Archive for the ‘Gretsch.com’ Category

Congratulations CoverBand 2011 Contest Winners

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Winners earn fame, fortune…and a gig in California!

Gretsch Drums is proud to be a sponsor of CoverBand 2011—America’s most exciting and unique contest for performing musicians. The online competition was held this summer, with popular voting that closed December 1.  Tohbias Juniel’s drum solo won him the coveted first place spot as the winner in the drumming category.  Gretsch congratulates Tohbias and all the other winners of this year’s contest.

The CoverBand contest was inaugurated last year to  great acclaim and response. And that’s not surprising since the competition offers musicians and singers the opportunity to perform online for thousands of music fans world-wide. The fans vote for their favorite performances in order to determine the contest finalists. Celebrity judges ultimately select the winners from among those finalists.

Gretsch Renown Four-Piece Kit

Just as in 2010, Gretsch is providing the drum prizes for CoverBand 2011. Tohbias will be receiving a Gretsch Renown four-piece kit in a classy Satin Black finish, along with a Full Range Hammered Steel Shell snare drum (a total retail value of $2,615). DanCarusoSound, the runner-up, will receive a Gretsch Catalina Birch five-piece kit in a striking Silver Sparkle finish (retail value $1,200). Each kit will be complemented with a terrific cymbal package from Sabian and road-tested hardware from Gibraltar.

Tohbias will join the winners in the percussion, guitar, bass, keyboard, and vocal categories to form CoverBand 2011. In addition to receiving a bevy of musical-instrument prizes, they’ll get  to play a once-in-a-lifetime, all-expenses-paid gig on stage at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California this coming January. In all, the prize package for the CoverBand 2011 contest comes to $40,000, including air fare and accommodations.

Tohbias will also receive an additional prize: the opportunity to enjoy a personal meeting with Fred and Dinah Gretsch at the NAMM show. Fred Gretsch represents the fourth generation of Gretsch drum makers—a legacy that goes back more than 127 years. Considering how few drummers ever get to talk with a living legend of drum history, this is a special prize indeed!

Fred & Dinah Gretsch Honor John Lennon

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Gretsch Guitar Placed at the Imagine Memorial in Central Park

Gretsch Guitar and Beatles Gear Book Placed at Memorial in Memory of John Lennon

Representing the fourth generation of Gretsch musical-instrument manufacturers, Fred and Dinah Gretsch made a visit to New York City’s Central Park on December 8—the 30th anniversary of the assassination of legendary singer, composer, and musician John Lennon. The couple was there to place a Gretsch Historic Series acoustic guitar near the “Imagine” memorial within the Strawberry Fields area. The guitar was inscribed with the word “Imagine” as well as being signed by Fred and Dinah. It was their way of paying their respects to John Lennon and to all his fans.

Although the Gretsches have lived in Georgia for many years, Fred Gretsch spent his boyhood in the New York City area. “I was here in 1964 when the Beatles came,” says Fred. “Coming back to New York, where my family roots are, always kindles many tender reminiscences. But coming this time to honor John Lennon’s memory makes this visit especially poignant.”

Inside the tribute guitar placed by Fred and Dinah was a copy of a photo that’s near and dear to their hearts. It shows John Lennon playing a Gretsch guitar during the recording session for the Beatles’ classic hit “Paperback Writer” in 1966. The following reference to that guitar appears in the Beatles Gear book by Andy Babiuk:

Dinah and Fred Gretsch at Lennon Memorial

“Keeping in step with their scheduled LP and 45 releases, the group set out to record a new single, ‘Paperback Writer.’ The April 13th session was photographically documented for The Beatles Monthly Book providing detailed information on the instruments used. New to their guitar line-up was a Gretsch Chet Atkins 6120 that Lennon used. The early-1960s orange-finished double-cutaway 6120 hollow body guitar had gold-plated hardware apart from its aluminum-colored Bigsby [vibrato tailpiece].”

Fred Gretsch adds, “Aside from the fact that John Lennon played that guitar, it’s special to me for another reason. It would have been made in the 1960s at the Gretsch factory in Brooklyn. My uncle, Fred Gretsch Jr., was running the company at that time. And ironically, Uncle Fred died in 1980—the same year in which John Lennon died.

“John’s music made an impression on millions of people around the world,” Fred concludes. “And it continues to do so, generation after generation. We placed the guitar at John’s memorial as a symbol that we hope will remind people of the power and importance of his music.”

See video clip of an interview with Mr. Gretsch here.

Dinah & Fred Gretsch Being Interviewed at Memorial

Dinah and Fred Gretsch

Stanton Moore Packs PASIC Performance Halls

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Stanton Moore Performs at PASIC

PASIC (Percussion Art Society International Conference) attendees were treated to a double helping of Stanton’s down home “Groove Alchemy.”  On Friday, November 12, Stanton performed an afternoon clinic and then again at an evening concert with his trio (featuring Wil Blades on B3 organ and Scott Metzger on guitar).  The clinic performance hall was packed full with a standing room only crowd and was among the most highly attended PASIC clinics of 2010.  For both the clinic and concert, Stanton used a Gretsch USA Custom kit in Twilight Glass Glitter, a new finish that will be released in 2011.  The kit included a massive 14″x26″ auxiliary bass drum that Stanton incorporated when he wanted access to maximum tonal impact.  He also extensively used his signature 4.5″x14″ solid birds eye maple snare drum for both performances.  When not in use by Stanton, PASIC show goers were able to check out the complete drum set and snare drum at the Gretsch drum booth in the PASIC product hall.

The clinic performance included Stanton’s trio and focused on Stanton’s ability to distill classic funk patterns with sticking pattern breakdowns.  He then demonstrated how those basic sticking patterns are applied to the drum set and morphed to create further beat evolutions.  “Groove Alchemy” printed materials with graphic drum set beat notation were provided to all in attendance.  Stanton’s beats were supported by full band performances, which allowed the audience to experience how the beats are used in a full-band context.

The Friday evening clinic was an all out groove assault that showcased the drummer’s prodigious musical talents.  Stanton’s trio performed a collection of instrumentals that ranged from straight-up funk to a traditional New Orleans dirge to swinging shuffles.  While the emphasis was on the overall musical interplay, each musician applied a liberal amount of solo time.  It was during these moments that Stanton inspired the drum-centric crowd with his press rolls, angular, syncopated rhythmic patterns and bombastic, over-the-bar fills.  After the last note had been played, the audience demonstrated their appreciation for Stanton and his trio by responding with a standing ovation.

Bigsby Vibrato on Permanent Display at USPTO

Friday, November 12th, 2010

For over 200 years, the role of the United States Patent and Trademark Office has been to promote and encourage the progress of science and the useful arts through the issuance of patents and trademarks.  Through the registration of trademarks, the agency assists businesses such as those in the music industry in protecting their investments, promoting goods and services, and safeguarding consumers against confusion and deception in the marketplace.

The Bigsby Division of the Gretsch Company has regularly been invited to participate at the prestigious USPTO Expo in Alexandria, VA.  Bigsby has presented information on the company’s history and has showcased the importance of Bigsby trademarks and the impact they have as source identifiers in the marketplace.  Like most effective trademarks, the very shape of Bigsby tailpieces identifies them, even at a distance when the brand name cannot be read.  This allows Bigsby-equipped guitars to be recognized on concert stages and video broadcasts worldwide.

Bigsby Vibrato Display at USPTO Headquarters

Currently, Bigsby and the Gretsch Company are honored to have an authentic Bigsby Vibrato tailpiece on permanent display at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria.  The display also includes a counterfeit tailpiece to help demonstrate the type of imitation products that can be found in the marketplace.  Appearing similar at first glance, counterfeit products undermine and devalue genuine products.  The display serves as a reminder of the battle and value of protecting patents and trademarks.

According to company owner Fred Gretsch, “The USPTO team enthusiastically supports rights owners through attendance at NAMM shows, their national expo, and an extensive online web site.  We encourage the music industry to make good use of these exceptional resources.  We are also very pleased to have a Bigsby Vibrato product on permanent display at their headquarters so that visitors can see the challenge that counterfeit products present.  We take the protection of intellectual property rights very seriously and appreciate the USPTOs assistance by providing information and education to the public.”

In addition to their ongoing intellectual property protection efforts, the Gretsch Company, along with other leading musical instrument manufacturers, is a member of the Electric Guitar Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition—a group of like-minded organizations that came together with the goal of stemming the proliferation of counterfeit instruments and goods wherever they are manufactured.

The Gretsch Company plans to continue working closely with the USPTO in an effort to strengthen trademark and patent protection for music industry manufacturers while eliminating the proliferation of counterfeit instruments wherever they may be produced.

For more information on the United States Patent and Trademark Office, go to www.uspto.gov.

For more information on Bigsby, go to www.bigsby.com.

Spotlight: Gretsch USA QD Program

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Gretsch Drum’s Quick Delivery order program is designed for fast 5 week delivery (standard USA custom orders are 12 weeks) at special QD pricing. Four popular drum set configurations are outfitted with standard features (see below). Each configuration is offered in six different colors–Black Sparkle, Sky Blue Pearl, Vintage Champagne Sparkle, Satin Classic Maple, Satin Tabasco, and Satin Walnut. These are standard Gretsch USA Custom drums with Gretsch 6-ply maple shells, 30-degree bearing edges, die-cast hoops, Silver Sealer interiors, New Millennium hardware and DropG Stop Sign Badge. Matching drums (including snare drums) are available to order in all finishes below.

QD Standard Features:

Bass Drum
• Nitron kits include satin black hoops – no inlay
• Satin kits include matching satin hoops
• Telescopic Spurs
• Permatone white coated pre-muffled batter head
• Permatone white with black logo resonant head
• Standard BD key rods

Rack Tom
• GTS Tom Mount
• G9025 Hinged Tom Bracket with memory lock
• Permatone coated batter head
• Permatone clear resonant head

Floor Tom
• Legs included
• G9025 Hinged FT brackets with memory locks
• Permatone coated batter head
• Permatone clear resonant head

See all the details and available configurations here.

Black Sparkle, Sky Blue Pearl, Vintage Champagne Sparkle

Spotlight: The Brian Setzer Black Phoenix

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

The Brian Setzer Signature Series Black Phoenix

This gorgeous guitar was designed and built to Brian’s demanding specifications. “All the right stuff with a little glitz thrown-in for good measure!”

Brian Setzer Signature Black Phoenix

The Brian Setzer Signature Series Black Phoenix features include a 1959 Trestle bracing, TV Jones® Classic pickups, pinned Adjusto-matic bridge, Bigsby® B6C vibrato tailpiece, and multiple silver sparkle bindings. Schaller® straplocks and Grover® Imperial machine heads are standard equipment. Finished in gloss black nitrocellulose lacquer.

Additional unique features include the V-Shaped Falcon Headstock with Winged Vertical Gretsch Logo, Mother-of-Pearl Neoclassic “Thumbnail” Inlay Position Markers, Silver Sparkle Bound Fingerboard and Headstock, Silver Plexi Pickguard, Delrin® Nut, Jeweled Knobs, Schaller Straplocks, and Adjustable Truss Rod with Silver Sparkle Cover.

In a word . . . “Wow!”

See all the details and specs here.

Gretsch Answers Readers’ Questions in Premier Guitar

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Fred Gretsch and Joe Carducci

The October 2010 issue of Premier Guitar is a definite must-read. Thanks to Fred & Joe, the magazine’s monthly feature “Go Ahead and Ask” provides their readers with some great insight into the Gretsch Company and That Great Gretsch Sound!  Ten of Premier Guitar’s readers had an opportunity to ask questions of Fred Gretsch, president of the Gretsch Company, as well as Joe Carducci, Gretsch Guitars product specialist. Some great questions were submitted ranging from “What happened to the Electromatic version of the White Penguin?” to “What are the chances of doing a special-edition Electromatic Duo Jet with a Bigsby B70 tremolo and TV Jones pickups?”  In addition, the article gives a brief overview of the company’s amazing family legacy which began in 1883 when Friedrich Gretsch, German immigrant and great-grandfather of Fred Gretsch, opened a small music shop in Brooklyn, NY.

Premier Guitar Magazine October 2010 Cover

Another great reason to check out this issue:  the cover features Daniel Lanois’ 1950s goldtop Les Paul guitar equipped with a Bigsby B7 vibrato tailpiece!

See the entire “Go Ahead and Ask” feature here.  Learn more about the Gretsch Company’s intriguing history here.

Dinah Gretsch Establishes “Mrs. G’s Music Foundation”

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Initiative Supports Music Education In Schools

Visitors to Gretsch.com often read about the activities of Gretsch Company president Fred W. Gretsch. But as Fred would be the first to tell you, his wife Dinah is just as involved in company activities as he is. In fact, as chief financial officer of The Gretsch Company, Dinah Gretsch has been a prominent figure in the musical-instrument industry for more than thirty years.

But Dinah is much more than a key Gretsch Company officer. She is also a parent and grandparent, with an abiding love for children and a keen interest in their development. Given her connection to music, Dinah is particularly concerned with providing children the opportunity to benefit from music education. Accordingly, in June of this year she created the Mrs. G’s Music Foundation. The Foundation’s initial goal is to promote music education in schools located within the greater Savannah area, where The Gretsch Company is based.

“Budget problems have forced many schools across the country to cut out their music programs,” says Dinah. “And that’s sad. But there are many rural schools in our area that have never had music programs, and that’s a tragedy. The Mrs. G’s Music Foundation is tied in with the Savannah Community Foundation as a way to solicit funds for direct aid to those schools.”

The aid in question is being used to fund instructional music programs, as well as seminars, workshops, and concerts by visiting artists. The artist visits serve double-duty as teaching programs and motivational sessions.

Students at THA in Ridgeland, SC take part in a World Drumming Program funded by the Mrs. G’s Music Foundation.

The Foundation’s efforts were inaugurated recently at the Thomas Heyward Academy (THA), which is located near the Gretsch USA factory in Ridgeland, South Carolina. One hundred fifty students are taking part in a World Drumming Program created by noted educator Dr. William Schmidt in conjunction with drumhead and percussion manufacturer Remo, Inc. Funds were provided to supply percussion instruments and workbooks for the students, along with instructional materials for the teacher. In addition, The Gretsch Foundation—the charitable arm of the Gretsch Family—donated guitars to supply guitar students with practice instruments.

“We even refurbished a building on the campus to create a music teaching studio,” says Dinah, enthusiastically. “Now the kids not only have a music program, they also have a dedicated space for that program.”

The Mrs. G’s Music Foundation In-House Visiting Artist program brought top touring drummer Mark Schulman to THA. Schulman played drums, gave an inspirational talk, and spent time with the students.

The Foundation’s In-House Visiting Artist program was also inaugurated at Thomas Heyward Academy with a presentation this past September 10 by top drummer and Gretsch endorser Mark Schulman. Mark has played with such artists as Cher, Foreigner, and Sheryl Crow, and he’s currently touring with pop superstar Pink.

The Thomas Heyward Academy students packed the school’s gym to watch Mark play drums and give an inspirational speech. He spoke to the students about always staying positive, stressing that a good attitude and good behavior will lead to a good life. Mark also believes in the inspiration of music, citing studies that show how students who play music have improved math and English scores. “Music inspires so much joy and such an ability to create,” he said. “Every component of your being wins when you’re playing music.”

Schulman relinquished the drum seat to Heyward Academy sophomore Jacob Rountree for a lively jam session.

But Mark wasn’t the only star of the show. When he asked if any student wanted to sing with him, Jacob Rountree stepped forward. But Jacob didn’t want to sing—he wanted to play the drums. The fifteen-year-old sophomore started playing drums when he was ten, gave it up for awhile, but got back into it about a year ago. When Mark heard that Jacob was a drummer, he stepped aside and let the youngster jam.

"Mrs. G"—Dinah Gretsch—and Joe Robinson

Mark’s dynamic presentation at Thomas Heyward Academy was followed on September 30 with an all-day seminar/workshop and an afternoon concert featuring rising guitar star Joe Robinson. Joe was the winner of the Australia’s Got Talent TV competition in 2008—at the age of sixteen—and he’s already made a name for himself within the Nashville musical community.  His attendance at the school caught the attention of local media.

Six more artist presentations are planned for this year.

Dinah Gretsch (the real-life “Mrs. G”) with Mauldin Sauls, whose logo design will be used for the Mrs. G’s Music Foundation.

Dinah Gretsch also gave students at Thomas Heyward Academy the opportunity to design a logo for her new foundation, to be featured on all written materials and promotional items. The winning design, by eighth-grader Mauldin Sauls, was selected from a large group by Mark Schulman. Mauldin received a $500 prize for her efforts.

The World Drumming Program has also been instituted at Savannah’s Notre Dame Academy. At that location the Mrs. G’s Foundation will also fund the music teacher.

“We want to broaden the scope of the Mrs. G’s Music Foundation as much as possible,” says Dinah Gretsch, “in order to help as many kids as we can. So we’re coordinating with North Carolina’s “Music For Learning” program in a 50/50 funding partnership to put music education into six different Head Start daycare centers in Savannah. We’ll be working with other projects in the future.

Dinah Gretsch and Joe Robinson with Nikki Davis, THA's Music Teacher.

“I believe that music has the power to change children’s lives for the better,” Dinah concludes. “And if we can reach young children with that power, we can set them on a positive path for the rest of their lives. I have the time and the connections with which to implement the Mrs. G’s Music Foundation . . . and the children provide me with the motivation. I think it’s going to be a very productive combination.”