Vintage Gretsch Guitars

APB: Gretsch Guitars is desperately seeking to locate Cliff Gallup’…

276

Vince, I re-checked and neither neck has a zero fret.

– Mel Waldorf

Yes, I know. I was discussing the reason for the discrepancy in the last fret at the top of the board. Maybe something to do with the zero fret addition in the late 50s affecting fretboard length and fret position.... affecting the length of his new fretboard maybeee

277

Somewhere, our girlfriends and wives are crying.

"He keeps staring at that blurry picture!"

Ha ha ha....

– DekeDickerson

That's a good one.

So there's no way around it, you/we have to get hirez scans of the photo's. Do these all belong to his daughter?

And what about the other musicians he used to play with in his early band and in the 4 c's? Are they still alive?

278

And what about the TV Station where the early 4 c's picture was taken? Any chance to get some more footage from there?

279

What’s the coolest part of this all?

13 pages devoted to my idol.

Has to be a GDP record.

Deke I think we need a video of you playing “women love” with the jet for us all to be 100% sure

Keep pickin’

280

Tartan Phantom--

I hate to tell ya, but the guy told me that #15694 was on the wall there for close to a year! So it was probably on the wall when you were there.

On the other hand....would YOU want to be the guy pushing this crackpot theory of mine? ha ha ha....

Deke

– DekeDickerson

Tartan - I think it was on the wall opposite the Gent but barely gave it a glance. It was Bob Howard who pointed out the Jet at Rumble Seat’s to me but I don’t recall who at Gruhn’s saw it first.

Deke - I can’t speak for Tartan Phantom, but I would like to be the guy with such a theory. Whether or not it’s THE guitar, it is an interesting one and you can be sure that the GDP is captivated by the possibility. I’m sure we’re all glad that you shared this story here and am certain that you picked the right place to get knowledgeable opinions.

Lesson I learned from this: Pay Attention, even if the model isn’t at the top of your bucket list. If not the correct guitar, you deserve to find it given your dedicated quest.

281

Mel, with regard to overlaying the photos bear in mind that it looks like the guitar in the earlier group shot looks like it's moving. Look at the 3rd and 5th fret markers, they have a trapezoid shape. I'm pretty sure that this is an artefact of the guitar moving or the light bouncing etc especially when you look at the blurryness of the photo. I have tried to overlay the group shot and the inlay neck shot and I can get them to line up fairly well. I do a lot of photo restoration as a living and in my opinion even though the guitars are at a similar angle etc there is no way that anyone can determine the exact position of the pickups. There are so many variables (like different focal lengths of the camera lenses or tiny differences in angles which produce forshortening effects) it's like trying to hit a moving target.

282

If you look at the pickguards it's all to do with the angle of the guitar...i've prepared a crude visual to illustrate how they can look different depending on the different angles of the guitar in the shot.

The gap between the edge of the pickguard and the cutaway edge looks different in each photo...ie there is an example of large and small gaps with photos of both the original neck and the inlaid neck.

Which goes to prove....nothing, and thats the point. The camera always lies. Which is why we like photos.

283

I've just added some extra clarification...excuse the crudeness.

284

Here's what I mean about the group shot and the blurry "trapeziod" markers..

285

Deke, if Cliff’s daughter has come to fully appreciate her Dad’s lasting significance (I don’t know if he discussed those days with her growing up) and has come to terms with the great interest in him and his guitars, maybe she would agree to a visit - and high-res scans of any photos she has.

At the same time, you now have more focused questions about the guitar(s), timeline, inlaid neck, a stolen guitar, the guitar sold to fund the Gent, etc. She would be unlikely to have been a conscious witness to the early history, and would still have been a young’un when the Jet left for a Gent. But asking more specific questions and posing some scenarios might dislodge memories that would lead somewhere.

I know Joe covered a lot of ground in his visit and conversations, and have no doubt he was as thorough as possible. But a couple years have passed now during which all this has been more present to her mind, and it’s possible memories or dim information may have surfaced.

The same may be true of the remaining Blue Caps and others who knew Cliff and his guitars.

I mean, it’s a road trip - but is this a mission from God or not?

286

Here's what I mean about the group shot and the blurry "trapeziod" markers..

– noggsly

Could that be a third Jet with custom inlays...

288

Could that be a third Jet with custom inlays...

– Andreas

Could that be a third Jet with custom inlays...<

I presume you're joking Andreas

but that actually did cross my mind (!) but it would be a bit strange to have custom inlays that went either sides of the fret metal on some of the frets and not others...also you can see the last fret marker where it joins the body is flared out in the same-but-not-as-pronounced-because-it's-not-moving-as-far kind of way.

I think the guy in the stripey jacket just knocked the guitar a bit with his shoulder!

289

Could that be a third Jet with custom inlays...<

I presume you're joking Andreas

but that actually did cross my mind (!) but it would be a bit strange to have custom inlays that went either sides of the fret metal on some of the frets and not others...also you can see the last fret marker where it joins the body is flared out in the same-but-not-as-pronounced-because-it's-not-moving-as-far kind of way.

I think the guy in the stripey jacket just knocked the guitar a bit with his shoulder!

– noggsly

Yes i did The "wink" smiley obviously did not work on my phone.

290

Personally, I like the notion that the the sans-Bigsby Jet was borrowed, and not THE Jet.

291

Something else that may be obvious but I'll mention it anyway. The bank loan document mentions "Gretsch Spanish Guitar 6128 and case" which, to me, gives even more weight to the theory that the extra money was for a tweed case not a factory bigsby install.

Of course it proves nothing but I'd have thought that if a case was included in the standard purchase price it may not have been mentioned on the loan document.

Again, proves nothing but, you know.....

292

gives even more weight to the theory that the extra money was for a tweed case not a factory bigsby install.

I think that’s a cogent line of reasoning. If the loan officer was feeling diligent that day in specifying the bank’s collateral, a separate line item on the sales slip would have gotten its own mention in the loan. Likewise, had an optional Bigsby made up the extra 50.00, you might expect the same conscientious banker to list IT on the note.

So many of these speculations turn on human factors - a mis-transcribed serial number, how the guitar/case/Bigs deal may have been negotiated, the likelihoods and probabilities that one actor or another behaved in a particular psychologically or behaviorally credible way.

It makes it interesting, but leaves us so short on verifiable objective fact.

293

Well, can we all agree based on what we know that the "drummer" did it?

294

Goes without saying. The drummer always did it.

295

I couldn't even begin to address whether this is THE guitar or not, but I do enjoy a great, well-written story. Thanks for sharing it, Deke.

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Noggsly, all very good points, and I defer to your expertise. Still, if you look at how close the bridge appears to be to the treble pickup in the photo with stripey jacket guy, the extra length of the monogrammed neck fretboard would require the bridge be even closer to the treble pickup and it doesn't appear to be in the photos with that neck. Not conclusively so, but it is peculiar.

297

“stripey jacket guy” is Johnny Burnette. Paul Burlison is on Cliff’s other side.

298

Only scale length would change bridge placement.

299

I remembered an interview where Jeff Beck was searching for Cliff’s Jet two decades ago. I think he did end up with his metal picks.

300

I remembered an interview where Jeff Beck was searching for Cliff’s Jet two decades ago. I think he did end up with his metal picks.

– Setzer

I was thinking about this too. Jeff did the Crazy Legs album in '93? Had he done more research and found Lowell Fayna. Maybe Lowell woulda given it up for a ridiculous price, had Jeff been willing to pay and that guitar would at least be out there being played.


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