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Graham Nash reunited with guitar he gifted Jerry Garcia over 50 years ago

Bobby Bank/Getty Images

Graham Nash was recently reunited with a guitar he hasn’t seen in over 50 years. 

Nash was playing a concert in Berkeley, California, on Monday, July 10, where he was reunited with Jerry Garcia’s infamous “Alligator” guitar, which was actually gifted to the Grateful Dead frontman by Nash to thank him for playing pedal steel on the Crosby, Stills & Nash classic “Teach your Children.”

Photographer Jay Bakesberg, who photographed Nash’s performance, relayed the story on Instagram. He explained that after being gifted the guitar, Garcia added a green alligator sticker, which is how it got its nickname. It became his go-to guitar, especially during the Dead’s tour of Europe in 1972. 

“Graham never saw the guitar again … until this past Monday night when Alligator was brought to the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, CA by Andy Logan via the Grateful Guitars Foundation,” Blakesberg said. Nash’s bandmate Shane Fontayne actually played it, while Nash played a “Martin acoustic that Garcia used to record American Beauty.”

Both guitars were played for Nash’s encore, which fittingly was “Teach Your Children,” with Blakesberg calling it a “Legendary reunion.”

Nash is currently on a tour of North America. He plays the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, California, on July 15 and 16. A complete list of dates can be found at

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