U2 Takes Billboard’s Top Boxscore Honors

December 1st, 2009

Held November 4 and 5 in New York City, the 2009 Billboard Touring Awards honored the concert industry’s top artists and industry professionals for 2009. Billboard’s Boxscores chart, actual box office performance figures reported between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009, were used to determine finalists and award winners.
 
Our friends, U2, were finalists in three major catagories:  Top Tour, Top Draw, and Top Boxscore.  With multiple July dates in Croke Park in Dublin, U2 took the honors as Top Boxscore for 2009.  U2’s dates at Croke Park also won the group this award in 2005.  Top Boxscore recognizes the top-grossing single engagement.
 
Gretsch sends its congratulations to Bono, The Edge, Adam, and Larry.  They are true international superstars and undoubtedly among the hardest working musicians and road warriors in the business.

Sticks ‘n’ Skins Features Fifteen Gretsch Artists

November 24th, 2009

Sticks ‘n’ Skins: A Photography Book About the World of Drumming made its debut at sticksnskins.com October 15, 2009! Fifteen Gretsch artists are highlighted throughout Sticks ‘n’ Skins which features some never-before-seen photos and stories of Alvino Bennett, Cindy Blackman, Karl Brazil, Jay Bellerose, Vinnie Colaiuta, M. Shawn “Clown” Cranhan, Steve Ferrone, Danny Frankel, Ryan MacMillian, Stanton Moore, Seth Rausch, Mark Schulman, Charlie Watts, Tommy Wells, and Stefanie Eulinberg.

Steve Ferrone

Steve Ferrone

A perfect gift for all Gretsch fans! Music lovers will discover the heartbeat of music this holiday season in this 560-page coffee table book illuminating the eclectic world of drumming over the past 70 years. Fotos By Folletts photographers traveled to 53 cities in four countries and photographed over 500 drummers to be included in the pages of this captivating hardcover book. From the true legends to students and teachers, drum-techs to cartage companies and shop owners, Sticks ‘n’ Skins preserves the legacy of this unique group of musicians.

Mark Schulman

Mark Schulman

Dedicated to the late drumming photographer Lissa Wales, Sticks ‘n’ Skins opens with a special tribute to her work. Well known to the drumming community, Lissa was a trailblazer in her field, specializing in capturing the heart and soul of drummers around the world. (To learn more about Lissa, please visit DrumPics.com).

“This book documents our drumming history, thus preserving our talents and our reasons for why we do what we do for future generations to feel. It is a compelling and moving glimpse into the drumming community.” -Dom Famularo, Drumming’s Global Ambassador.

Stefanie Eulinberg

Stefanie Eulinberg

“I have been privileged and blessed to have met and photographed this amazing group of musicians . . . the drummers,” says author Jules Follett. “I thank them all for helping me capture their talent, energy and passion visually.”

For more information or to purchase your copy today, please visit www.sticksnskins.com.

Alvino Bennett

Alvino Bennett

Gretsch Shines at Yokohama Music Fair

November 16th, 2009

The biennial Musical Instruments Fair Japan was held November 5 through 8 at Pacifico Yokohama. Regarded as the world’s largest consumer show for music products with attendees at the last three shows averaging 90,000 strong, this year’s fair was another great success.  The Gretsch booth was rated among the top at the fair with a steady stream of enthusiasts stopping in to admire the many eye-catching Gretsch guitars and drums on display.

Joe Carducci Demonstrates That Great Gretsch Sound

Joe Carducci Demonstrates That Great Gretsch Sound

Joe Carducci, Gretsch guitar marketing manager, was on hand to help bolster the fervor of Gretsch fans by demonstrating the great sound of Gretsch guitars with his masterful playing skills and with his seemingly endless knowledge of the Gretsch brand and history.

On the drum side, Aki, our friend and Gretsch drum specialist in Japan, discussed the many desirable and unique features of Gretsch drums with countless Gretsch devotees who came by to get a glimpse of their favorite drum brand.

Gretsch Drum Specialist Aki

Gretsch Drum Specialist Aki

All around it was a tremendous show and we’re looking forward to participating in the Musical Instruments Fair again in 2011.  Hope to see you there!

Gretsch Guitars on Display

Gretsch Guitars on Display

Great Gretsch Roundup In Nashville

November 10th, 2009

Any time you get a bunch of Gretsch fans together, it’s going to be a rockin’ event.  But get them together for a whole weekend, playing in a 100-year-old tobacco barn on the outskirts of Music City USA, and you have the ingredients for a genuinely historic occasion.

Such was the case this past October 16-18, when Gretsch players from across the country gathered at Hachland Hills Vineyard in Joelton, Tennessee (just outside of Nashville) for the second annual Gretsch Nashville Roundup.  The event was a live-in weekend of jammin’, jawin’, and jivein’ in a camp-like setting.  And, of course, the musical focus was on the great sound of Gretsch instruments.

Gretsch drummer Jason Woodring with Steve Harms on Bass and Dylan Taylor on guitar

Gretsch drummer Jason Woodring with Steve Harms on bass and Dylan Taylor on guitar

As is always the case in any band setting, drummers at the Roundup were outnumbered by guitarists and bassists.  But what they lacked in number they made up for in talent and enthusiasm, providing great rhythmic support for the music that echoed throughout the surrounding woods.

Gretsch drummer John DeVaul of Knoxville provided the kit for the Roundup

Gretsch drummer John DeVaul of Knoxville provided the kit for the Roundup

The drumming trio at the Nashville Roundup consisted of Jon DeVaul (who provided his own beautiful Gretsch kit for use at the event), Dylan Taylor, and Jason Woodring.  And the attraction of the drumset was so strong that it prompted bassist Steve Harms to put down his axe and pick up some sticks for a few tunes.

A special treat for the participants was the presence of Fred Gretsch himself, representing the fourth generation of the Gretsch family.  Fred shared historic anecdotes and stories about the family, the company, and the many great artists who helped to create the Gretsch legacy—all to the delight of the Gretsch enthusiasts in attendance.

Fred Gretsch (left) with Gretsch Guitars master builder Stephen Stern

Fred Gretsch (left) with Gretsch Guitars master builder Stephen Stern

Additional coverage of the event can be seen on the Gretsch Pages discussion forum at http://gretschpages.com/forum/gretsch-events/moments-memories-magic-nashville-roundup-09/25481/page1/.

All photos by Tim Harman.

Setzer Releases “Songs from Lonely Avenue” and Heads Out for the Holidays

October 28th, 2009

Brian recently met with Jim Fusilli of the Wall Street Journal to discuss the Brian Setzer Orchestra’s new album, “Songs from Lonely Avenue”, released earlier this month and which has since debuted in the #4 spot on Billboard’s Jazz Chart.  Brian wrote all 13 songs on the album which is already receiving rave reviews from music lovers and critics alike.  “Lonely Avenue” looks destined to make it onto many’s holiday gift wish list this year.  Be sure to check out the great WSJ interview at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704107204574469560998406626.html

Brian and the Orchestra are also getting ready to hit the road for their 7th Annual Christmas Rocks Extravaganza!  This year some lucky fans will be able to purchase special VIP ticket packages.  Check out Brian’s website, http://www.briansetzer.com/, for the complete show schedule and to purchase tickets before they’re all sold out.

 

Setzer Releases "Lonely Avenue"

Setzer Releases "Lonely Avenue"

Gretsch and Sam Ash Share a Moment in History

October 16th, 2009

For the past year the Fred & Joe Show, featuring Fred W. Gretsch and Gretsch Guitars marketing manager Joe Carducci, has been visiting Gretsch guitar dealers across the country. Every stop along the way has been well-attended by enthusiastic guitar fans. But none has had quite as much historical significance as the October 1 show at the Sam Ash Music location in New York City.

Fred Gretsch and Ian Goldrich

Fred Gretsch and Ian Goldrich

Located on 48th street just off Times Square, the store was known as Manny’s Music when it was opened by Manny Goldrich in 1935. It stayed in the Goldrich family for sixty-four years, passing from Manny’s son Harry to grandson Ian. Over those years the store became famous for the number of top musical stars—and future stars—who shopped there.

In 1999 Manny’s was purchased by Sam Ash Music. Founded by Sam and Rose Ash in Brooklyn in 1924 and currently overseen by Sam’s sons Jerry and Paul (with the help of Jerry’s sons Sam, David, and Richard), Sam Ash Music is the nation’s largest family-owned retail music business. The 48th street store continued to operate under the “Manny’s” name until early in 2009, when it was fully converted to a Sam Ash Music location. But the family connections remain strong, with Ian Goldrich, grandson of the founder, helping to direct store operations.

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Gretsch Foundation Supports Community Events

September 29th, 2009

On September 12th the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum in Savannah, GA held its second annual Gretsch Foundation Banjo Assembly Workshop. During the workshop attendees assembled five-string, resonator-back steel string banjos from parts donated by the Gretsch Foundation. Participants enthusiastically spent the day working on their projects and were able to take their finished banjos home at the end of the workshop. This fun, educational, and well-attended workshop was co-sponsored by the
Savannah Folk Music Society.

In addition to donating parts for the Museum’s banjo assembly workshop, The Gretsch Foundation donates guitars for the Noteworthy Art Auction and the Signed Guitar Auction, both events held during the Savannah Folk Music Festival. This year the festival runs from October 9th through the 11th. Visit www.savannahfolk.org/festival.htm for more information about
the festival.

The Gretsch Foundation’s goal is to enrich lives through participation in music.  For more information about The Gretsch Foundation, please visit www.guitarart.org.

Beatlemania is Back

September 11th, 2009

gretschcontrollerDespite nearly 40 years since their last album together, Let It Be, the Beatles still dominate the charts as the number-one selling artists in U.S history with, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, 170 million records sold.

Indicative of their long-awaited arrival, Amazon reported selling out both the re-mastered stereo and mono box sets a day before the official release.

The 9.09.09 release—selected for its correlation to the The Beatles (the “White Album”) track “Revolution 9”— coincided with the release of The Beatles: Rock Band™, the first version of the popular video game series devoted solely to one musical act. The game features 45 tracks, including “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Come Together” and “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.”

The game’s creators went to great lengths to ensure that the digital depictions of the gear used by the Beatles are as authentic in every detail as possible.  The meticulous research by Rock Band™ designers into the musical equipment used by the Beatles in the game’s montage of animated performances that trace the group from its Liverpool beginnings to its final London rooftop performance in 1969, is reflected in the detail of the Gretsch Duo Jet replica controller and various digital depictions of Gretsch guitars seen in the game.

Read more at GretschGuitars.com