Tag Archives: Steve Stern

Custom Shop Stories: Sara Ray Paints a Killer Duo-Jet

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Credit Gretsch Master Builder Stephen Stern and renowned SoCal hot rod artist Sara Ray for teaming up to create another gem of a guitar from the Gretsch Custom Shop.

The ’59 Duo-Jet that is headed to U.K. resident Steve Isaacs features a 130th Anniversary logo on a larger headstock and an amazing graphic from Ray.  It was the second time Isaacs asked Ray to paint a guitar, the previous one depicting a tattooed pinup.

“I got to know Sara Ray quite well over the past few years,” Isaacs said from his home in Poole, Dorsett.  “She painted another guitar for me a while ago.  When it’s time for her to work on a guitar, she sends over couple of sketches, but I really don’t like to give her too much direction.  She came up with a couple of ideas, and I loved this one the most.”

Isaacs had also worked with Stern before, as the enthusiast owns a couple of masterbuilt Telecasters from Stern.

“I didn’t know much about Steve Stern, but he had such a fantastic resume.  He’s worked with some of the world’s greatest luthiers,” said Isaacs, who noted that he has been playing guitar for at least 30 years.

“He mentioned that I should check out Gretsch. I have to say, he totally converted me.  They’re great guitars.”

The image on Issacs’ newest piece is of Anne Bonny, the infamous Irishwoman who became a feared pirate.  With a sword slung at her side, Bonny is also holding a boarding pistol.

“I think it really came out amazing,” Isaacs said.  “It is truly one-of-a-kind, and I can’t wait to play it.”

View more of Ray’s work on her official website.

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Check Out Rich Robinson’s Gretsch Collection

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Premier Guitar recently caught up with Doug “Red” Redler, otherwise known as longtime tech for the Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson, to run through the gear Robinson is using on the band’s latest tour.

While looking at Robinson’s guitars, Redler pulled out several Gretsch gems, including a Japanese-made Black Falcon and a Streamliner (see photo above) that was was damaged during Hurricane Sandy and repaired by Steve Stern of the Gretsch Custom Shop.

Redler explained that the Streamliner is used on the songs ”Feather” and “Good Morning Captain,” noting that Robinson likes it for “anything that gets really loud with a lot of feedback.”

Check out Robinson’s collection in the clip below and visit the Black Crowes’ official website for more information.

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