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1967 Gretsch Restoration

Discussion in 'Vintage Gretsch Discussion' started by MikeFla, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. MikeFla

    MikeFla Electromatic

    Aug 26, 2010
    Good Evening Ladies and Gents. I've got a 1967 Gretsch that means more to me than almost anything on the planet (amazing sentimental value and a fairy tale story behind it.) It needs a refret and the binding is brittle and breaking.
    I'm currently interviewing luthiers in the area to find who would be the best choice for the job (St Lucie County - Palm Beach County for those who can make recommendations!)
    Anyway, I'm trying to figure out what I want to do. Either restore it to it's original glory (has all the pieces but needs new binding, refret and maybe gloss up the finish a bit.) Or go full rockabilly with new paint, new knobs... just make it more "me".

    What are your thoughts in this scenario? I'd be happy either way honestly, but I really can't figure out what I want personally so I'd like to have a discussion around it and see different points of view.
    paddycarroll and jagROAR_63 like this.
  2. MikeFla

    MikeFla Electromatic

    Aug 26, 2010
    Gratuitous Guitar Pics!

    Attached Files:

  3. audept

    audept I Bleed Orange

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Beautiful guitar! If it was mine I would opt for a full restoration to the original finish.
    wildeman likes this.
  4. vibrolux

    vibrolux Electromatic

    Jan 13, 2009
    That's a true beauty in one of my favorite Gretsch color schemes. If that were my guitar, there are only three things I'd even consider doing to it:
    1. Send it to Curt Wilson at Old School Guitars for a rebind and refret.
    2. Carefully pack the hilotrons away and replace them with a pair of vintage filtertrons ('cause I'm a filtertron guy).
    3. Replace the sustain-killing, rattle-prone space control bridge with your choice of Compton or Tru Arc.
    audept likes this.
  5. The Marlin

    The Marlin Friend of Fred

    Feb 2, 2011
    I'd just get the necessities done, and keep the finish as it is. It looks great.

    I personally love Hilotrons, lovely pickup. So, I wouldn't change them. But, I agree that a Compton would be an improvement.

    M :)
  6. Mal Belford

    Mal Belford Gretschie

    Apr 4, 2016
    If the guitar is player.....not collectible...pure player....i go for you.

    Restore it such as refret...reset the neck if needed....

    Let paint be as it is.....replace pups to desired ones, replace the bridge to a one of youre choice.....all that.

    All old parts keep them in safe place...

    Full restoration can be done later if want harm done here....

    But thats me...
    benjwri and kt66 like this.
  7. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    Well, you just can't tease us with the 'fairy tale' story and not give us the story!! ;)

    If money is no object, I'd opt for the resto. If it's going to be a constant player, I'd go for the fix up and let it retain the character that has been built up over the years.
    stevo likes this.
  8. MikeFla

    MikeFla Electromatic

    Aug 26, 2010
    Thanks for the input guys!! I'm afraid to ship this thing but yeah I'll get the minimum work done to it. Won't hurt the wallet as much! I'm going to paste a Facebook post I made telling the story. Steph is my wife and josh is my buddy who works at guitar center.

    I found an old email I had sent to Gretsch the day after my wedding. It told the story of my guitar and I really want to share it again... this is why my Gretsch is a part of my family and not a piece of wood and metal.

    I'm married! I want to share the absolutely highlight of my night....
    Years ago after I was laid off, I had to sell my guitar in order to pay my mortgage. So when I got my job I started looking for it. Well a year ago I found it at the guitar center in Jacksonville listed on their website! I contacted Josh Dickson and made plans to buy it. THe next morning he told me it had sold! ... I was so bummed... like tearing up kinda bummed.
    Well... Steph went behind my back, and talked to Josh... He helped her make the purchase and she went and picked it up. She hid it for a year from me in her office and had taken it on the plane with her to the Dominican Republic.
    My wedding week she had been giving me clues on really nice stationary, typed out in matching envelopes. Clues about what my gift is.
    As I was standing, waiting for the bride to walk down the aisle, the minister gave me an envelope, I opened it and read it:

    Finally we are here
    At the end of the isle, after a year
    I have been playing this scenario over in my head
    Waiting to see those tears I hope you will shed
    Your gift my darling husband
    on the day that we wed
    Will be held by the guitarist
    Please don't punch him in the head
    You can reunite with your long, lost, love.
    And join forever with the love that is new
    It is today that I can say
    I am proud to spend the rest of my life with you.

    I turned and the guitarist started playing the most beautiful version of "Over the Rainbow" on my 1967 Gretsch Rally!....(he was in on it, the minister knew about it... this was a huge undertaking that steph had put together)
    I started to tear up then I tuned towards the minister and she was laughing at me, and told me to turn and greet Steph, I turned it she was standing at the back of the aisle and she looked so incredibly beautiful. SHe walked down the aisle as he played Over the Rainbow... I started to ball my eyes out when I saw her... she was so incredibly beautiful... and just everything that happened with her, the guitar, the planning, and to see how amazingly beautiful my wife was.... There's nothing that would have made this evening better.
  9. Frank_NH

    Frank_NH Synchromatic

    Mar 25, 2013
    Lebanon, NH
    What a great story about your beautiful bride and guitar! Thanks for sharing. Make sure the luthier you send the guitar to reads that... :)
  10. stevo

    stevo Country Gent

    May 1, 2012

    Wow! She's a keeper! (Intentionally ambiguous use of the word keeper...)
    benjwri likes this.
  11. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    That's a cool guitar,i'd just give it a refret and rebound ,keep it original as possible.
    benjwri and kt66 like this.
  12. thunder58

    thunder58 Gretschified

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    I'll trade you my ex-wife and my current wife for your one wife just kidding my friend . That's a great story and it's also one of my favorite songs to play on my guitar , always make me think of my mother who passed away 30 years ago .
    Best of luck with your decision on the repairs . And hang on to her ........oh , and the guitar too
  13. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    Great story. Restore everything that is broken on the Rally. It's special to you and you should strive to keep it in wonderful shape because of what it represents. Just my 2 cents
  14. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    I got a guitar for my ex-wife. Good trade eh?
    MTurner and thunder58 like this.
  15. MikeFla

    MikeFla Electromatic

    Aug 26, 2010
    Thanks guys!! Yeah she's a keeper... and the wife isn't half bad either!

    I'm heading to a local luthier tomorrow. So well see what they say!
  16. MikeFla

    MikeFla Electromatic

    Aug 26, 2010
    I also just sent Curt an email and some pictures of the frets and binding to get his thoughts. I'm not even sure what to expect on the cost, I'm hoping to keep it around $500 but I'm not at all expecting that. More of a pipe dream at this point.
    Any ideas on the cost to ship a guitar from Florida to Jersey?
  17. Jonbass

    Jonbass Gretschie

    Oct 10, 2016
    Great story! It is great when instruments have special meanings our lives beyond music itself.
  18. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Country Gent

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    If it was my guitar I would only restore the things that need to be restored to make it perfectly playable and keep the cool patina.
    But this is not mine. It is yours. So you decide whether to paint it pink-camouflage or put some nice fur on it.;)
  19. fender62custom

    fender62custom Friend of Fred

    Mar 3, 2012
    Helidon, Australia
    What an AWESOME story!!! truly wonderful!! great guitar & even better wife!!!
  20. ToneM1

    ToneM1 Electromatic

    Mar 10, 2009
    Northern L.A. County
    I'm not seeing any photos of it.. But.. Just as Vibrolux said, Send it to Curt! He's the best and has done a number of my guitars. I ship them to him from L.A. so no worries. I do use FedEx Ground as we all know that UPS stands for"United Package Smashers"..