Chets Black Gold

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Moleng1, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. Moleng1

    Moleng1 Synchromatic

    Age:
    62
    749
    Jul 5, 2014
    Vancouver, B.C. Canada
    This may have been posted here in the past, but it was the first time I'd read the story so I thought that I'd pass it along to those of you that may not have read this story. Enjoy!

    https://www.guitarplayer.com/guitar...20-that-gretsch-built-for-chet-atkins-in-1956
     
    benjwri and Ricochet like this.
  2. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Cool story , thanks for sharing
     
    Moleng1 likes this.
  3. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    It's an amazing guitar, and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to give it a few strums...

    Screen Shot 2020-01-21 at 6.42.31 PM.png
     
    Henry, JC higgy, benjwri and 5 others like this.
  4. not_man_davo

    not_man_davo Synchromatic

    598
    Feb 13, 2015
    tejas
    Woah...
     
  5. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Moleng1 likes this.
  6. Moleng1

    Moleng1 Synchromatic

    Age:
    62
    749
    Jul 5, 2014
    Vancouver, B.C. Canada
    Much jealousy right here!!!
     
  7. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    benjwri likes this.
  8. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Quite interesting. I know that this axe shows up on occasion and there’s always a lot of stir about it. IIRC, it was for sale, but at a very high price. Tommy Emmanuel played it at an appearance, as well.

    Until reading this article, I had never thought of it as a developmental step towards the closed-top Gent’, but now it seems obvious. Obviously, I have heretofore underestimated the significance of this guitar.

    Looking at my four Gretsch hanging on the wall, I can see a very direct relationship to the three which are closed top models and and more than a little relationship to the one Gretsch I have which is not closed top. IMO, much of what I like in a Gretsch was included in this black and gold 6120.

    One thing I’ve never cared for is that people call that guitar Dark Eyes. If Chet ever called it that, then I’d be fine with it, but I’d bet my boots that he never did. I don’t think that Chet was big on naming guitars. More than that, why should a guitar be named for a song that was played on it.

    I have a black and gold 6120 (DC) of my own and I’m fairly certain that I played Wooly Bully on it once (during a moment of weakness), but I’ll be damned if I’m going to call it Wooly Bully. Actually, I do name my guitars but my black 6120 was bought on impulse and after I picked it up, it spent the afternoon at my office, where a highly regarded co-worker christened it “Black Beauty”. So it shall remain.
     
  9. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    Synchro... your instincts are good! The whole naming of this guitar was part of an aggressive marketing effort that the guy Tom Doyle hired for that purpose was driving. He was trying to create awareness and buzz about the guitar, getting articles written about it (perhaps the one in the OP's post?) in preparation for a big-time auction house event. That's when they coined the Dark Eyes name, as well as promoting claims about the significance of the guitar that were borderline accurate. Having said that, I do believe it's a important guitar because of it's clear association with Chet and his philosophy of how an electric archtop should be designed. And it IS a step in the process of birthing the electrotone body. However, to the sellers chagrin, it turned out not to be worth the six-figure asking prices they spent a lot of time trying to justify.
     
  10. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    That confirms my suspicions. I’ve been around guitars since the mid ‘60s and a Chet fan since the early ‘60s but never heard mention of a guitar called “Dark Eyes” until fairly recently. I can’t say I was surprised when it failed to sell for big money. Leave out the Dark Eyes hype and it becomes a much more appealing instrument.

    The Electrotone body is a real innovation. I have three, a ‘59 Gent’ RI, a ‘62 Tennesseean RI and a ‘62 6120 RI. They are all my favorite (along with my ‘59 Tennessean RI and my Guild T-400). Yep, five favorite guitars. :) But the Electrotone body is an amazing weapon in the battle against feedback and any of my Electrotones sound great. That is the Chet Atkins sound of the ‘60s and that sound is a big part of why I learned to play.

    As a side note, and FWIW, since my last post, I spent a bit of time with my own black 6120. It’s an amazing sounding instrument.
     
  11. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Electrotone fan here too.

    I don't care if they are vintage or modern production, Electrotones are special and well worth having one in the heard.

    Love them.
     
  12. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    One thing that surprised me is how good they sound acoustically.
     
    G5422T likes this.
  13. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Fully agree. I was very surprised too, and extremely pleased.
     
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