moving experience for those who will play it through your generosity. Keep it alive my friend... :-)
 #138408  by James-T
 Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:26 am
From being a Florida resident for three years and living on the water surrounded by boats I can really appreciate Cripe's palm tree and dolphin motifs.....and the old school shipwright inspired detailing of this instrument. What a fantastic treasure and thanks for sharing your storey and photos with us, and for sharing the guitar with such amazing musicians! :smile:


 #138412  by joethepainter
 Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:28 am
Thank you for sharing that story, Andy...and there's no better way to pay 'tribute' than what you're doing with that awesome guitar! Truly inspiring! That's a great version of 'Mission In The Rain', by the way...Jeff really nails it!
 #138422  by TI4-1009
 Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:44 pm
Thanks for sharing, Andy! So tell us about the SG behind you in the photo. Clearly not your everyday off-the-rack SG?
 #138423  by elroy2288
 Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:07 pm
Thank you all for so many kind words! :-)

Your opinions mean a great deal to me.

Happy Easter and 420,
Andy :D

I will do my best to answer your questions, though most of what I have learned is from reading your posts, so bear with my lay person answers.

Regarding the SG, that is Stu Allen's guitar. I only know it was heavily modified by him. He used that as his main guitar before he got his Moriarty custom a few years ago and now the SG is his backup.

As for the pickups on the Tribute, they are all Schaller humbuckers. I don't know the product name or numbers. The bridge and middle have allen holes and the bridge has a mix of flat head and iron barrels. On the Schaller site, there is a PU called Golden 50, which may be this one, though the color looks more like the bridge version on the web. I'm not sure how old they are, though they have to be well over 15 years old. I asked why Cripe wanted Schallers versus Jerry's usual and Adam Palow said that Cripe loved German products and even owned two nearly identical vintage silver diesel Mercedes. There is also a Piezo pickup in the saddle, which is pretty wild. I asked Gary Brawer about that and he said many listeners (who had a better ear than me) thought that Lightning Bolt had a Piezo pickup. I guess Parish told Gary that the rumored sound was as a result of some anomaly. Anyway, I guess they put it on because they liked the sound. It has a blend knob and when you open up the Piezo fully, it sounds like an acoustic/electric guitar, especially when you slide a chord up the neck. This is out of my league, but maybe this is good for an electric version of songs like FOTD. When it is on halfway, it does sound pretty cool in conjunction with the humbuckers. In the Mission video, you can see Jeff turn off the Piezo for the jam...

In this shot, you can see the difference between the bridge and middle and neck PUs: