NAMM / Anaheim Convention Center
800 West Katella Avenue – Anaheim, CA
We’ve worn out another perfectly good 12 months of history, the lucky among us are a year older, things did not grind to a halt when the Mayan calendar started over - and most of us are back to work after the traditional holidays. It must be time for southern California sunshine and the annual madness of NAMM!
Once again I’ll be the guest of Joe Carducci, providing sorta real-time catch-as-catch-can blog-o-manic, pictographic, and possibly A/V coverage of the Gretsch booth. There are no scheduled artist perfomances this year, so there will be more time (one imagines) to get intimate with new product - and we already know there’s some pretty cool stuff.
That’s not to say there won’t be impromptu performances, or spontaneous interview opportunities. Fun, games, giveaways, last-minute surprises? But of course! I’m going in with no real expectations this time, and beyond being pretty sure it will all revolve around guitars, people, and music, I’m open to anything that may be in store.
In 2013, Gretsch is celebrating 130 years in business by introducing some interesting (and even surprising) new Gretsch guitar models - and even though some of them have planks down the middle, the world STILL hasn’t come to an end.
Repeat customers know how this works. My travel begins early tomorrow morning, and you might see some airplane pics by tomorrow afternoon. Tomorrow night, the private Custom Shop party with fabulous Steven Stern one-offs. By Thursday noon or so, we’ll be well into it. You can all follow along at home just by watching for updates to this event thread. Make a bookmark, make some time, and … let’s go Gretschin’ at NAMM!
Masked Men Seize Hotel Ballroom, Yet Take No Hostages!
After leaving the NAMM Show, I found the following news report that some of you may have missed: **MASKED MEN SEIZE CONTROL OF HOTEL BALLROOM – NO HOSTAGES WERE TAKEN AS OCCUPANTS WILLINGLY …
Win the 2013 NAMM Commemorative GretschTop!
I know I should have planned ahead - but by the time I remembered I’d need guitar tops for the 3rd annual autograph chase, it was too late to shop. (And I’m not …
Happy Anniversary to Gretsch
Gretsch is more than just guitars and drums. The brand is still the pride of the family which founded it in 1883, and “our” Fred Gretsch, with his wife Dinah, works daily to …
Hangin' with Steve Hunter: Center-Block Falcon Demo & More
Now this is a treat. I was anxious to hear one of the new Center Block guitars through an amp, played in a way that might demonstrate its difference from the nearest non-center-block …
The Custom Shop Synchro Jet
Look away if you don’t want to see the camera ogle the Synchro Jet. Nothing here but beauty shots! The Synchro Jet is the brilliant companion piece to Paul’s Synchro Club. I’m pretty …
Paul and Jim Dandy!
Just before Paul Pigat left on Saturday, he grabbed me in the booth and said “Let’s try the Jim-Dandy.” I thought it was a fine idea. The JD is the Roots Collection reincarnation …
Unfortunately, by the time I finished Zooming, I was expected back upstairs - so I didn’t get to spend much time with TV. But we’d hung out at the Cowtown Roundup last May, …
On my annual NAMM Sunday afternoon wander, I make it a point to see what’s happening at the TV Jones / Billy Zoom booth - now on the main floor rather than in …
NAMM People Too
Once again, old friends and new. _ Some people you meet for the first time, and you start talking - and then it’s a couple hours later and you’ve known them all your …
... but Gretsch IS guitars.
And we never tire of seeing them. Just catching a few more shots in the booth.
Gretsch is more than guitars.
While FMIC is responsible for development and marketing of the guitar line - and has arguably brought the brand to its widest recognition and greatest acceptance ever, and put it on an upward …
Mad Max and the Wild Ones - a family rockabilly band featuring three brothers - were introduced to the GDP at NAMM in booth performances several years ago. They’ve since appeared at numerous …
Scrambled notes on Sunday at NAMM...
It started in the morning, the last day of the show, and durned if it didn’t go all day. All those updates and contests I was going to do - well, they went …
Lynda Kay: sparkly in pink!
If there’s a sweetheart at the Gretsch rodeo, it’s the lovely and talented Lynda Kay. The best thing is, Lynda’s beauty is way more than skin-deep. She’s always gracious and genuine, always a …
Paul Pigat (with Lynda Kay) Live! in the Gretsch Booth
We don’t know how it kept happening: the rule was “no live performances in the booth.” But on Thursday, there was the Steve Hunter tune, and at the end of the show day …
Meet Calico, The Band
Phil Short of Fender introduced me to Calico yesterday: three female singer-songwriters from the greater LA area who were making names for themselves on the regional circuit, garnering success as performers and writers, …
The Vega Clan
We’re fortunate in the Gretsch community to have so many good people involved - players and enthusiasts, artists both famous and not-so, GDP-ers, builders and innovators, dealers, managers and designers and marketers, tech …
The Custom Shop Synchro Club: Now the story can be told.
A great GreTscH for a great player. A cast of characters is implicated in the story behind the Custom Shop “Synchro Club” model, demonstrating that at least in this case, it’s taken a …
Many of the regulars, and always someone new. A notable addition to the Gretsch crew this year is Adam Bowden Smith, a British bloke who has recently taken on the Joe Carducci job …
Custom Shop Feast (Pt 3)
Stephen Stern and I had a most informative conversation today about how the Gretsch Custom Shop works. He now has a staff of five other guys (up by three this year); Stephen is …
NAMM gets away from me.
I should expect it: there’s always at least one day at NAMM where tentative schedules turn out to be meaningless, when one thing leads to another, when Sara N Dippity undermines the best-laid …
The NAMM 2013 Great Gretschaway Swagfest!
Joe “Whatever It Takes” Carducci is famous for his generosity. In online events past, there have been literally hundreds of giveaway items for trivia answers, drawings, or just on general principle. At Roundups, …
The booth, the whole booth, and nothing but the booth.
Another GDP-at-NAMM tradition is a series of the entire booth and everything in it, showing the layout just as it would appear if you could be here. I try to get these shots …
There’s no excuse for this batch of pictures. I have no revelations or insights. I just like to look at them. All the rich woods in those satin finishes that let the grain …
The modern Electromatics have been great for Gretsch. From a personal perspective, it was a lowly bolt-neck red sparkle Electromatic from the early aughties (Gretscbuckers, wrap-around bridge) that served as my gateway to …
Steve Hunter takes the new doublecut Duo Jet DCM for a spin.
The new doublecut Duo Jet is a thing of beauty, with its deep cherry metallic top over black back sides, and neck. But I wondered “why a new doublecut Jet, just now?” Joe …
A relaxing day at NAMM?
Ah, 10 PM on NAMM Thursday, and I’ve already processed the day’s images, had a relaxing supper, and am back in the room ready to post for the day. That seems downright early, …
A Custom Shop Feast (Pt 2): Synchro Club!
A most intriguing confection here: the Synchro-Club Closet Classic Aged Blonde. Spruce top over 17” (I believe) maple body, bound catseye sound holes, Duncan Dyno at the neck and a TVJ Mystery Pup …
Guild Electrics - they're not just nostalgia anymore.
I know I shouldn’t put this here, and I feel so disloyal. You know how we’ve speculated in the past that FMIC had originally hoped to use their Guild & DeArmond acquisitions to …
Gretsch digs up more roots.
Or, perhaps, invents them. When I speculated on new Roots models over the past several months (while playing my still-utterly-fabuous Bobtail resonator), I’d thought perhaps a bright-finish metal biscuit-bridge model, maybe a tri-cone …
Billy Duffy: Another Falcon comes home to roost.
Long-anticipated, long-rumored, the Billy Duffy Falcon is of course now a reality. It seems less over-the-top than your usual Falcon (if there is such a thing): elegant, even understated. But we know it …
In the Annivers-o-rarium
They’re always so clever - coming up with ideas you wouldn’t have thought of, but which make perfect sense and seem practically obvious in retrospect. Like the new Anniversary Jr. It builds on …
Chet Atkins always wanted it; trestle bracing and a closed body were all Gretsch would give him. He finally got it (in balsa!) from that other G-company. Fred Gretsch warmed up the market …
A Custom Shop Feast (Pt 1)
It’s always a pleasure to see what Stephen Stern and his small crew have been up to. There are always Gretsch-appropriate new ideas, inspiration implemented in ways that respec Gretsch traditions while mashing …
Gretsch Gets Busy
Very busy indeed. As is known in these parts, for the past several months, I’ve been most obvious on the Gretsch scene via my absence. This wasn’t faux-absence: I hadn’t even been looklurking …
OK, so. Regular GDP Event travelers (a hardy lot) know what’s coming next. Between where I live and every place I get to go to report on GreTscHenings, there’s all this geography. I …
For one Duo Jet T-shirt, we asked: What turns a Jet into a PowerJet?
- threadkiller said: "Powertron pickups".
Congratulations, threadkiller. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For two 130th Anniversary Man Purses, we asked: None of this year's new models have the Tone ("mud") switch. Identify a recorded use of the tone.
- dmanlow said: "American Woman- Randy Bachman of the Guess Who".
- macphisto said: "Stephen Stills, "Wooden Ships" on the first CSN album.".
Congratulations, dmanlow and macphisto. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For two Duo Jet T-shirts, we asked: Everyone knows Falcons have 17" bodies, right? Except when they don't. Identify at least two such models.
- MitchC said: "G6139CB Falcon Center-Block Single Cutaway and G6139T-CBDC Falcon Center-Block Double Cutaway ".
- threadkiller said: "7594 falcon jr and 6022 white falcon rancher".
Congratulations, MitchC and threadkiller. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For two Billy Duffy Falcon brochures, we asked: What color were the binding and hardware on Billy Duffy's original Baldwin-era White Falcon? What color are they on his new sig model? Explain.
- ScottieDawg said: "They were gold on his original, but he says they have faded to nearly silver, therefore he requested non-gold for his sig model.".
- Itchin For Gretschin said: "the binding used to be gold but wore off over time and is now silver, the same colour as his signature model.".
Congratulations, ScottieDawg and Itchin For Gretschin. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For one Duo Jet Players Club workshirt, we asked: Other than color, how is the 6128T-DCM Dark Cherry Duo Jet different from the doublecut Duo Jet already in the Pro Collection?
- ScottieDawg said: "The new Jet has a standard tone control, Adjusto-matic bridge on pinned ebony base, Schaller strap locks, and medium jumbo frets!".
Congratulations, ScottieDawg. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For two Duo Jet T-shirts, we asked: The "Paul Pigat" Custom Shop Synchro Club is not the first blonde spruce-topped Club of the modern era. Explain.
- MitchC said: "For a brief time Gretsch produced a spruce-topped (natural/blonde) Country Club.".
- kuzinov (Cousin Steve) said: "No, they were also made in limited numbers starting in 2006".
Congratulations, MitchC and kuzinov (Cousin Steve). You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For four 130th Anniversary Man Purses, we asked: Connect "Peggy" and "Gretsch."
- MacStevenXIII said: "Peggy Jones, AKA Lady Bo. ".
- kuzinov (Cousin Steve) said: "Peggy Jones was a member of Bo Diddley's band. There's a Peggy J. Gretsch. I'm pretty sure somebody has played Peggy Sue on one, so there.".
- Geoff Vane said: "She was the lady next to you on the plane. made photos and told you things.".
- Kevin F said: "Margaret "Peggy" Gretsch composed a new tune for The Lord's Prayer in 1948, according to the copyright encyclopedia online. May not be the answer you are looking for, but, one I managed to find.... ".
Congratulations, MacStevenXIII , kuzinov (Cousin Steve) , Geoff Vane and Kevin F. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For two Billy Duffy Falcon brochures, we asked: What does she vend?
- Geoff Vane said: "Sanctuary".
- Sandy said: "Sanctuary".
Congratulations, Geoff Vane and Sandy. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For one Duo Jet Players Club Workshirt, we asked: What's your favorite feature of the Custom Shop Synchro Club and/or Synchro Jet?
- dmanlow said: "I love the pickup combo and tortoise binding!".
Congratulations, dmanlow. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For one 2013 NAMM Commemorative GretschTop!, we asked: Since 1953, and not including the new Dark Cherry Metallic, how many guitar models has Gretsch produced wih the 6128 model number?
- Rex said: "25 Models".
Congratulations, Rex. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For one NEW G6128T-DCM Dark Cherry Metallic Duo Jet, we asked: Who belongs on Mt Gretschmore?
- Itchin For Gretschin said: "1st and 2nd: Billy Duffy and George Harrison for putting “Gretsch” in my vocabulary; 3rd: John Squire, who inspired me to put a Gretsch in my hands; 4th: Brian Setzer who turned me onto rockabilly.".
Congratulations, Itchin For Gretschin. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For two DuoJet T-shirts, we asked: In what year was Gretsch recognized as the the largest musical instrument manufacturer in the US?
- toddfan said: "1920".
- Suprdave said: "1920".
Congratulations, toddfan and Suprdave. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For one 2013 Gretsch Pocket Calendar, we asked: In what "volume" of publication is the current "House Telegram," the Gretsch company newsletter?
- ChesterTheThird said: "The Vol. No must be 130.".
Congratulations, ChesterTheThird. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For one Calico 4-song CD, we asked: Which Roots Collection instruments are played by the ladies of Calico?
- retroandy said: "New Yorker Mando, Dixie 6 Banjo and a Bobtail Resonator? Cool looking instruments to a tee!".
Congratulations, retroandy. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For one Duo Jet Players Club workshirt, we asked: Synchromatic - it's a big name in Gretsch history, making a comeback now. When did it first appear on a Grestch product?
- AndyJ said: "1939".
Congratulations, AndyJ. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For two Duo Jet T-shirtss, we asked: Double Jet: has there ever been a Signature Model? Whose? When?
- Ripley1046 said: "Malcolm Young, released in 1995".
- Hermitt said: "the 1996 Malcom Young Double Jet.".
Congratulations, Ripley1046 and Hermitt. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For one 130th Anniversary Man Purse, we asked: When did Gretsch introduce their first single-cutaway guitars? Under what model name?
- Hi_Fi said: "1951 Electro II".
Congratulations, Hi_Fi. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For two Billy Duffy Falcon keepsake brochures, we asked: True or False: Billy Duffy once shared a band with Morrissey.
- KuuKOO said: "True".
- Shawn said: "True".
Congratulations, KuuKOO and Shawn. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For one Duo Jet Players Club Workshirt, we asked: You're designing a new hollow or chambered Gretsch model: maple or spruce top? Briefly, why?
- kuzinov (Cousin Steve) said: "Maple, I just like the look of the grain.".
Congratulations, kuzinov (Cousin Steve). You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For one Duo Jet T-shirt, we asked: Name a famous luthier under whom Stephen Stern apprenticed.
- dmanlow said: "Jimmy D'Aquisto".
Congratulations, dmanlow. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For six 130th Anniversary Man Purses, we asked: What Gretsch model, still in the line, is not on display in the booth at NAMM?
- Rex said: "Tennessee Rose with Hilos.".
- leedeanryan said: "G6196T Country Club".
- Sandy said: "The absence of a G6128TCG Duo Jet is sadly a familiar sight to me.".
- GetIt said: "I couldn't spot some of the Signature guitars like the Keith Scott 6120, Bono Falcon or Malcolm Young 6131. Also, it looked like there are no Country Clubs - whoa!!!".
- redrocker said: "6121 Chet Atkins Solidbody".
- ChesterTheThird said: "I don't see a Black Falcon with dynasonics an cadillac tail piece.".
Congratulations, Rex , leedeanryan , Sandy , GetIt , redrocker and ChesterTheThird. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For three Duo Jet T-shirts, we asked: Besides the new Billy Duffy, name three other signature Falcon models from years past.
- retroandy said: "Stephen Stills, Chris Cheney, Dave Lee Falcons!".
- Marcos Atkins said: "Stephen Stills White Falcon Bono Irish Falcon Chris Cheney White Falcon".
- AndyJ said: "Steven Stills, David Lee, and Bono.".
Congratulations, retroandy , Marcos Atkins and AndyJ. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For one Duo Jet Players Club work shirt, we asked: Did you get any Roots Collection instruments last year? If there's one on your list, what is it?
- GetIt said: "Haven't had a chance to hear one yet, but that resonator uke looks titilating.".
Congratulations, GetIt. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For two Duo Jet T-shirts, we asked: The 2013 Custom Shop "dark Roundup" isn't the first dark-stained Jet. What was the first?
- Ratrod said: "I think that would have been the Baldwin era Roc Jet. Available in walnut stain and cherry stain among others.".
- sascha said: "Some 70s Roc Jets had that walnut stain I think. So this is my answer.".
Congratulations, Ratrod and sascha. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For two 130th Anniversary Man Purses, we asked: According to Chet Atkins, who disliked them, who was the only guy who got good tone from Dynasonic pickups?
- rowbo said: "Duane Eddy".
- macphisto said: "Duane Eddy".
Congratulations, rowbo and macphisto. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For one Choice of new White or Black Panther guitar, we asked: Besides the new Black Panther, name at least 3 other current or historical Gretsch guitars with "Black" in their names.
- ForwardLook77 said: "Black Falcon, Black Penguin, Black Phoenix ".
Congratulations, ForwardLook77. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For two Duo Jet T-shirts, we asked: What's unique about Gretsch's implementation of center blocks on the new Panthers and Center Block Falcons?
- BigJimSlade said: "The block is chambered and made of spruce and doesn't have sunk in bridge-mounting studs into the plank. ".
- Geoff Vane said: "The plank isn’t solid, it’s chambered. It’s spruce, for a livelier and brighter tone that won’t deaden the thing. Perhaps most importantly, Gretsch isn't sinking bridge-mounting studs into the plank. ".
Congratulations, BigJimSlade and Geoff Vane. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For one Duo Jet Players Club work shirt, we asked: On what floor of the Gretsch building in Brooklyn were guitars made?
- Marcos Atkins said: "Guitars were made on two floors: on ninth flor they assembled the guitars, and on seventh floor was the wood shop and the finishing room (according to Dan Duffy)".
Congratulations, Marcos Atkins. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For two 130th Anniversary Man Purses, we asked: How many new Roots models are being introduced at NAMM2013? List them.
- KuuKOO said: "G9420 Alligator Biscuit Roundneck G9500 Jim Dandy flattop G9101 NYC Camp Uke G9112 Resonator Ukelele G9126 guitar Ukelele ".
- Sunshine said: "Five. - Gretsch G9500 "JIM DANDY™" 24" FLAT TOP - Gretsch G9101 "NYC" Camp Uke - Gretsch G9240 "Alligator" Round Neck - Gretsch G9112 Resonator-Ukulele - Gretsch G926 Guitar-Ukulele (A to A)".
Congratulations, KuuKOO and Sunshine. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For two Duo Jet T-shirts, we asked: True or False: the Duo Jet is the best guitar in the known universe. If Yes, which Jet? If not, why not? Defend your answer.
- built4speed said: "Yes, it is. 6128T-DSV. Cliff Gallup agrees.".
- MacStevenXIII said: "False. My 6120RHH is the best know guitar in the universe! ".
Congratulations, built4speed and MacStevenXIII. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For one 130th Anniversary Man Purse, we asked: The 130th Anni Jr has ML bracing. What is it, and what does "ML" stand for? Bonus: on what model was it first used?
- Bob Howard said: "It's like trestle bracing but with one upright, slightly shorter and made of one piece of wood. The ML stands for Masao Terada and Mike Lewis. Was it on the 125th Annie?".
Congratulations, Bob Howard. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
For one 130th Anniversary Man Purse, we asked: During the NAMM2012 Triv-a-way, who came closest to predicting the 130th Anniversary Jr color scheme?
- built4speed said: "68warbird, who said: metallic copper and black two- tone".
- 68warbird said: "I think I came pretty close with my suggestion of "metallic copper and black." I must say, the combo Joe and the team chose looks awesome. ".
Congratulations, built4speed and 68warbird. You will be contacted shortly for mailing info.
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