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Thread: Grateful Dead Ukuleles

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Default Grateful Dead Ukuleles

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

  2. #2

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    I've recently found a few online. My mate is a massive Dead Head and I know he'd love one!!! I'd really like to buy one for him, but I don't have spare cash laying around at the moment.

    There's the Mahalo:

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Mahalo-A...r=690286883041

    Or the Alvarez in 5 designs:

    https://www.guitarcenter.com/Alvarez...f200010a1c0e0d

  3. #3
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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.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  4. #4

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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!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by azairvine View Post
    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.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by AQUATOPAZ View Post
    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

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    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, [B]and because[B] 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.
    Last edited by AQUATOPAZ; 09-11-2019 at 04:48 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    San Francisco Bay Area
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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?
    Kala KA-TE tenor uke (currently tuned re-entrant gCEA)
    Kala APB-CTG baritone uke (currently tuned DGBE)
    Ohana BK-35CG baritone uke (currently tuned low-octave ADF#B)
    Various guitars, banjos, and basses

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by AQUATOPAZ View Post
    It 100% Day of the Dead, which everyone here in SoCal would recognize as such because of our proximity to Mexico, [B]and because[B] 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.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  10. #10
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    Jul 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    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/suga...muertos-at-op/
    Last edited by AQUATOPAZ; 09-12-2019 at 02:07 AM.

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