Help Identifying Guitar - Monkees

Pinkerton1992

Electromatic
Jul 5, 2022
5
US
Hello all,

I recently came into the possession of a Gretsch Monkees branded guitar and was wondering if I could get some help identifying what it actually is and the legitimacy of it. I was confused because everything I can find online said the guitar should be red. I can see that paint is worn off from the neck and there is no red paint underneath, just the natural wood. Any help would be appreciated, thank you.
 

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Wayne Gretschzky

Country Gent
Aug 27, 2008
3,412
East Coast
A photo of the back of the headstock should clear things up. if there's a serial number stamped back there then we can determine the exact vintage and if the finish is original, and if there isn't anything back there, then it's been refinished (and serial # removed in the process).

The more interesting feature is the left-handed Bigsby!
 

drmilktruck

I Bleed Orange
May 17, 2009
19,230
Plymouth, MN
Hello all,

I recently came into the possession of a Gretsch Monkees branded guitar and was wondering if I could get some help identifying what it actually is and the legitimacy of it. I was confused because everything I can find online said the guitar should be red. I can see that paint is worn off from the neck and there is no red paint underneath, just the natural wood. Any help would be appreciated, thank you.
Welcome to G-T! Thanks for sharing your guitar.
 

Beatlebacker

Electromatic
Jun 23, 2022
48
Texas
It looks like a Gretsch Monkees Rock and Roll model that was refinished. The double thumbnail inlays are a distinct feature. It’s also missing the nameplate on the headstock. The supertron pickups look consistent and the pickguard and truss rod cover look right. The black color is certainly a sign that it’s been refinished. Very cool.
 

WAM999317

Electromatic
Dec 30, 2011
6
long island new york
Hello all,

I recently came into the possession of a Gretsch Monkees branded guitar and was wondering if I could get some help identifying what it actually is and the legitimacy of it. I was confused because everything I can find online said the guitar should be red. I can see that paint is worn off from the neck and there is no red paint underneath, just the natural wood. Any help would be appreciated, thank you.
It is possible they made a few in Black, I am not certain if the serial number would reveal the finish especially if it were a custom, in any event I found a picture of Mike Nesmith using a black 6120 form 1965 on the internet, but it has the pickguard removed so that could mean it was not a real Monkees issue, because as you know the Monkees guitar was a 6123 that being said, if you go to the Monkees website you will see that they used a whole lot of different guitars , different Gretsch's, including bases, a 12 string, and a Gibson SG and Les Pauls etc the search continues
 

Pinkerton1992

Electromatic
Jul 5, 2022
5
US
A photo of the back of the headstock should clear things up. if there's a serial number stamped back there then we can determine the exact vintage and if the finish is original, and if there isn't anything back there, then it's been refinished (and serial # removed in the process).

The more interesting feature is the left-handed Bigsby!
Thank you for the information! Sadly there is nothing stamped or shown on the back of the headstock, just black paint.
 

drmilktruck

I Bleed Orange
May 17, 2009
19,230
Plymouth, MN
I reached out to Dan Duffy about a Monkees model years ago. He said in his opinion, it was one of the best guitars the brand made. Terrible marketing misfire, aiming a high end expensive hollow body at teenaged fans of a TV band. Would have been better off as a stand alone model.
 

Butch Ammon

Synchromatic
Jan 3, 2016
512
Richmond, VA
Funny thing about The Monkees from back in the day.

Peter Tork (bass/keyboards) was actually a way better guitar player than Mike Nesmith.
Mike Nesmith (12 string Gretsch) was a semi decent guitar player, strictly playing chords. All the lead work was done by famous studio guitarists who were members of The Wrecking Crew in L.A.
Mickey Dolenz (drums/vocals) was actually a better lead singer than Davy Jones.
Davy Jones (vocals/percussion) was actually a better drummer than Mickey Dolenz.

The producers and TV management, etc.. were the ones who decided who "looked the part" better than the other, and the rest is history. There is a YouTube interview clip of Davy Jones, and he went on to joke about "The Monkees were more like The Marx Brothers, than a serious rock band".

Interesting....
 

Wayne Gretschzky

Country Gent
Aug 27, 2008
3,412
East Coast
It is possible they made a few in Black, I am not certain if the serial number would reveal the finish especially if it were a custom...
The serial number itself will be date-coded and will not have any association to the finish... however, the presence of the serial number will be helpful to determine if the current black finish is factory or not. Since those numbers were stamped over the factory finish, if the serial number was present, then the black is original, but since the owner reports that there isn't any serial number there, then it was most likely removed when the guitar was refinished to black.

But what about that lefty Bigsby?????? They are pretty rare!
 

Baba Joe

Gretschie
Feb 17, 2010
239
new jersey
I recently had seen a black Gretsch Monkees guitar for sale but don’t remember where. The seller stated that it had been refinished. The back of the headstock left the rectangular space where the serial number is located untouched and had red background. Is this that guitar? Whether yes or no, congrats.
 

Pinkerton1992

Electromatic
Jul 5, 2022
5
US
Thanks so much everyone for all the information. After taking the info and looking back over the guitar, I would say you are right that it is an orignal that was refinished. I found the four holes from the headstock placard, and there are red side inlays running down then neck.
 

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Beatlebacker

Electromatic
Jun 23, 2022
48
Texas
Thanks so much everyone for all the information. After taking the info and looking back over the guitar, I would say you are right that it is an orignal that was refinished. I found the four holes from the headstock placard, and there are red side inlays running down then neck.
Groovy! Although the reddish side dot markers are not unique to a red Monkees model. My vintage Gretsches also have reddish side dot markers.
 

Pinkerton1992

Electromatic
Jul 5, 2022
5
US
So Pinkerton... what's your plane for this guitar? Are you looking to get in playing condition? I might have a right-handed V-style Bigsby available for trade.
I'm afraid that it's not actually mine right now to do anything with, my grandfather passed a few years ago and I found it cleaning out his house. It technically belongs to my grandmother/parents but they are letting me hold onto it for now since I play. Not sure yet what will end up happening to the guitar, if they will just let me keep it or if they will sell.
 


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