Grateful Dead Ukuleles

fingerguy

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Anyone buy the Grateful Dad ukuleles? My fiance did and she doesn't play, she just wants to hang them on the wall.
 

Jerryc41

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I has the Roses style - nice instrument, no complaints. I sold mine, but a friend still has his.

That Mahalo is a good deal, especially for a wall hanger. If you know someone who can paint, you could make your own design.
 

azairvine

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I might get the Mahalo for my mate. The Alvarez look amazing, but end up 5-6x more expensive with postage!
 

AQUATOPAZ

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I might get the Mahalo for my mate. The Alvarez look amazing, but end up 5-6x more expensive with postage!

The Mahalo is a Day of the Dead ukulele, NOT a Grateful Dead one. Day of the Dead is the Mexican celebration akin to Halloween, but which honors their ancestors.
 

azairvine

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The Mahalo is a Day of the Dead ukulele, NOT a Grateful Dead one. Day of the Dead is the Mexican celebration akin to Halloween, but which honors their ancestors.

eeeep! Thanks for pointing that out, could've been embarrassing. I'm clearly not a Dead Head! o_O
 

AQUATOPAZ

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The Mahalo Company Website calls the uke "Mahaloween". Its model MA1MA. So its a halloween uke, not a Day of the Dead, even though they are close to the same date. They also have a Pirate uke, and a Dalmation in the same product range. I might call mine the Brexit uke, since I like the UK history of Halloween more than the USA version.
Its not the Alvarez Grateful Dead tribute uke, but it is interesting. The (ply)wood seems to come from plantations in Indonesia and it has Graphtech components and genuine Aquila strings. A graphtech nut costs AU$17 in Perth. Aquila Strings cost AU$20. At AU$50 delivered it has some good value. How it sounds remains to be heard.
The Alvarez is also interesting, there are five models to collect and getting them all might cost less than US$400. Not a bad price for a set of collectible ukes. Obviously they wont be vintage Martin, but it is still an interesting collectible.

It 100% Day of the Dead, which everyone here in SoCal would recognize as such because of our proximity to Mexico, and because of that proximity, we have begun to use many Day of the Dead decorations for our own Halloween celebrations or year round. The Day of the Dead is the day after our Halloween, but it has a different meaning, more of reverence for the dead and spirits of ancestors, than fear of spirits. Just google Day of the Dead and you will see what the motif looks like instead of knee jerk disputing. You could also contact Mahalo and simply ask them if their Mahalloween uke is a Day of the Dead uke. It is also possible, I guess, that Mahalo Australia is ignorant of the Mexican Day of the Dead and of American Halloween and culturally appropriated the Mexican motif because they wrongly assumed it was Halloween, our American quasi holiday, which they may not understand. Most stores here carry Day of the Dead decorations.We are heavily influenced by our southern neighbors, but we also acknowledge what they are. You could also watch the quite entertaining animated film Coco to learn more about the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday.
 
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John boy

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I didn't know there was a Grateful Dead uke until this thread was posted. That Alvarez Grateful Dead uke looks just like their neckties. I was never a Dead head either, but my wife used to like their neckties (I guess technically they were Jerry Garcia neckties, not GD neckties). Anyhoo, this is news to me.

Fingerguy, have you played your fiance's uke that she bought?
 

Rllink

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The Mahalo Company Website calls the uke "Mahaloween". Its model MA1MA. So its a halloween uke, not a Day of the Dead, even though they are close to the same date. They also have a Pirate uke, and a Dalmation in the same product range. I might call mine the Brexit uke, since I like the UK history of Halloween more than the USA version.
Its not the Alvarez Grateful Dead tribute uke, but it is interesting. The (ply)wood seems to come from plantations in Indonesia and it has Graphtech components and genuine Aquila strings. A graphtech nut costs AU$17 in Perth. Aquila Strings cost AU$20. At AU$50 delivered it has some good value. How it sounds remains to be heard.
The Alvarez is also interesting, there are five models to collect and getting them all might cost less than US$400. Not a bad price for a set of collectible ukes. Obviously they wont be vintage Martin, but it is still an interesting collectible.

It 100% Day of the Dead, which everyone here in SoCal would recognize as such because of our proximity to Mexico, and because of that proximity, we have begun to use many Day of the Dead decorations for our own Halloween celebrations or year round. The Day of the Dead is the day after our Halloween, but it has a different meaning, more of reverence for the dead and spirits of ancestors, than fear of spirits. Just google Day of the Dead and you will see what the motif looks like instead of knee jerk disputing. You could also contact Mahalo and simply ask them if their Mahalloween uke is a Day of the Dead uke. It is also possible, I guess, that Mahalo Australia is ignorant of the Mexican Day of the Dead and of American Halloween and culturally appropriated the Mexican motif because they wrongly assumed it was Halloween, our American quasi holiday, which they may not understand. Most stores here carry Day of the Dead decorations.We are heavily influenced by our southern neighbors, but we also acknowledge what they are. You could also watch the quite entertaining animated film Coco to learn more about the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday.


Right on the money AQUATOPAZ

https://movies.disney.com/coco

Watched it a dozen times with my grand daughter.
 

AQUATOPAZ

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Looking more closely.
This is the link:
mahaloukuleles.com.au/ukulele-series/art-series-soprano-ukuleles/
The eBay site selling the ukes from Melbourne has the part number MA1SKBK, which corresponds to "Skull (Black)" on the Mahalo site. The Mahaloeen model has part number MA1MA and may only be available in China. But there is no mention of "Day of the Dead" on the Mahalo site.
Interestingly, it is called Skull Ukulele or Sugar Skull ukulele on a few sites outside of Australia, but "Day of The Dead" on most Australian sites which sell it. That is a reflection of what the Australian distributor thinks will attract buyers, I doubt that it has any real connection to the Mexican festival. "Day of the Dead" sounds cool like a skull tattoo on your "guns" in the gym, any relationship to a festival may be purely coincidental.
In surfing around looking for info, I have found that the Chinese and Asian cultures celebrate their own Ghost Festivals every year. They often have skull motifs on the costumes and there are celebrations and festival activities. I suspect that the Skull(Black) ukulele is aimed at Asian parents who buy their children a musical present for their version of the annual Ghost Festival, and that apart from looks, it has no intended connection to any Mexican festival. Some sites translate the Asian name for the festival into things like "Chinese Halloween", so naming the product with the Chinese translation of Mahaloeen in China would be good marketing.
I have met Chinese people who have a superstition about the words "dead" and "death". The number 44 is though to be bad luck because it sounds like the word for Death in Chinese. So I doubt that a Chinese company would use the words "Day of the Dead" in any product description, they would see it as being very unfortunate. I think that if I gave some of my Chinese friends a "Day of the Dead" ukulele it would get burnt as soon as I left the house, and the Feng Shui man would be called in to fix the energy hole in the house. And the uke is made in China by one of the oldest ukulele production companies in China. So I think the company would call it Skull(Black) or Mahaloeen as the English language product name.
Buying a $50 possibly collectible uke can be very interesting, you do not have to spend a lot of money to enjoy collecting and owning ukuleles. That is why the five Alvarez ukes which are the subject of this thread are so interesting. For less than US$400, you get the five ukes with the artwork to explore Grateful Dead history and with the right strings and set-up, you also get a playable musical instrument.
Anyway, the Mahalo MA1BLSK model I ordered will arrive soon and I can hear how it sounds out of the box.

It is a sugar skull which are used for the Day of the Dead celebrations, which is why I said it's 100% Day of the Dead.
"Sugar skulls represented a departed soul, had the name written on the forehead and was placed on the home ofrenda or gravestone to honor the return of a particular spirit. Sugar skull art reflects the folk art style of big happy smiles, colorful icing and sparkly tin and glittery adornments."
Here is the link to a news article about it. http://link.ucop.edu/2018/10/22/sug...screening-celebrate-dia-de-los-muertos-at-op/
 
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Rllink

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Looking more closely.
This is the link:
mahaloukuleles.com.au/ukulele-series/art-series-soprano-ukuleles/
The eBay site selling the ukes from Melbourne has the part number MA1SKBK, which corresponds to "Skull (Black)" on the Mahalo site. The Mahaloeen model has part number MA1MA and may only be available in China. But there is no mention of "Day of the Dead" on the Mahalo site.
Interestingly, it is called Skull Ukulele or Sugar Skull ukulele on a few sites outside of Australia, but "Day of The Dead" on most Australian sites which sell it. That is a reflection of what the Australian distributor thinks will attract buyers, I doubt that it has any real connection to the Mexican festival. "Day of the Dead" sounds cool like a skull tattoo on your "guns" in the gym, any relationship to a festival may be purely coincidental.
In surfing around looking for info, I have found that the Chinese and Asian cultures celebrate their own Ghost Festivals every year. They often have skull motifs on the costumes and there are celebrations and festival activities. I suspect that the Skull(Black) ukulele is aimed at Asian parents who buy their children a musical present for their version of the annual Ghost Festival, and that apart from looks, it has no intended connection to any Mexican festival. Some sites translate the Asian name for the festival into things like "Chinese Halloween", so naming the product with the Chinese translation of Mahaloeen in China would be good marketing.
I have met Chinese people who have a superstition about the words "dead" and "death". The number 44 is though to be bad luck because it sounds like the word for Death in Chinese. So I doubt that a Chinese company would use the words "Day of the Dead" in any product description, they would see it as being very unfortunate. I think that if I gave some of my Chinese friends a "Day of the Dead" ukulele it would get burnt as soon as I left the house, and the Feng Shui man would be called in to fix the energy hole in the house. And the uke is made in China by one of the oldest ukulele production companies in China. So I think the company would call it Skull(Black) or Mahaloeen as the English language product name.
Buying a $50 possibly collectible uke can be very interesting, you do not have to spend a lot of money to enjoy collecting and owning ukuleles. That is why the five Alvarez ukes which are the subject of this thread are so interesting. For less than US$400, you get the five ukes with the artwork to explore Grateful Dead history and with the right strings and set-up, you also get a playable musical instrument.
Anyway, the Mahalo MA1BLSK model I ordered will arrive soon and I can hear how it sounds out of the box.

I think Bill, that if you had ever participated in a day of the dead festival or had ever been around Mexican people when they are celebrating the day of the dead you would recognize that ukulele is being marketed toward the day of the dead. The graphics are unmistakable. By the way, sugar skulls are part of the day of the dead festival. Street vendors sell them everywhere during the festival. Like I said, maybe you have to experience it to fully understand the significance of the graphics on that ukulele.
 
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Have the Alvarez Tatoo GD uke and it plays much better than I expected. I only knew “Ripple” so worked out “Casey Jones” for a 2nd song. Folks don’t expect to see something that different in our area song jams. Gotta be careful as folks will ask for other Grateful Dead songs which I’ve never heard or know. (More passerby’s at open air jams will do this)
 

Pueo

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I am a Deadhead and that Alvarez Lightning is calling me!
 

AQUATOPAZ

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Sure the motif looks like the sugar skull motif. its just a decoration on a low cost ukulele. In 2019 the Sugar Skull motif goes way beyond the original items made out of real sugar in the most southern parts of North America. In the other continents of the planet like Asia, Europe and Australia it is has taken on a different cultural flavour.

Not sure if you just hate admitting you're wrong or if there's more there. There is a difference between using a cultural motif to decorate with while acknowledging what it is, and using it and saying , ahh, it just looks like it but it's really just a nice look. Obliterating the identity of an important cultural symbol of the Mexican people, or any other people, by saying it no longer is that symbol, just a decoration is racist. Cultural artifacts of non-Caucasians are important too. That means Mexican ones such as the sugar skull, and all Aborigine ones from your area. I had hoped that you just didn't know anything about Sugar Skulls and the Day of the Dead, and so I sought to inform you about the significance. Now I'm wondering if you're just stubborn, or worse. If it's the latter, news flash. The world is full of many cultural symbols from many ethnicities, and they are ALL important, not just the Caicasian ones.
 

fingerguy

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People relax and please take your issues via PM. This is about the Dead Ukuleles. Geez! People take forums way too seriously!!!
 

WestyShane

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People relax and please take your issues via PM. This is about the Dead Ukuleles.

Geeze, thanks for this. More so than that whole Day of the Dead debacle, as a Steal-Your-Face tattoo wearing fan, I'm more disappointed by the apparent lack of GD knowledge on display here.

People take forums way too seriously!!!

At risk of offending anyone, I've noticed that this is more true on this forum than on any other that I frequent. Maybe musicians are more sensitive or easily offended than skiers/snowboarders, car buffs, or bicyclists.