Author Archives: MDuffy
Posted: January 14, 2015
The craftsmen in the Gretsch Custom Shop have taken yet another step towards making the most historically accurate Gretsch guitars they can.
Gretsch Master Builder Stephen Stern and his team searched far and wide for an original tailpiece that could serve as a template for the new models.
“I’ve been changing some of our parts to be more vintage correct to elevate our guitars to a higher level,” Stern said. “I’ve been wanting to work on the tailpiece for a long time. The hardest part was finding an original; that took a lot of time.”
Stern thought he had someone willing to let him borrow an original tailpiece in early 2014, but that fell through once the Gretsch enthusiast got nervous about lending the rare part out.
Luckily, Stern heard from Naoaki Toyofuku of Thrill on the String, a dealer in Japan with an incredible collection of vintage Gretsch guitars.
“He was kind enough to send me a couple tailpieces almost a year ago,” Stern explained. “I had to get them drawn up by our research and development department, and then we got a 3D print of the parts. Then, it was off to the manufacturer.”
What came out of the process is a non-symmetrical long and short version of the tailpiece that will go on the White Falcons and White Penguins, in addition to a symmetrical long and short version for Falcons and Penguins that are in custom colors. All are vintage correct.
“But if a customer wants to order a White Penguin with a symmetrical tailpiece, for example, we can do it,” Stern was quick to add.
Last year, Stern finished work on new vintage-correct knobs for White Falcons and Penguins, and the prodigious luthier said he is not yet finished in his quest for authenticity.
“The knobs were a pretty big project, and I have something that I’m working on for next year, but we’ll keep that under wraps for the time being,” he said. “We’ve gotta save some surprises!”
Posted: January 12, 2015
Chicago Music Exchange recently put a Gretsch G6112TCB-JR Center-Block through the paces.
The two-tone Jaguar Tan and Copper Metallic beauty elicits great tone as the reviewer performs the Kinks’ “Set Me Free” and Nico’s “These Days.”
Watch the full demo below.
Posted: December 29, 2014
Interpol recently stopped by the set of Conan to perform the track “My Desire,” which comes off 2014′s El Pintor.
With a dimly lit set, the Paul Banks-led outfit offered a dark and passionate version of the song, much to the delight of host Conan O’Brien.
Watch Interpol in action below.
Posted: December 22, 2014
The Cult’s Billy Duffy recently sat down with Mitch Gallagher of Sweetwater Sound to discuss his storied career and his signature Gretsch White Falcon.
Duffy noted that he was first turned on to the White Falcon via Neil Young, while Brian Setzer’s work in the Stray Cats similarly piqued his interest in Gretsch guitars.
“I’ve always been fascinated with Gretsches as guitars,” Duffy said. “Visually, I always thought it was some mythical beast.”
And once he purchased his original Gretsch, he found that it more than delivered from a performance perspective.
“I was searching for a sound, and people have said to me, ‘Why a Gretsch, and not a Les Paul?’” he explained. “I said, ‘Well, if you think of a Gretsch as an SUV, you wouldn’t drive it down a race track. And you wouldn’t drive a sports car off-road. They do different things.’
“And the other final thing was that I could only afford one guitar, and that was the one. It just became synonymous with the band.”
Watch the entire interview below.
Posted: December 15, 2014
Accompanied by a full band, LP’s powerhouse vocals and whimsical songwriting skill were on full display, especially when playing the single “Night Like This,” which you can watch below.