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Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by YaDaddy, Jan 25, 2021.
Great story Tavo! The stuff dreams are made of!
My moment comes every day when I click on GT. I love my 5420 but I get a kick out of new members and their new or old guitars and equipment. We have such a great group of folks
here. It feels more lack a family than a forum.
Only ever used a Gretsch 1 time for a song. This was the moment with one
Years back one of the more well off members of the church band wanted to buy a couple amps that could stay on stage so we wouldn’t have to lug so much equipment when we were scheduled to play. 4 of us happily went to Mammoth Music to sample prospective amps. I had never played a Gretsch before. While trying several guitars I kept gravitating back to a sparkle gold Pro-Jet. At the time I had no idea that this was an entry level Gretsch, but it just had a certain magic. A week later I showed up at church and the guitar was there.... not for communal use, but the guy saw how magical it was to me and bought it for me.
I was in college in the 80's but was pretty obsessed with George Harrison, Neil Young/Buffalo Springfield guitar stuff. Then I caught up to my classmates (long after college) and really started digging on the early/mid 80's Gretsch players like Aztec Camera, the Cure, Setzer, Bow wow wow.
It wasn't until the 90's that I got my first Gretsch ('62 Duo Jet), that I traded for a 60's 6120. Been hooked since then.
I was super into the Setzer / Stray Cats stuff in the late 90s, but the "Oh I can really use this for anything!" moment was when a college friend hipped me to the fact that the JAMC Darklands album was a Gretsch Tennessean into a Fender Twin reverb and from then on, I was hooked.
I don’t know how I missed listening to the album Darklands, but I’m correcting that now.
Of course back in the day I couldn’t just call up anything I wanted to listen to within seconds of hearing about it.
Indeed, that’s one heck of an inspirational guit-tale.
The first album is all Gretsch and Fender too, just through an impossibly shrill wall of Super Fuzz and feedback.
The story goes that the Reid brothers were really upset that the British press spent more time writing about their riots and noise than the songs, so for the follow up, Darklands, they stripped everything down to the bare essentials. It’s my favorite JAMC album by far.
The very first song I ever played on my own Gretsch was the title track incidentally.
Government employee or starving musician.....
Hmmmmmm, let me think...:..
For me, the Gretsch resonators pointed me towards the brand. I'd tried and failed at learning acoustic guitar and had put the instrument down for almost 30 years. After my wife died and my kids went off to college the house was too quiet so I thought I'd give the guitar a second chance. My old Takamine still sounded nice but I found it hard to fret. I went to a music store with the idea of getting resonator I could play with a slide, thus eliminating the need to fingering chords. A blue Gretsch- my avatar- caught my eye and my ear, so I bought it. I soon found that I couldn't get within the right zipcode of the note with a bottleneck, but the wider neck had me fretting far more easily. Success breeds confidence and I soon got better than I'd ever been in the past. So music was fun and therapeutic, not a tiresome practice accompanied by feelings of failure. I'm older now, with more patience than I'd had before and more inclined to find joy in the process. I got several resonators because they each had a unique tone. They were so nice to look at too that I started paying attention to the other Gretsch models. A G400 synchromatic I encountered used in Oakland at GC really set the hook- a super cool looking guitar that sounded great.
Naw, it wasn't simple. Not a government employee, I work for a non-profit and do government relations. Like a lobbyist for poor people. LOL.
And I never starved. I did ok but I was tired of it by then and needed the change.
For me it was Billy Zoom of X, period. Followed right up there with him is Poison Ivy from the Cramps. Also, I later found out those two have the same birthday!
I knew I wanted a hollow body because of Scotty Moore on That's All Right Mama but I always thought that a Gretsch was the equivalent of owning a new Ferrari or Lambo. It was the territory of people with money and a lot more skill than I have/would ever have. I was 2 seconds from pulling the trigger on an Epiphone Artcore when I FOOLISHLY played a Nashville. Nothing else would ever do again. I'm a huge Setzer/Horton Heat fan so I knew I could never get that sound without the right rig. I bought a 5120 which at that time was the most expensive instrument I had ever purchased and now that I think about it I've bought literally nothing but Gretschs since. I'm freaking obsessed. At current count I have 13 guitars and basses (in my defense I've been buying guitars for pushing 30 years).
Honestly after getting that Setzer Hot Rod I legit said to myself 'I'm good, I honestly don't need any more guitars'. Never thought I'd actually be content and would always need N+1 but I'm good.
Q: How many guitars do you need?
A (always): Just one more.
I didn't say I wouldn't upgrade some of them.
My Washburn acoustic could easily be replaced by a decent Martin or Taylor. Might sell off a bass or 2 to make room for a Gretsch and Rickenbacker. I definitely don't have a good Tele and should remedy that.
My amp game is pretty weak though so that will probably be the next bottomless pit of money.
The outgoing cattle are just as much a part of the game as the incoming are. Some of my favorite Gretsch moments were when I sold examples for a profit. Fortunately, I’ve bought well and I’m proud to say that I haven’t lost a penny on a guitar yet. Broke even a few times and I’ve got a couple that I would lose on if I sold now, but we ain’t talkin’ bout doze.
Amps! Oh good lord. If I ever start doing that it’s time to quit. I’m still rocking the one fender hot rod deluxe that I bought for the band reunion show back in 2001. Even that one amp is more than I need. I mostly use my Yamaha THR30 and a pod go.
I got into the Beatles and started playing guitar when I was 13, and right off the bat my dream was a vintage Country Gentleman (not least of all because I was oblivious to the fact that Gretsch had been revived). The guys at the local shops knew me and my Beatle fandom, so a couple years later one of the techs turned up a '65 Gent. I remember going up to his shop and he opened the case on his bench and it was love at first sight. And I thought it was so cool that my guitar was a whopping 25 years old, a real piece of history. Somehow, I don't think a 25 year old guitar would hold the same mystique for me today.
I can't quite pinpoint my moment, I've just always loved the guitars. Maybe it was watching The Cult or Stray Cats as a kid or maybe rockabilly bands during my college days. Boz Boorer from Morrissey's band has a White Falcon that he played on stage during the 91' tour. I remember seeing one in a store once and it was about $4,000. I was out west for work last September and stopped in a guitar store and saw the Electromatic line and saw it was very affordable and sounded pretty great. I only have a Les Paul Special and a Classical guitar so my friends were surprised that I went with a Gretsch over a Strat or Tele (which I was leaning towards for a while) but in the end, I went with a 2420T, a Spark Amp and a new nut and frets for my Les Paul. Another friend asked if I was considered the Epiphone Casino and I said, "no Bigsby, no deal."