Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Astro Jet and Vette body stash


In 4th paragraph, Gruhn talks about the Sho-Bud presence in Nashville around 1970... "rending guitars non collectible" but face, that scene hardly existed then.

But since Gretsch acquired Sho Bud or some part if i or there was some partnership/sales arrangement, could that been the reason those bodies ended up where they were found?


I have two of the Astro Jet bodies. One, I've turned into a wonderful 12 string that can and does compete with any Rickenbacker, and the other, is an, as of yet, unfinished project, but it will be Esquire-like in features...single pickup at the bridge, 6 string.

The bodies found in Nashville vary greatly in weight, moisture content and condition. Tartan Phantom was a real prince in getting me a decent chunk of mahogany for my 12.


The Nashville bodies were originally stored in the loft of the music store located at 416B Broadway which did indeed belong to Shot Jackson and Buddy Emmons -- it is now Roberts Western Wear (which is actually a bar) today.

Mike Armistead and his father Lester (RIP) found the bodies when they were clearing out the building for the owner after the store's closure and sale in the late 1980's. Mike and Lester told me that when they asked about what to do with all the bodies, the building owner basically said "I don't care, just get rid of that junk". The Armisteads took the bodies back to their home in Goodlettsville and stored them in their corn crib for over 20 years, and that's where they were when I first went to the Armistead's home and saw them... stacks and stacks of pre-cut bodies.

Now, exactly how the bodies got into the loft of Sho-Bud Music store in the first place is a story that I do not know, and neither did the Armisteads. However, Baldwin/Gretsch purchased Sho-Bud from Jackson and Emmons in 1980, and Shot still kept the music store open for several years after that. Using deductive logic, and knowing the rough timeline of the store's existence, it would be safe to assume that the bodies arrived at the store on Broadway sometime between 1980 and 1985, as Baldwin filed its initial bankruptcy case in 1983, and proceedings lasted into 1984. I would imagine that the bodies likely came from some Baldwin overflow warehouse or storage facility prior to landing at the Sho-Bud store.

We'll probably never know all the details there.


Well that is as cogent a theory as any. I just thought the Sho-Bud/Gretsch connection around 1980 might have had something to do with it.

Register Sign in to join the conversation