Gretsch Garage Sale

Russell Crowe’s Gretsches For Sale


My comments aren't to disparage Russell, but just using him as an example of someone owning anything doesn't make that thing worth more. If Brett Favre owned a Gretsch and then went to sell it, him being the seller doesn't add value whatsoever. can make this claim about Russell Crowe, not caring a whit for him and noting that since the guitars don't make him famous, his ownership of them confers no cachet.

But please admit that a guitar belonging to, say, Chet Atkins ... would have more value for you than the same model owned by ... me.

So it seems facile to make a blanket disavowal of the value of provenance.

Granted, that's certainly in the eye and heart of the beholder. To a Crowe fan - who might also be a fan of his band - it may well add value that he owned these guitars. one is going to pay these prices for these guitars - unless there are at least two buyers who are willing to one-up each other. (A phenomenon whose motivations may have nothing to do with the guitar itself.) I've been to enough high-dollar auctions to know the drill: the auction house makes a high estimate of what the item might bring, then the auctioneer starts the bidding at somewhere around that. Then someone raises his hand and offers a half, quarter, or tenth of that and it's off to the races.

My thinking is that these would have to be inherently very special Gretschs (aside from celebrity provenance) to attract many bidders who are only in it for the guitars. And they seem not to be. So the auctioneer (and Crowe) are betting there are enough potential buyers in the overlapping Venn diagram of Russell Crowe fans and Gretsch enthusiasts to get more out of the guitars at an auction than by listing them, say, on Rerverbay where a much larger audience learns about them.

And, actually, I think it adds something to the proceedings that these are by and large pre-FMIC modern Gretschs, from the recovery years after Gretsch's wander in the wilderness. It says something for Crowe that he was enthusiast enough to acquire them all - and was apparently sufficiently satisfied not to replace them later with pro-lines or, obviously, Custom Shops. He self-evidently had the money to do so. It would apparently have been trivial. (I imagine him playing a double-necked CS Falcon made of buried Australian primordial wood, with precious jewel binding, wearing bespoke Swiss watches up and down both arms.)

So did he just love that Gretsch era, or did he lose interest in guitar?

In any case, the actual selection of Gretschs in the collection gives the ownership more texture to me, more depth. It validates the authenticity of his interest, you might say.

And that doesn't make them worth more to me - I'm too invested in maintaining the marriage of one holding-onto-middle-class old guy to help support a celebrity divorce - but I wouldn't be surprised if the provenance means something to someone.


Russell Crowe fans, Johnny Cash fans, Australian footy and cricket fans, and buyers of rather faaabulous jewelry will be watching this.

He had a group at one point, The Ten Thousand Foot of Grunts (?). Hence, the guitars. edit

Excuse me, Mr. Crowe has been playing for years, since he was a boy.


Hey so this seems an appropriate time - is 1995 considered vintage now?


Not so interested in the guitars, but I kinda like the Pee Wee Herman portrait.


Hey so this seems an appropriate time - is 1995 considered vintage now?

– Devil's Tool

It's supposed to be vintage at 25 years, isn't it?


Well, in Pennsylvania, if you replace Motor Vehicle with the word "Guitar": Antique "Guitar" - not a reproduction thereof, manufactured more than 25 years prior to the current year which has been maintained in or restored to a condition which is substantially in conformance with manufacturer specifications. Classic "Guitar" - not a reproduction thereof, manufactured at least 15 years prior to the current year which has been maintained in or restored to a condition which is substantially in conformity with manufacturer specifications and appearance. And finally a Vintage "Guitar" - A vintage is a “period-issue” to be displayed on an antique or classic "Guitar" with the same corresponding model year.

So, 25 years may apply. May need legal help on the definition of the word "Vintage".

I'm am not a Lawyer, so, your call.


I appreciate the official definitions of vintage - although in the guitar worlds I feel like it skews a little differently.

If I tried to sell my 1994 '57 Jet RI as "vintage", I'd be skewered.


If it's an auction, do these asking prices mean anything? Isn't the auctioneer going to have to start at the first price someone is actually willing to bid, and then go up from there?

In that context, these prices are nothing but targets of wishful hoping. We're not being forced to pay them.

I didn't know it, but in fact Crowe has played guitar for decades, maintained a band through the 80s and into the 90s, and continues an interest in music. He's not a great singer nor guitarist - but neither am I, and I still try. I see no reason his celebrity otherwise should expose his musical interests to ridicule. There's the example of the Bridges, and Billy Bob Thornton, and (yes) Steven Seagall - who is fun to mock but also seems sincere in his musical interest - Steve Martin, Jack Benny. Sting, Jerry Reed, John Lennon have taken turns at being actors. Les Paul did a kind of sitcom with Mary. Rick Springfield was a fair hand in both pursuits. Burl Ives.

Elvis, right? He was occasionally a fine actor. I'd maintain Kris Kristofferson was a better actor than musician.

Shirley Jones - was she a singer or an actress?

I guess if we first learn of someone in one domain, we have a hard time accepting them in another - resent that they're double-dipping or something, or are jealous of their range of accomplishment, and get extra-double critical of their attempts, as though wishing them to fail. Conan seems to be the exception to this pattern; we all agree to like him as a TV personality, and find his musical interests both genuine and endearing. Do the others seem pretentious or something?

There's footage of Crowe's band from before he was a "big star." Apparently he was pursuing both music and the theatah. Looks like he's having fun, and there are Gretschs all OVER the place in the videos, when Gretschs weren't the trending thing. I'm guessing he must have genuinely loved the guitars.

That ought to make him a brother here, not a punching bag.

And come on - "The Art of Divorce!" An auction with a self-deprecating title. That's good stuff there.

– Proteus

well said


The Gretsch guitars sold for very reasonable prices, nothing one could really criticize.

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