Cliff Gallup's Duo Jet Finally Discovered?

Discussion in 'Vintage Gretsch Discussion' started by Uncle Daddy, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    You decide!
  2. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    I read this earlier, i think it's the one.
    Lionpotato, Uncle Daddy and RomanS like this.
  3. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    I really love those kind of stories. Really.
    There arre not too many books I enjoyed reading twice in my life. One of these was "the guitar in the attic" by Deke Dickerson. (Part one and part two)
    Uncle Daddy and RomanS like this.
  4. buchon2111

    buchon2111 Gretschie

    Mar 26, 2016
    Way down in the boondocks
    I think that he came really, really close to it, but I do not think it is Cliff's.

    Just look at the loan document with the serial number. That 5 on the serial number does not look at all like a 9. Look at the other nines on the document. They look nothing like it. Maybe there was more than one guitar that had the same exact specs as the guitar Dickerson owns?

    I certainly wish it were true that Cliff's guitar is found, but.. come on... if the notary at the bank made a mistake, wouldn't it be clear? It's also obvious that the 9 on the guitar's cavity cover is very much a 9 and was probably clearer back when the guitar was new.

    The 17th fret anomaly negates the fact that the fretboard is made of wood, and wood expands and contracts over time as we all know. I've seen photos of Gretsches from the 50s that all had sloppy inlay work and there was filler like that. It's hard for me to believe that the wood on that fingerboard was frozen like it was for 62 years until just now, and in just the right place. Maybe there's a chance it's a coincidence.

    Two cents.
  5. Beardog

    Beardog Country Gent

    Apr 15, 2018
    Nova Scotia
    That was a great read,thanks!
  6. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    This is the fun of it! We get to nerd out and debate it;)
    Alberta_Slim likes this.
  7. Jockabilly

    Jockabilly Synchromatic

    Sep 15, 2018
    Afraid I don't believe it's 'The One' as the serial number is just not a match. Would the serial have been taken from looking at the scratched in number on the cover plate? Would the person making out the loan agreement even know that it was there or would they have taken the serial number from documentation that arrived with the guitar.

    Is it possible that, when Cliff Gallup ordered his, Gretsch decided to make another to the same specifications to see if it was worth marketing as an option?

    Is the time frame viable? He suggests that the guitar was built and reached Gallup within about five weeks. Was there a waiting list at Gretsch at the time for custom orders or were they pretty much put together as soon as the order came in?
    buchon2111 likes this.
  8. buchon2111

    buchon2111 Gretschie

    Mar 26, 2016
    Way down in the boondocks
    If it is Cliff's guitar, so what? He played it on those sessions and it's definitely worth the hubbub, but I'm afraid that it is just bragging rights at this point in the game.

    When I was 15, I thought of Reverend Horton Heat alongside Cliff Gallup and Eddie Cochran and all those guys. Somebody you think is above the rest of us.

    I was proven wrong when I saw him in concert shortly after. I remember the tech pulling his guitar out onstage and my jaw dropping, but the moment him and the band started playing I had this moment... I was like "wow, he's just a regular guy, just like the rest of us. He sure plays good, though!"

    After that, I refuted the idea of all the big name guitar players from the 40s and 50s as being untouchable by the commonfolk, but as just guys with extraordinary ability. They still breathed the same air as us.

    The guitar was merely a tool for which Cliff expressed his talent. Are we going to go to the address listed on the bank document and pull out the toilet since Gallup surely must have used it?
    svenslim, Alberta_Slim and Jockabilly like this.
  9. captainvideo

    captainvideo Electromatic

    Nov 18, 2011
    Where is his Country Gentleman?
  10. buchon2111

    buchon2111 Gretschie

    Mar 26, 2016
    Way down in the boondocks
    I heard he had two and that his daughter donated one to the Rock and Roll HOF
    captainvideo likes this.
  11. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    Great story, thanks for sharing.
  12. eggvan

    eggvan Gretschie

    Nov 30, 2013
    How frustratingly close! I would say it's likely to be his guitar, but you can't say for certain. The 17th fret convinces me.
  13. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    Co0ol, I don't know but this could be the one, or a sister of hers.
    eggvan likes this.
  14. Rock Lajoint

    Rock Lajoint Gretschie

    Nov 16, 2014
    Sussex, England
    I think it's probably Cliff's Jet.

    If you read and digest the whole thing and not just look at the loan document, there were a tiny number of guitars that matched the spec and timeframe to fit Cliff's Jet. The 'fault' with the inlay likely reduces that to a pool of one.

    Clearly the person that filled out the loan document hesitated over that digit in the serial number for whatever reason, which suggests some uncertainty. They probably weren't that concerned anyway.

    For what it's worth the guy in the shop where I bought my first Gretsch, a '63 6120, made an error in the serial number on the sales receipt. When I took it back a week later to get a fret fixed, I noticed and pointed it out to him as I was concerned about having that error on my sole proof of ownership.

    And then when I got it added to my parents house insurance, the insurance guy scribbled the number down wrong too, although with a different error if I remember correctly). This was after he wrote down the Filtertron patent number as the serial number and I had to make hime cross that out.
    Roger49, Alberta_Slim and RomanS like this.
  15. Rock Lajoint

    Rock Lajoint Gretschie

    Nov 16, 2014
    Sussex, England
    You are possibly slightly missing the point. It's not that Cliff touched the guitar. It's that it's the guitar that we hear him play on those classic tracks. THAT wonderful sound came out of THAT guitar.
    Roger49 and Alberta_Slim like this.
  16. Alberta_Slim

    Alberta_Slim Gretschie

    May 18, 2018
    By the sheerest of sheer coincidences, I just finished "Strat in the Attic" and started reading "Strat in the Attic 2" last night before bedtime, then got up this morning and remembered I hadn't looked at Deke's blog in ages because there hadn't been anything new, and found this! Holy krap...well, if anyone is fit to do the detective work it's him, and if anyone has the obsession and passion and love (and skill) to deserve the guitar, if it is the one, it's him.

    Now that said, I can also completely understand buchon2111's point: musicians, even great ones, are just regular folks who put their pants on the same way as everyone else. But we're all wired differently in other more subtle ways, and Deke's wiring has led him to become one of the truly great hunters and collectors of guitars, and I think it's fantastic to be able to get to enjoy his finds even if only vicariously. :cool:

    And all that great music we love is touching us emotionally and changing us for the better, or why are we even listening? That's worth something, so yeah, they're regular folks, but there's also nothing wrong with being a little bit in awe.
    loudnlousy and buchon2111 like this.
  17. Jockabilly

    Jockabilly Synchromatic

    Sep 15, 2018
    I do kind of think that the guitar is just that, a well put together well engineered musical device. The magic is not in the instrument but in the player. I am in awe of Cliff Gallup as a player but his guitar isn't him and I reckon he could have been just as magical on any guitar, cheap or expensive.
  18. Roger49

    Roger49 Country Gent

    Feb 18, 2015
    I suspect that this is the real McCoy. Everything points to it being that IMHO.
    Like Hank Marvin's first Strat in the UK s/n 34346, both are iconic guitars. Hank's is traceable to Bruce Welch but that DuoJet? So few with that spec ever left the factory and the law of averages says whatever the law of averages says but sadly nobody plays like Monsieur Gallup, so even playing it through an amp that he 'might have' played through himself would not bring closure to this issue.
    I suspect Mr Gallup would sound pretty much the same if he'd played an LP or a Tele even, truly great guitarists with their own 'sound' seem capable of being recognised almost regardless of what guitar- amp combination they use.... but hell, wouldn't it be great to KNOW it was the one?
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
    Alberta_Slim and Jockabilly like this.
  19. afire

    afire Country Gent

    There has been a lot of discussion on the Gretsch Pages about this and after about 4-5 pages of back and forth, the consensus is that this is probably not Cliff's Duo Jet. Probably the biggest strike against it is that there's a picture of Cliff playing a Duo Jet pre-Blue Caps and it appears to have a G tailpiece, not a Bigsby. So, since this one's Bigsby was installed at the factory and never had a G tailpiece, probably not the same guitar. Then again, we don't know with 100% absolute certainty that the Jet pictured is the same one. As somebody pointed out, he could have borrowed one, liked it, and ordered one for himself with a Bigsby. But, the odds are looking pretty slim for this being Cliff's Jet. We probably won't be able to say with absolute certainty until 15654 and 15664 turn up, if they ever do. But Deke agrees that this probably isn't the one and will be updating the blog to explain why.
  20. Pete66

    Pete66 Gretschie

    Nov 18, 2015
    Wyre and Fylde
    I noticed the pic with the G cut out tail piece. Made me think that Dekes Jet probably isn't 'the one'
    It was close for a while though!
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