Tag Archives: The Beatles

Top 5 Gretsch Road Trip Songs


Hopefully you have at least one road trip planned for the summer. And whether you’re driving in a Toyota Prius or a ’64 Chevy Impala, a solid soundtrack is a must.  It’s an important list, one that requires the requisite consideration to match the tempo of the ride and the terrain of the pavement.

We take our road trip playlists seriously.  After all, conversation with your fellow riders can only last so long.

So as a public service, we’ve pinpointed five road trip songs that will get your list started on the right foot, errr… wheel.

“Drive My Car” – The Beatles

Coming off the British version of1965’s Rubber Soul, the story goes that “Drive My Car” grew from the Beatles’ first recording session that extended past midnight, as Paul McCartney and George Harrison put together the basic rhythm.

“Drive My Car” features a thumping bottom end that is great for rolling down the windows and revving the engine, with an R&B feel that calls to mind the bass-heavy tracks that came out of Memphis’s Stax Records.

“Beep, Beep! Beep, Beep! Yeah!” indeed.

“Rebel Rouser” – Duane Eddy

The king of twang could have several entries on our playlist, with his signature guitar sound shining so bright on every track he released.  But Eddy’s “Rebel Rouser” has a rambling groove that is well-suited to flat country roads.  The instrumental hit is accentuated with bleats from a saxophone as it winds down, adding a car chase feel to the tune.

But don’t accelerate too fast.  It’s best to just take in the scenery when Eddy is doing his thing.

Highway to Hell – AC/DC

Written by brothers Angus and Malcolm Young and the late Bon Scott, “Highway to Hell” is a paean to the rigors of touring and life on the road with “no stop signs/speed limit.”

The riff is instantly recognizable and makes you want to put the pedal to the metal, as it sears through the brain and has the ability to instantly conjure an adrenaline rush.  Now, this fact might also make the song a dangerous one to drive with, but sometimes you need to drive fast and take chances.

Just watch out for the speed traps.

“Tush” – ZZ Top

Whether you’re going to Dallas, Texas, or Hollywood, “Tush” fits the bill.  The opening riff immediately commands the listener to pull on their sunglasses and secure their cowboy hat.  The original recording was found on Fandango and was ZZ Top’s first Top 20 single, with good reason.

Billy Gibbons takes two turns with searing slide guitar solos, and Dusty Hill’s strong bassline rumbles just as much as the engine.  The Texas trio’s hit is definitely at home when traversing the Lone Star State, but there is certainly room for a lot of “Tush” on the Sunset Strip.

“Long May You Run” – Neil Young

“Long May You Run” is an homage to Young’s beloved first car, a hearse that was known as “Mort.”  Seriously.

But this hearse has a lot of historical significance.  It was the vehicle that carted Young and his original band around Canada.  It broke down in the early 1960s in Blind River, Ont., but that spawned Mort’s successor, another hearse named “Mort Two” which ended up carrying him from Toronto to Los Angeles.  There, Young met Stephen Stills and eventually formed Buffalo Springfield.

So long may you run, Mort, in that scrapyard in the sky.  We’ll appreciate the song you inspired with our wheels firmly on the pavement.

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TracksAuction.com To Auction John Lennon’s Gretsch Guitar


John Lennon

TracksAuction.com are set to auction John Lennon’s Gretsch 6120 guitar which Lennon gave to his cousin David Birch in 1967.

The Gretsch 6120 is a historically important instrument from the former Beatle’s personal collection, used and photographed during the April 1966 “Paperback Writer” session held at EMI Studio 3 at London’s Abbey Road.

Birch was given the guitar when he visited Lennon in Weybridge in November 1967. Interested in starting up a band, Birch asked his famous cousin if he had any spare guitars.

“I was just cheeky enough to ask John for one of his spare guitars,” recalled Birch.

Lennon then gifted Birch with a Gretsch 6120, serial number 53940, that he’s owned ever since.

Beatles historian and author Mark Lewisohn and Birch discuss the instrument in the video clip below.

Online bidding begins on Nov. 14 at www.TracksAuction.com, concluding with a live auction at Le Meridien Hotel in London on Nov. 23.

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Five (More) Great Gretsch Movie Moments


We offered a list of five great Gretsch movie moments a few months back. Since there’s plenty more where they came from, however, here are a few more great Gretsch cinematic appearances.

Help!, 1965

Directed by Richard Lester, Help!, was the second feature film from the Beatles.  The comedy adventure’s plot was based around the band running up against an evil cult that was about to sacrifice a woman to the goddess Kaili.  Unfortunately, the woman in question is not wearing the sacrificial ring.  Guess who has the ring stuck on their finger?  Beatles drummer Ringo Starr.

We won’t spoil the rest of the flick for you, but it should be noted that there were several musical performances during Help!, as well, and the soundtrack was even released as an album.  Most notably during a performance of “You’re Going to Lose That Girl” in the film, George Harrison is seen strumming a Country Gentleman.


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Parade Interviews Fred Gretsch About Beatlemania


Fred GretschFifty years ago, on Feb. 9, 1964, the Beatles made their U.S. television debut appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. With George Harrison rocking a Gretsch Duo Jet that night, business skyrocketed for Gretsch guitars.

President and CEO Fred Gretsch recently spoke with Parade about how Beatlemania transformed his family-owned company.

“Overnight, thousands of garage bands were created that wanted to emulate the Beatles…[Demand] went up 25 percent,” said Gretsch. “You know, the baby boom generation was teenagers at that point in time. Rock and roll had begun mid-’50s [and] was gaining steam, [so] everybody was prepped and focused on the Beatles when they arrived…everybody was ready for them.”

Read the full interview here.

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The Beatles Release On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2


The legendary Beatles have released an amazing collection of live performances from their 1963-64 recordings on BBC Radio broadcasts entitled On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2.

The set comes as a companion to the 1994 release of the Beatles’ Live at the BBC, which sold more than five million copies within six weeks.  Volume 2 features a 48-page booklet, 63 tracks – including 37 previously unreleased performances and 23 previously unreleased recordings of in-studio banter and conversation between the band and BBC’s radio hosts.

Watch a preview below and visit the Beatles’ official website for more information.

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