Gretsch Events

NAMM 2019 – The Music Industry Goes to Disneyland!

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And so, once again, the entire music industry has found its way back to Anaheim where all bask in the radiance from the bright lights of nearby Disneyland. From manufacturers to retailers, from artists to those in the recording industry, they all have made their individual pilgrimages to Anaheim for four glorious days in the warmth of Southern California and to pay homage to our favorite cartoon rodent.

There will be, undoubtedly, much to report on from this year’s show. Even more so with the many questions which GDPers posted that they wanted to learn about from the Show this year. I don’t know if I can get to all of them, but I will certainly get to some of them.

But, first – where is Geoff Vane? I see that he haunts social media, but he seems to rarely return to our favorite guitar forum. And what a shame because we are going to have some trivia contests. That is right – no Geoff Vane, which means a better chance for each of you. Shhh .... no one spill the beans to him.

So, what is there to win? Well, mostly, there will be copies of the brand new 2019 Gretsch Guitars catalogue. All 148 pages of it, replete with huge, full color photos. Up close and personal kind of photographs. The kind that make you not want to put the catalogue down. Kind of like your parents’ Sears catalogue, right?


So, before anything else, let’s get the first quiz underway...

Who and what is the Nashville Gentleman? (I am looking for a very specific answer to this one.)


Winners of quizzes (defined as the first correct response, using timestamps of posts if necessary to determine winners) will need to send me an email with their favorite shipping address with the US Mail service. If the winner is from Europe (that’s right Higgy, you guys and gals on the other side of the pond will have a chance to get a catalogue in your hands too!), then you must send to me your address, email and phone number. At the end of the Show, I will compile the names and address information for the folks at Gretsch and they will fulfill the prizes. I am told that it will happen promptly.

So, you will send me your information if you are a winner to my email address which is [myscreennameontheGDP] @yahoo.com. Any questions? I didn’t think so. You guys are all too wide awake to not understand what is going on.

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What is that? Did I hear correctly? Someone wants cloud photographs? Ah, no, I have no cloud photographs. Those are Proteus’ specialty and I could never hope to capture them nearly as well as the master cloud imager himself. But, ... I can offer you some wingshots!


The Wednesday morning alarm went off reasonably early as I prepared to fly down to Mickeyland. However, I almost didn’t even get the chance to make the trip and just avoided a near-calamitous incident. Tuesday night, as I left my office and was walking to my car, I came upon a stretch in the sidewalk where it appeared darker to me and I thought to myself, “I wonder if this is black ice? I will have to slowly twist my shoe on it to see if it is slippery.”

No sooner had I said that to myself than both my feet flew out from under me as if I were a cartoon character and I began to briefly levitate over the concrete pavement. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet mastered the art of levitation and I managed to prove the laws of gravity are still working just fine. But, I slammed down pretty hard on the concrete on my back and butt. As I was falling to the ground, my only thought was, “Please God, don’t let my head hit the pavement.” I could imagine becoming concussed and thought that would probably put a damper on my ability to enjoy a trip to the NAMM Show. Fortunately for me, I kept my head above the pavement. But, I was definitely in pain. I thought, “Okay, no concussion. But, did I break a tailbone? Or worse yet, a hip?” I felt no excruciating pain that one would associate with a bone fracture, so I figured that I was okay and rolled over onto my knees and eventually got up. But, I have been gimping around a bit since I got down here from the discomfort.

Temperatures were in the 20s when I left my little mountain town and headed over to neighboring Nevada where I would catch a flight out of Reno.

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They even have some hills in Nevada.

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On approach to McCarran International in Las Vegas where I had a layover before a connecting flight into Santa Ana.

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Nevada translates to "Snow Capped Peaks"...most mountainous state in the Lower 48!

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I know the answer but I've already been gifted a new catalog already so I'll hold off.

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It isn't Proteus' custom white 6122, is it?

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Suprdave, I don't think that the answer to this appears in the new catalogue, but I could be mistaken on that. So, go ahead and venture a guess. Then, you can designate someone to receive the catalogue if you win since you already have received one previously.

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Trivia Question # 2:

Name every winner of the coveted CGP designation.

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Out on a limb here, but wasn't that an early sobriquet for Jesse James?

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CGP winners:

Tommy Emmanuel

John Knowles

Jerry Reed

Paul Yandell

Steve Wariner

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Suprdave, I don't think that the answer to this appears in the new catalogue, but I could be mistaken on that. So, go ahead and venture a guess. Then, you can designate someone to receive the catalogue if you win since you already have received one previously.

– Ric12string

Hey Bob, I'm not sure if it's in the catalog either but heck it's gotta be Chet. Right?

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Some of you may remember that FMIC has a gala reception for its dealers where they exhibit all of the new batch of Custom Shop guitars. There were more custom Telecasters than you can even begin to think about there.

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But, also, sort of tucked into a back corner were the Gretsch Custom Shop offerings for this year. When I arrived, Stephen Stern was very much in his element explaining all the nuances of these custom guitars to Greg Koch, he of Wildwood Guitars fame on YouTube where he, along with Joe Carducci, always provides informative, yet hilarious, video introductions to various Gretsch models.

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The Gretsch Custom Shop is celebrating its 15th year of existence this year. The shop has grown a bit in recent years where I think that it employs about six or seven luthiers, in addition to Stephen. I had the good fortune to visit Stephen in the Custom Shop last summer and the operation represents a highly professional approach to guitar building. Everything is organized, work areas are tidy, and there are racks of guitars in various stages of completion in various locations about the shop.

Gretsch dealers are allowed to place their card on any guitar which they wish to purchase and then, using some form of a lottery, winners are selected and are given the opportunity to take that Custom Shop guitar home with them to sell in their own store. For a price, of course.

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This is a Custom Shop 6128 ‘59 Bonneville Duo Jet with a Sebring white top and Mandarin Red back and sides finished in lacquer. The top, back and sides are all mahogany, with a mahogany neck. The ebony fretboard has sterling silver block inlays, with vintage style frets and vintage tuners. The guitar is equipped with TV Jones Super’Tron pickups, a Space Control bridge and Bigsby tailpiece.

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I am kind of liking this mirrored pickguard.

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Next up is a 6210 Custom Shop Jr. Jet Closet Classic in Tahitian Coral color with a lacquer finish. The photograph really doesn’t do the color justice as it looks a bit red here; but, it was actually more true coral in color. The body is mahogany, the neck is rosewood with a black fiber stringer. The fretboard is rosewood with thumbnail inlays. The guitar sports a ‘54 Duo Jet headstock with a script logo and vintage tuners. This model has some of TV Jones’ Ra Butts “Ful Fidelity” pickups with rosewood inserts. The Bigsby is a B5 and the rocking bar bridge is manufactured by a small boutique craftsman working in the rolling hills of Southern Indiana where he bends metal tubes in the dark of night. I had forgotten his name, but I was confident that I could locate his name on his website. But, I don’t seem to find his website either, however. Hmmmm.... I will have to keep researching and report back when I have that figured out.


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