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What song best represents the Gretsch sound to you?

Discussion in 'Songs in the key of Gretsch' started by Nobody, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Country Gent

    May 14, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    There is no one "Gretsch sound," there are many. This guy has a pretty god one:

    Oh, and AHHHHH! Zombie thread!
    Andrew Griffin and linclink like this.
  2. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Country Gent

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
  3. Whiteomatic

    Whiteomatic Gretschie

    Nov 24, 2016
    I would have to second Stray Cat Strut and Bowwowwow in this epic awesome zombie thread.
    And it would appear Matt Ashman was a time traveler, what with rockin those blacktops on his falcon.
    And I still think Annabella was HOT!!
    Back then we said she was a stone cold fox.
    linclink likes this.
  4. wildeman

    wildeman Friend of Fred

    May 10, 2015
    Ahhh but there is a base Great Gretsch sound, you can add to it if you like but the core tone to my ears should be something like this here.
  5. bigchetfan

    bigchetfan Electromatic

    Dec 6, 2016
    Huntsville, AL
    My personal favorite is the tonal quality of Chet playing Swedish Rhapsody, in the 1950's.
    It's Gretsch with a bit of reverb and tape delay.....and the fingers of a genius.
    linclink likes this.
  6. Brutus Presley

    Brutus Presley Gretschie

    Jan 21, 2016
  7. MikeSchindler

    MikeSchindler Synchromatic

    Feb 3, 2014
    I agree with the multiple sounds that Gretsch gets. To me it's not just the Great Gretsch's those Great Gretsch Sounds..
    .Mr. Sandman - Chet. Chaplin in New Shoes
    I Don't Want to Spoil the Party-solo. And lead fills- Beatles
    Stray Cats - Stray Cat Strut
    Stray Cats-Rumble in Brighton- edgier overdriven Gretsch
    The Monkees- last Train to Clarksville - 12 string Gretsch sound
    The Animals- Rising Sun
    Stray Cats- I Won't Stand in Your Way- the solo- ultimate Gretsch sound which I've been chasing which I think he used a 6120 with single coil DeArmonds on that.
    Brian Setzer- Sleepwalk
    Richard Hawley- the guitar in Serious I believe was a 5129...the DeArmond single coil reissues which were decent...the lead licks are very Gretsch...well the guitar is a Gretsch lol
    The Who- all that overdriven stuff on that album
    Ac/DC Youngs use of the distortion makes that Gretsch go into new territory.
    And last but not least

    Solo in All My Loving- Beatles. Fantastic. Country Gent...there was talk that this was a J160 ...personally I think it's his first Country Gent with the dial up mutes.. Gretsch tone all over that
  8. A few iconic Gretsch players I have to mention. Let's start with two from the earliest era...

    ~Chet Atkins worked with everyone, starting with The Carter Family, even prime era Presley, but it was most especially his work with The Everyly Brothers that moved me the most... well that & the majority of his career doing his own mind blowing, trail blazing, virtuoso solo work.

    ~Bo Diddley stretched the sonic reaches of the electric guitar to places it had never been before. There are pre-Beatle 5o's artists as great & as important (my other faves being Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry & The Everly Brothers), but none more so than Elias Otha Bates, aka Elias McDaniel, aka Bo Diddley. He was an incredible songwriter, singer & live performer, but as a guitarist he staked out territory in this 10 minute jam with Chuck Berry before The Velvet Underground, The Who, Pink Floyd (with Syd Barrett)...and this was released earlier in '64 than even "I Feel Fine", which may still be the first intentional feedback on a commercial record... but here Bo heads to sonic skronk outerspace, going all be-bop disonant like some Rock 'n' Roll Sonny Sharrock courtesy of his Fltertron powered Jupiter Thunderbird!

    ~David Crosby was a glaring omission last time, most especially since I'd mentioned Neil Young & Stephen Stills. He is the secret ingredient in the live electric CSNY guitar sauce. It was always a 3 guitar attack, with David acting as the rhythm foil to the Stills-Young leads, more often than not, on a 12-String. It was a hollow body (think he used both Guild's & Gibson's at times), single cutaway, but oddly enough, not a Gretsch.

    Crosby's great Gretsch glory years were the ones he spent as the 6-string foil to Roger McGuinn's 12-string explorations. He was absolutely brilliant on his Country Gentlemen, mainly, & Tennessean too. The wall of sound that were The Byrds as a guitar band owes an enormous amount to the criminally overlooked presence of the genius of David Crosby. Influences as diverse as Ravi Shankar & John Coltrane informed both Crosby & McGuinn & they were influenced by, & then influenced even The Beatles themselves.

    ~Mike Nesmith is an absolute pioneer & titan of seminal country-rock on a level up there with Gram Parsons, Gene Clark & whoever you'd care to mention. He also was outright brilliant voice in american pop-rock world & the person I'd most liken him too in that earliest era is John Sebastian. When The Monkees gained creative control over their work they promptly exploded with two masterpieces in the same year. They would be momentous achievements in any year, but they were brilliant albums & at the top of the charts throughout a great part of 1967.

    On both "Headquarters" (my fave) and "Pieces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd." Mike Nesmith is playing various Gretsch 6-strings & the primary instrument associated with him, the 12-string Country Gent that they custom built for him- their first ever. Central to the sound of those albums was that guitar. Mike Nesmith, being the first, is to Gretsch 12-string what George Harrison was to the Rickenbacker 12-string. Nesmith did play a Rickenbacker 12 in the studio & once borrowed one from McGuinn for a live Monkees gig in California, when his was having trouble with his Gretsch.

    I got to see Mike on The Monkees reunion tour & he played the Gretsch 12-string on almost everything that night. Even before The Beatles, The Monkees were my first favorite band as a 2 & 3 year old. It was Mike Nesmith on a double cutaway Gretsch who was my George Harrison. It was the first guitar I imprinted with. A Gretsch guitar was the primary thing I associated with what I understood Rock 'n' Roll to be.

    My mom actually made me a cut out wooden guitar. We painted it & everything. For some reason we both decided to use a Peter Tork Bass (still a Gretsch though) as the model... it was a single cutaway... and while I thought it was great at the time, in retrospect it looks a whole lot like a Telecaster actually & it was primarily black with white appointments.

    Getting a double cutaway orange Gretsch 6120DC this year completed a lifelong dream & journey.
    Robbie, Andrew Griffin and kt66 like this.
  9. "
    Ha! I feel the same about that era of Beatles guitar sounds (well any era of Beatles guitar sounds offers up some pretty amazingly cool riches)- primary players are- Epiphone Casino (during The Beatles time together, it's the only guitar all 3 of them owned... post-breakup that changes...), Gibson SG, Fender Stratocaster, Gretsch 6120DC... newer to them also was the Rickenbacker 4001 bass as well...

    "There are problems in these times. But none of them are mine."- "Beginning To See The Light" by Lou Reed from "The Velvet Underground" by The Velvet Underground. That's from their self-titled third album... hard to do so, but with a gun to my head, I'd say that's my favorite Velvet Underground album. I love the whole Velvets catalog, but... if you especially love that album, also take a long look at "VU" by The Velvet Underground. It unreleased material, mostly from around the era & line-up of the third album... for many of us, at the time, this release was like getting "The Basement Tapes" released in the 70's (Bob Dylan & The Band)- nothing short of a revelation.

    Velvets gear/guitars-

    "Lost" Velvets album:
  10. stevo

    stevo Country Gent

    May 1, 2012
    Drive Like Lightning by Brian Setzer. It has that sizzle that only a Gretsch can do. Or Switchblade 327.
    pinguim likes this.
  11. JimB1122

    JimB1122 Gretschie

    Dec 15, 2016
    Silver Bay, Minnesota
    A couple that come to mind:
    Honey Don't - Carl Perkins
    All My Loving - The Beatles
    linclink likes this.
  12. moltenmagna

    moltenmagna Electromatic

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hong Kong
    "I won't stand in your way" solo
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  13. MikeSchindler

    MikeSchindler Synchromatic

    Feb 3, 2014
    When I was a college kid in 84-85 that was my album..Rant and Rave...most kids listened to other stuff believe it or not..but the Stray Cats were my group.I had earphones and played it constantly 24/7...that whole guitar sound is fantastic.
  14. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Country Gent

    May 14, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    Man this is one of those "easy to play, hard to make it sound right" tunes. Is that the sound of a Gretsch, or the magic of a Fender Tweed?
    I've been playing with this one for a couple days since you posted and I just cannot get the sound down. There's a sort of "grind" on his plucked notes, for want of a better term, and a bloom to them I just can't quite get. I know there's a lot of verb in there too, and just a bit of breakup but that's all I got.
    Cool tune, thanks for sharing.
  15. wildeman

    wildeman Friend of Fred

    May 10, 2015
    Not sure of the amp but it sounds HUGE to me, Twin maybe? The cut may actually be done at Bo's home studio instead of Chess, either way its studio reverb, amps didn't have it in '59. I can get pretty close through my Marshall with both Filtertrons runnin.
  16. Sonny Strimple

    Sonny Strimple Country Gent

    May 8, 2011
    Western Maryland
    Claes Neeb playing Chet's version of the St. Louis Blues.
  17. somebodyelseuk

    somebodyelseuk Synchromatic

    Jan 22, 2013
    Birmingham, UK
    I probably posted earlier in this thread somewhere, but...
    Rock This Town - Stray Cats
    Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who

    I'd like to say Roddy Frame's 'Back To The One' and 'Reason For Living' but they're an ES... I forget the model number,
    ... but his first Aztec Camera album is all Gretsch and he doesn't sound any different on the Gibson :)
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  18. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    Certainly Brian Setzer and about anything he does. That said, I do like what Billy Gibbons does with a Billy Bo, a lot.
  19. doctorSlo

    doctorSlo Gretschie

    Aug 22, 2016
    san luis obispo, CA
    Darrel Higham playing his Eddie Cochran Tribute!
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  20. Brutus Presley

    Brutus Presley Gretschie

    Jan 21, 2016
    I belive Perkins played a Gibson when he recorded Honey Dont :)