Modern Gretsch Guitars



It all started Friday morning. I went in to work for the last time to turn in my laptop, badges, and company AmEx card. The HR Manager was late (she's getting laid off tomorrow), and there were a bunch of us last-day folks hanging around waiting to turn in our stuff and move on with our lives.

So I plugged in said laptop one last time and signed off my time sheet one last time. I looked at my accrued vacation days (for which they were to be paying me that day), and saw I'd built up one more week than I'd thought. Hmm, wonder what that works out to in dollars. Checked my direct deposit (it was payday). Holy crap, that's some money I wasn't expecting, and you know what that means. Let's surf the web and wait for HR to show up.

The Hollywood GC would be on my way home, let's look at their used stuff. Ooh, a used Guild X-165 Rockabilly, in orange, and a not-bad price. I had one and sold it, and wanted it back. OK, what else, a few more odds and ends of interest, so I stopped by. Not only did they have the Guild, they had a pre-FMIC 6120 in fine shape for the same price, and a sizable number of new Gretsches at...GC prices. OK, fine, let's try them all. The Guild was a little disappointing. And it didn't come with a case, and they wouldn't haggle on the price. The Gretsches were OK, but the one I wanted to like the most, the Players Edition White Falcon (and the black one, too, they had one of each), just didn't sound, play, or feel like what they were asking, and I thought "Maybe TrueTone still has that Golden Era Falcon I'd tried there a few weeks ago, and maybe they'd make me a deal." So I left.

Went over to TrueTone, the Falcon had sold. Fine, what else do they have? A Hot Rod, an Anniversary, a Duane Eddy, and a..what? A G6120-BSNV-LOR? What in blazes is that? 6120, OK, Brian Setzer, that's the BS, "NV?" What, was this made in Nevada? I dunno. "LOR?" Lacquer, ornage, I'm guessing. Let's plug 'er in. Ooh, nice. No, really nice, maybe even nicer than that. That neck, Setzer signature pickups, trestle bracing, lacquer finish, it all worked together very well. Made in 2015. Well, if it's been around that long, maybe they'd like to make me a deal to sell it.... They did. I'll finally have to sell those guitars I've been meaning to sell to cover some of it, but this is the sound and the feel that was missing from all those other ones I tried.

Couldn't find any information about this specific model online, but I bought it anyway.


Nice flamey top on that one! I could go for that, myself!

Great way to deal with the problem of excess cash!


Pssst. NV = NashVille. You're going to really enjoy that one. Have fun.


Am I surprised? I am not surprised.

And it couldn’t happen to a stellarer feller. So many congratulations (and commiserations) are in order: the end of one year and the start of another, the (second) end of a candy career and the start of a well-earned retirement (which I bet won’t be all that retiring).

In all that, some continuity is called for, and I can’t think of anything more reassuringly continuous than a Frankly visit to True Tone and an unplanned guitar purchase. And if one had to follow you home on such an auspicious day, it seems meet and right that it should be an iconic orange Gretsch with a flaming top.

So as with the years, new ones in and old ones out, so too with guitars to mark the passage. And don’t we love that new lacquer smell!



Congratulations on a career and that orange beauty? You deserve it. Play it loud for many years.


Aww man, Frank, that's a happy ending if I've ever heard one!

Congrats and enjoy!


Good luck with your transition! Great looking guitar too!


Thanks, all. It really is a joy to play, and I’ve decided, for now, not to do my usual Tru-Arckification, string-size increase, or even swap out the Schaller strap locks for Dunlops. Can’t say I won’t do that in the future, but for now, I’ll give it a go as Brian (or Joe, or Mike, or whomever) intended, and see how it goes. The strings are so bendy and twangeriffic, I’ll see how this guitar works in my country band, the newly-rebooted Haywire. One thing I won’t be doing is putting a synth pickup on it. That’d just be silly.

And wouldn’t ya know it, just last night I got an email from the guy I sold my 6022CV to years ago, asking if I would be interested in re-acquiring it. Well, yeah, I would, just not sure what I’d pay for it with. Now is not the time to take on new debt. Plus I think he’s asking more for it than I sold it for.

As for the career, yeah, that one appears to be over, but I don’t think I get to completely retire just yet. My wife doesn’t want me to do that until the mortgage is paid off. And that’s a few years out. Finding a new full-time job at my age that doesn’t involve saying “Welcome to Walmart” could prove a challenge, but by the time I’d been unemployed for 6 hours, I’d already had two offers for consulting gigs, so we’ll see how this all shakes out.

But lest the Quilter and Reverend people, along with any Gretsch correspondents be concerned, I’ll still bring candy to NAMM to pass out (I do have a reputation to uphold), I just don’t get it free anymore. On the other hand, now I can provide a bigger variety of brands.


That’s a “Real Bobby Dazzler”!


Isn’t it fun to get a guitar that doesn’t need immediate modifications? Congrats and good luck with your new bossless life. I’m digging mine.


That is ONE GORGEOUS GUITAR!!!! The perfect gift to yourself for retirement! Enjoy!! (clearly, you will!)...

Careers...... congrats on turning the page and I wish you all the best as you move into your next chapter.


Dang, that's purty! I can see why you couldn't say no!


That was a fun read. Congrats and good luck blasting into '19.


Congratulations on your retirement and the new guitar!


Lovely story to start New Years Eve day with, and a beaut of a geetar to start the year with. Happy 2019!!


Congrats Frank,i wouldn't be able to say no to that beautiful geetar either!

Happy New Year Sir!


Great way to ring out the old and bring in the new!


Great way to finish out the year and at least part of your career. Congrats


Great story Frank! Hey, if you are going to NAMM we should make a point to run into each other.


Nice severance package, Frank!

Best of luck with your next endeavor!


Congrats on the new git, Frank. It's a beauty! Enjoy your retirement.


Hey, if you are going to NAMM we should make a point to run into each other.

I’ll be there all 4 days as far as I know. Maybe somewhere around the Gretsch booth? That’s a good place to hang.


Woo hoo....big congrats and a very happy New Year! Lacquer, flames, TVJ's.....doesn't get much better than than that. Re string gauge.....the stock 10-46's work very well with those big old trestle braces and help maintain the twang factor. Tried 11's on my Power Tenny ... the 11's increased the volume of the guitar but it seemed to lose the twang so I went back to 10-46's and the twang came back.

Register Sign in to join the conversation