Modern Gretsch Guitars

It Was 10 Years Ago…


Well Baxter's historic post had me reminiscing, so I did some digging...I missed it by a couple weeks, but 10 years ago this month I bought my first Gretsch guitar! And I still have it! Played it just last night. My thoughts on that guitar remain the same: it's exactly the way I want an electric guitar to sound. Clean, distorted, fuzzed-out-beyond-recognition, it's always the sound I hear in my head. The only changes I've made over the years are a brass Tru-Arc, and a Duane Eddy Bigsby handle.

Fun to see a lot of familiar names in that post too. I hope you're all having a wonderful Tuesday!


Here's a photo of it today. I love how much the shade of orange changes depending on the room lighting. Also glad to see how much cell phone cameras have improved since then.


Cool. I don’t even have any of my first 4 Gretschs. I spent 12 years buying and selling my Gretschs until I landed on the perfect one, my beloved Dyna Jet.


I had 18 come thru here over 7-8 years, including basses. Fun times!


Well I've had plenty of guitars pass through, but only 3 Gretsches, and this is by far the best. All of the guitars have had their strong points, but this one is closest to the full package deal; it's never made a bad sound, and it feels so natural in my hands. You should hear it with my Echoplex and Ampeg Gemini!


When I joined the ‘Pages, I had a lone 5120 that I was trying to find out more info about and stumbled onto this site. Wow......

Because of that happenstance, not only did I reconnect with a beloved long-lost bud, Proteus, but I wound up with another 13 Gretsch guitars, a very special and cherished bass, and two Gretsch amps.

I still have them all but one, which I gifted to another bud and GDP’er, Shive.

That kinda stuff NEVER happens! But thanks to Bax and the GDP, it actually does.


It is truly a magical place, and I love to hear the stories of people who came here--either with a Gretsch guitar, or just wondering about them--who got caught up in the community and contributed their own little part to making this place what it is.

For me, I was just a sophomore in high school, 2002. It was the day before Thanksgiving, snowing, and my mother took me along with her while she did some early Christmas shopping. I'd been playing guitar for about a year at that point, and I insisted we go to Guitar Center, since it was nearby the mall. I didn't know much about guitars at the time, but I'd recently worked out "House of the Rising Sun" on my Squier Strat, and I loved going to GC and looking at all the awesome instruments there. That was the day I saw my first Gretsch.

It was a New Jet--G6114, and it was like nothing I'd ever seen: cherry red flame maple, with a trapeze tailpiece, two wacky looking pickups, hump-block inlays, and a big headstock with a horseshoe on it. Best of all it was at ground level, so I could pick it up, plug it in, and hear what "House of the Rising Sun" sounded like on it. Holy Shit, if it sounded even better than it looked! I must have sat there strumming the Animals and the couple Beatles tunes I knew for an hour, but it felt like five minutes when my mom told me we had to leave the store and get home. I reluctantly put the guitar back on the stand, noting the $1400 price tag on it.

Now there are plenty of inspirational stories of 15-year-old kids saving up $1400 to buy their dream guitars, or whatever other widgets 15-year-olds aspire to. This is not that story.

Being a resourceful--if not frugal--lad, I knew that the internet was free, and contained multitudes. I had to find out everything I could about that guitar, and before long I was here. It took me a few google searches to work out that spelling: G-R-E...what the hell is a T doing in there? It was here I learned that my guitar hero George Harrison had played that very model of guitar (for a 15-year-old, any "Jet" was close enough), and indeed my masterpiece "House of the Rising Sun" was recorded with a different Gretsch!

I devoured this site, and luckily I had a whole long weekend to do it. At the time, the site history went back into the 90s, and I must have read every thread here. I learned about Jets, Falcons, Tennesseeans, Chet, George, Duane, Telecasters, amps, pomade.

It took me a few months to work up the courage to post anything here, but when I did I was treated like one of the guys, not just some high-school dork. I got to talk to rock stars like Elliott Easton, and even to Deed Eddy, who was just as sweet as can be. Nobody discouraged me from saving up for that Jet, but the resounding advice from these people who knew so much was to save up for a decent amp first, the cool guitar could come later.

I followed that advice, buying first a Vox modeling amp, then eventually a Peavey Classic 30. A real tube amp. Before long, regular high school stuff like going out with friends, and then girls took control of my funds, and I never got that New Jet. I got a Les Paul Special for about a third of the price, but I still hung around here, because the people were awesome, and nobody treated me any different for not having a Gretsch. It would be 7 more years, high school, college, and beyond.

By a weird policy of the University of Texas graduate student payroll, I received a check in July 2010 that was twice my normal monthly stipend. After making sure it wasn't some bank error, I spent that whole paycheck on my 6120.


Like Joe C says “Every guitar has a Story.” And as it seems, all of us have our own GDP stories. Glad you shared, Otter. I do remember we referred to you as “kid” for a while. I’m glad you stuck around with us old guys.


There were some other "kids" here at one point or another, I remember fondly conversations with Jayce and Pseudo Man. Who was that guy with the cool Ford Falcon?


I wonder what we do to run them off. Do we smell like a nursing home or something?


Got a Harrison-spec Gent before anyone(including me) on this side of the pond knew who he was. Still have it and 5 more various types,plus another 4 that got away. Still love'em all!

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