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  Top Hat
  Guitar photos © Steve Armato

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Jerry Garcia’s “Top Hat”.  Walnut core with cocobolo top and back, laminated cocobolo, maple and rosewood neck, laminated headstock, 24 fret cocobolo fretboard with recycled ivory inlays, black Schaller hardware. Top hat design made of warthog tusk and served as coverplate for battery compartment (for MIDI).”
Original description by Steve Cripe and transcribed by Hal Hammer, Jr.

Sandwiching of body layers:
Top Hat Guitar
Five layered body from the top: Cocobolo, maple, walnut, maple, Cocobolo.

Top Hat also has a nine-ply neck through the body construction with alternating cocobolo, maple, and rosewood and laminates:
Cripe Top Hat

Top Hat’s laminated neck through the body.

The fret markers are double trapezoid inlays made of recycled ivory. At the 9th fret, one of the inlays is now missing. Top Hat has a larger firecracker inlay than Lightning Bolt.
top hat neck
Top Hat's Headstock and Fretboard.

  Jerry Garcia ©Bob Minkin

Garcia with Irwin’s Rosebud

Cripe duplicated Irwin’s “rose ears” body style with Top Hat as well.  He had to “wing it” and build Top Hat from scratch since he failed to photograph or document Lightning Bolt before sending it to Garcia.


top hat v

Top Hat's Volute.

top hat front and back

Top Hat weighs 10.4 pounds and has a 25 3/4” scale. It measures 40 1/4 “ from top to bottom.

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