Modern Gretsch Guitars

John Bolin is making me reverse tangerine sparkle Billy Bo!!


Very excited, John Bolin is making me a tangerine sparkle Billy Bo. I'm going with a reverse body, penguin headstock, sparkle silver binding. Grover Imperials, B7 Bigsby.

I'm a big fan of the dirty Dan Aurebach sound. I already have a factory Billy Bo with Powertrons (black front, mahogany body)so I'm considering Supertrons this time around. I would love to hear your thoughts on them.

I considered a hotter set, but TV Jones says they will be too muddy.

Any other thoughts?


why why do you torture me.. I tried to be happy spray painting my spectra sonic pkguard in sparkle.. told myself it sounds just like a Billybo' ...and now you gotta tell me this.

When I read out loud what you posted my 14 came running over "where the pictures"!!

we'll be watching man, exciting


Sounds like it'll be the baddest assed guitar on the block.

Can't wait to see the pics.


I took your advice and emailed him myself today.


Bolin bought some Gretsch decals from me (or actually Billy Gibbons did, and had them sent to Bolin) - so maybe he can use one on your guitar 8-)


I'm excited for you! Something about the reverse body Billy Bo's - it somehow looks more right when it's flipped over. I really like the lime-green Billy Bo that BG uses. And with a sparkle body, well, it makes me all tingly!:D


Thanks for the encouragement! I am excited! Should be done in around six or seven weeks. He's making a reverse Billy case too.

The tangerine sparkle from Delmar didn't seem to be bright enough. John has come up with a cool solution. He's gonna spray a candy over the silver sparkle. Should give it more depth. Test happens today.

At first we were gonna do a three pickup version, but it's likely overkill. It would look great, but it might be a pain to play. Plus I'm not sure I 'need' that flexibility. Should I reconsider?

The other option is to go with two Supertrons. I saw a clip on YouTube of a white 'Lust for Life' running a set of Supertrons. It sounded great. Any Supertron players?

Any details I have forgotten?

I will post photos when I get them.


Ohh, I'm not going to put a Gretsch decal on it. I'm putting BOLIN on the headstock


This is awesome news.8-)

Are you getting the sparkle fingerboard treatment as well?



I think the Supertrons would be great for the Dan Auerbach like tones. Especially if you got the four wire conductors to do some coil splitting!

I'm interested in how it will turn out! That single pickup gold sparkle Billy Bo that Gibbons plays is quite awesome, and I've seen a Falcon/Penguin headstock'd Billy Bo that Bolin made and it was pretty sweet.

Ha! I'm in the same boat, Tavo. I always get jazzed about Billy Bo's. Then I always think, "My Spectra Sonic has to be close enough sonically to keep me satisfied?"

I only wish I could buy that winning lotto ticket! I'd have them all!


No sparkle fingerboard. He has a nice aged rosewood for me. It will be bound in silver ala a Silver Falcon.

He is putting in mother of pearl inlays that have a slightly aged, golden hue.

Glad to hear I'm getting a thumbs up on the Supertrons. I want something different than my Powertrons, but not as bright as my Annie's Filtertrons.

I have always loved the tone I get from my Harmony. Very alive single coils. Awesome sounding.



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Cool. Very cool. Looking forward to seeing how hollow it gets. It would explain how light the production ones are. Heavily chambered indeed.


I just joined the discussion page and I'm very interested in following your project with Bolin...

I got the Gretsch fever a while back and acquired a Billy-Bo to satisfy that "Jones"... this is gonna be fun to watch this design go to the next level...


The production models are based on a guitar that was made by Bolin and Billy (based on the guitar designed and gifted by Bo Didley). They should be very similar to this guitar.

There will be differences though, the bridge will be pinned etc.


I haven't heard much in the last week or so. Nothing to report, but i do have a question:

At one time I was thinking about building it as a three pickup model. The rest is already sooo over the top, why stop?

I looked and it does not appear clearance is going to be an issue.

Any thoughts on going that route? Also any tips on w=how I might wire it. At the moment I thought i would just put another toggle switch for the center pu.


I would go the other way and put just one pickup in it. And a Bigsby B7, yes?


Bigsby B7 is happening. One pu is not for me, though I hear all of Billy's only have a working bridge. Who knows if thats true. Sounds like a good story.

Anyone biting on a 3 pu idea?

I'm also still considering a Supertron Billy Bo.


You could go for four like Mr. Horsepower!

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