Miscellaneous Rumbles

Things I’ve noticed after having been gone…

1

Hey guys,

Well, I've been more or less off the scene (and the forum) for five years and coming back I've noticed the following:

  • There seems to be a much reduced selection of guitars in general (and amps).
  • The youth of today are almost guaranteed to worsen that trend.
  • Nobody seems to be able to make money off recordings--or that's the first thing everyone has told me. It's all about gigging.
  • Nobody seems to be able to make money off gigging apart from the mega famous dinosaurs.
  • Festivals are where it's at, but the bands don't do that well there either...

But...

Rockabilly still lives!

It seems that rockabilly bands still get gigs, still have appeal to a younger age group and the old and the grey remained true. Blues has to a point died (or gone the way of bluegrass), but billy lives on...

That's what it seems like, but I'm not in the States so whadda I know?

On the other hand, psycho has also dried up compared to even five years ago.

Strange days...

How is Gretsch doing, by the way? I mean as a company?

Also, about the time I split, you had the Gretsches with the blocks or something put inside to appeal to the masses--not my thing... but did it work?

K

2

Oh--and the "What are you listening too right now?" thread still lives!

K

3

The only place I see guitarists making money is on twitch.tv. Welcome back. Yup guitars are yesterday.

4

I won't try to respond to all of your points and questions, Konrad, but I can tell you that Gretsch Guitars, as a brand, is very healthy. Joe Carducci now is a part of a great team of specialists in the brand who seem to understand guitars and how they are manufactured and marketed, but also who know that they are something of a niche brand that will never dominate the guitar industry the way that Fender or Gibson has done at times. And, thankfully, they are okay with that. They neither want nor intend to try to be something to everyone. They know their market and stay in their lane pretty well.

As for the "centerblock" models, I think that it can be safely said at this point that they have been a complete success. Gretsch has obviously done this as an attempt to extend somewhat from their mainstream consumer (who is greying pretty rapidly at this point) so as to attract a younger crowd who isn't playing rockabilly or British Invasion material, but who is playing a harder and higher gain sound. I think that there is no shame in saying that they hope to pick off some of Gibson's/Epiphone's customers by giving them a guitar that can be used in those same types of applications. Yet, they are smart enough to try to retain those characteristics about their guitars that created success for them in the first place. Things like a Filter'Tron pickup, or heavily chambering a Duo Jet to create some weight relief, and even chambering the center block so that, while it provides resistance to feedback, it also allow greater resonance.

So, things are generally quite good at Gretsch Central, unlike many other manufacturers out there. Not to say that Gretsch is cavalierly running the business, but just to say that they seem to know what they are doing and are following a smart business plan.

5

But...

Rockabilly still lives!

It seems that rockabilly bands still get gigs, still have appeal to a younger age group and the old and the grey remained true. Blues has to a point died (or gone the way of bluegrass), but billy lives on...

Not here in Tampa. I saw the Rev sometime around 2006. The place was packed w/ a youngish crowd. Saw him recently with excellent support from The Blasters, Junior Brown, Big Sandy. The place was half empty w/ old and grey.

There's only a 2-3 Rockabilly bands around here and they really don't work that steady. Blues does better here.

6

Ric, Great to hear about Gretsch!!!

Just makes me feel good knowing that some things have not changed!!!

Charlie--now that's depressing. Half full for a Rev show?

Ugh.

K

7

Also, about the time I split, you had the Gretsches with the blocks or something put inside to appeal to the masses--not my thing... but did it work?

It worked so well that half of the new models for 2018 are creeping their way towards Gibsonesqueness - centerblocks, inset tune-o-matics, stop tails and B7s, higher output pickups.

http://www.gretschguitars.c...

8

Oh--and the "What are you listening too right now?" thread still lives!

K

– Konrad

---but the Good Grooming thread seems to be long gone.

10

You said: "There seems to be a much reduced selection of guitars in general (and amps)."

No way.....Gibson's line alone seems to have as many models as there were all guitars in the '70s.

Guitar is kicking ass and taking names where I live. i know a lot of people that play that I never would've thought they even liked music. Guitar is infectious and it ain't goin' nowhere!!

11

well, I made my remarks based on the fact that it seems that a lot of models and amps that existed forever get the "no long on offer" on Muscian's friend or in Guitar Center on line, so maybe I'm biased--but then I saw the Gibson custom-shop layoff--sheesh!

K


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