Elliot Easton’s love of Tiki Culture is well-known. Much less known is how close he came to bringing his own Gretsch White Tiki guitar to the world.
In early 2005 Elliot huddled up with Mike Lewis at Fender and cooked up what could have been his dream Tiki guitar. In April he released a handful of photos of a prototype White Tiki.
Based on his signature Jet models, the White Tiki added TV Jones pickups, a “Stills” off-white color in lacquer, plenty of gold sparkle binding, a special headstock nameplate and a “Tiki” Pickguard.
It looked awesome. Elliot said it sounded awesome. The masses said they wanted one.
It was not to be. In spite of inspiring one of the longest threads in Gretsch Pages history, only one prototype White Tiki is known to exist, and it remains with Elliot.
Maybe it would have been too expensive to build. Maybe Gretsch felt it was too similar to the White Penguin. Maybe it was a casualty of Elliot ending his association with Gretsch in November 2005. For whatever reason, the Tiki never made it into production and remains one of the great mythical creatures of Gretsch history.