Gretsch Events

Cream City Gretsch Day

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Still coming down from one of the coolest days I've had in a long time. Cream City Music in Milwaukee held a Gretsch Day celebrating Fred's 50 years in the music business. I didn't get there in time for the full presentation, but caught the end. We also had the chance to meet Fred, Joe C. and Jamie Ferguson (my Gretsch Rep.) and introduce my son Gretsch to them. It took Fred a minute to realize that we weren't pulling his leg I think, but was honored to meet the little man, as we were to meet him.

I finally got to spend a little time talking with Joe. For years I've seen coverage here of events he's been to like the roundups, NAMM shows, and events like today's. It always seems like he's the happiest guy around, and I can tell you without a doubt it's true. Joe loves his job more than damn near anyone on the planet, and it shows.

I met Jamie almost by accident. Since he lives in Arizona I didn't think he'd be at the WI event, but as luck had it he came to help out. I thought he was a Cream City employee and just started small talk while waiting for a guitar raffle drawing (didn't get the guitar but did get a cool 130th anniversary bag with some swag in it). I mentioned I ran a store in Sheboygan, and he asked which one. That's when I got to put a face to the email contact. Great to meet people you work with almost exclusively through email, face to face.

Ben, the Cream City employee that specializes in Gretsch, remembered me a Gretsch (the boy) from our trip there a few years ago, to which I was amazed. We didn't buy anything, and only had a few minutes conversation with him. Which to me says he really cares about his customers, and pays attention when conversing with them. He's also a pretty damn good drummer despite what he'll tell you (video in a later post). We got to see Joe jump into a blues jam on bass, and a few other local talents tearing up the stage. Everything from some Chet style fingerpickin', to some Stray Cats tunes from 2/3 of a local trio with Ben on drums.

Of course I got to play a bunch of Gretsches, and see some of the cool custom colors Cream City has, though I still didn't get to play everything I wanted to. I think I need to go back soon on a weekday afternoon and spend some time in the amazing Gretsch World Showroom.

I did meet another forum member, John (sorry I don't recall your screen name) when he noticed my Nocturne shirt. I saw Ellen, but every time we crossed paths either I was on a mission, or you were in a conversation. I'll catch you next time!

Overall impression of the day: It's amazing what Gretsch, Fred, Joe, and all the others do to let their fans and customers know they care. As I discussed with a few people, you very rarely meet someone in the Gretsch fandom that isn't a down to earth decent person. Something about the brand seems to lend itself to good people, and this forum is another testament to that.

Thank you Fred, Joe, Jamie, Ben, and anyone else that helped make today possible. It was truly one of the best days I've had in a long time, being surrounded by great music, great guitars, and people who are passionate about life. You guys are all rockstars!

Pics from the day, with one of my favorite pictures of all time to start...

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Gretsch trying to be good, and really wanting to go to the lego store (which we did as a treat for being good at the music store).

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The awesome sign on the door to the Gretsch room. Pic stolen from Joe's FB page

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Joe rockin some bass. Didn't catch the guitar player's name, but he was good!

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Joe, with Ben on the drums, from the same jam as above. I've got a short video if I can figure out how to use a computer.

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Me, Gretsch, and my wife Heidi. Thanks to Jamie for taking the pic, before I realized who he was.

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Fred signing posters and other memorabilia. Did I mention he gave Gretsch a $2 bill? G was super stoked, and I thought it was a really cool gesture. That will get framed with some of the swag from the day. I will give the boy the 2 bucks it's worth too.

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A shot of the setup. Great store, great people and that Great Gretsch Sound!

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seems like a great day was had by all in attendance. I agree that Joe C. is a very nice guy and very Gretsch oriented. I've never had the chance to meet Fred. I was in Milwaukee year before last and was going to visit Cream City, but they are closed on Mondays and that was my only "free" day I had while I was there. oh well, I'll make it by one day. thanks for the pics.

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I've tried to go to that event several times but always something kept me me away. One day! Looks like a great time.

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Looks like it was a blast!

I get to see those Cream Coty boys at the Philly guitar shows, and they always have some cool Gretsches with them.

Nice to talk to as well.

You looked like you had a grand old time, too, Rip!

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I thought I saw you there Cory! Yeah, I ended up talking to quite a few people, so we never did hook up. I stayed until 5:30. I also had a chance to chat with Jamie. He's a real nice guy. GDPer Rickvox was also there, and I chatted with him for a while. Him and the bass player from his band, did a rousing set of rockabilly. It was cool watching Ben (who happens to be a drummer) doing a "suds of rhythm" jazz thing with two locals. They really went to town, and the guy on the guitar did some great sounding George Benson style guitar, on the G6120AM that was provided for the prospective jammers to play.

While I was at Cream City, I also dropped off my 6117 Double Annie for refretting. The place was packed!

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My wife Chris and myself had a great time at the Cream City Gretsch 50th Fred Gretsch anniversary gala. We both talked with Fred and Joe who were as always very cordial and friendly and they both told us they enjoyed our music we performed. Chris and I and Ben the head sales guy for the Gretsch department there did some Stray Cats Rockabilly tunes and everybody seemed to like them as every body performing did a little different type on music on the Gretsch guitars which showed how versatile the instruments really are. There were some guys doing some fine Chet style picking and a lady doing fingerpicked blues, then we went up and played Rockabilly and then some fine jazz musicians with a great jazz guitarist played a cool set .Before we had to leave a guy got up by himself and played some great blues guitar later joined by Ben and Joe. i got to talk to a lot of people there and talked a while to Ellen who was telling me of her new guitars she aquired. The thing is everybody I talked to there was very aware that the Gretsch guitars are really something special, Like Joe said that day Gibson is like a Chevy, Fender is like a Ford , But Gretsch's are like Jaguars! We got some great gifts for attending and even more goodies for playing and a autographed poster of Fred. Thanks to Fred , Joe, Ben and Cream City for this great event!

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Phil and Chris with Fred and Joe!

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And with Fred and a Brian Setzer SSLVO like mine!

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Very cool! Did that SSLVO in the last photo have a "sold" tag on it (and Schaller tuners)? If so, it may be mine. I bought one there yesterday by phone and asked them to get Fred to sign the back of the headstock.

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Great playing rickvox! I have a short vid I'll put up here when I get a chance. I'll habe to come down and catch the band sometime.

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Thanks Ripley, Was a fun time!

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Blauserk was the only SSLVO I saw there, Plays Beautiful! Youll love it! I love mine!

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Sounds like it was part RoundUp & GretschDay. Very cool.

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That looks cool! Did your boy think it was HIS day? Leave it to Joe to make a great car analogy.


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