Introducing the Gretsch Billy Duffy G7593T Falcon

January 10th, 2013

FROM THE GUITAR GUITARS WEBSITE:

Several Unique Differences Separate it from the “Falcon” Flock…

Namely its period-correct ’70s Baldwin-era shape and styling, pure White gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish, V-shaped Falcon headstock, Silver Sparkle binding, custom wound hot “Black Top” Filter’Tron pickups with three-point adjustable ’70s-style metal bezels and Duffy’s preferred ’70s-style Bigsby tailpiece.

In addition, Duffy’s signature bird of prey features a 17” wide, 2 ¾” deep single cut-away three-ply maple body with a three-ply maple arched top and back and two spruce parallel tone bars and sound post, a three-piece maple neck with ebony fingerboard, a chrome-plated truss rod cover with Duffy’s signature emblazoned on it, a chrome-plated output jack plate, pearloid wide-block fretboard inlays, ’70s-style aluminum “G” arrow knobs and a premium gray speckled “Billy Duffy” case.

Billy Duffy is Not Afraid to Make a Statement.

And few things make a bolder statement than Duffy wielding his Gretsch White Falcon under the stage lights with British rock legends The Cult. Duffy burst out of London’s early ’80s post-punk scene in Theatre of Hate before meeting Ian Astbury and forming one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most powerful, unique and long-lasting duos as what would become The Cult. Duffy’s combination of thick power chords steeped in rich chorused delay, melodic Morricone-inspired lead phrases and filthy feedback-laden solos created an unparalleled sound larger than most venues could contain.

The Cult’s first two albums, Dreamtime and Love, solidified their place among the pre-“alternative” elite, with the latter album featuring what would become their most popular single, “She Sells Sanctuary,” which remains a global staple on rock radio twenty years on and was even featured on a 2012 Super Bowl advertisement in the States.

Every track on those iconic albums featured his Gretsch White Falcon exclusively, and Duffy has made a point to include it on every subsequent album, most notably the chart-topping Electric and Sonic Temple, and their most recent critically acclaimed release Choice of Weapon.

For more information, photos, videos, and specs, visit GretschGuitars.com.

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Georgia Southern University Salutes Gretsch Family

December 22nd, 2012

CLASS Connect magazine highlights Gretsch support of music education program.

Dinah & Fred Gretsch

The Spring/Summer 2013 edition of CLASS Connect—the biannual alumni publication of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro—will present an interview with Fred and Dinah Gretsch (president and CFO, respectively, of the Savannah-based Gretsch Company). The interview, conducted by author Loretta Brandon, will focus on the support that the Gretsch Family is providing to music education in the Statesboro area, in conjunction with GSU.

This past fall, students attending the after-school program at the Bulloch County Boys & Girls Club were given the opportunity to participate in a new music-education curriculum. This was the beginning of a five-year program initiated by Fred and Dinah Gretsch and funded by The Sylvia and William Gretsch Memorial Foundation.

The Gretsch gift to Georgia Southern’s music department—more than $76,000 over the next five years—will provide beginning-level folk guitars, drums, and teaching materials to the Boys & Girls Club. Their gift will also fund teaching by graduate and undergraduate music education majors from GSU, as well as an annual evaluation by a program director and evaluation team from the university’s College of Education.

Many of the children who attend the Boys & Girls Club are from low socio-economic backgrounds, with no access to extra-curricular programs such as music lessons. The Gretsch/GSU program will give these children an opportunity for self-expression, while having an overall impact on their education.

In the CLASS Connect interview Dinah Gretsch states:  “Our goal is to enrich lives through music. We want to create a model program that could be repeated around the state. We believe this will provide an example of what could be done for students. We also believe that parents appreciate opportunities for their children. So they, too, will benefit if their children get involved in music.”

Parents and grandparents themselves, Fred and Dinah Gretsch are visionary people who believe that music has the power to change children’s lives for the better. Says Dinah, “If we can just reach them with that power, we can set them on a positive path for the rest of their lives.”

For more information on CLASS Connect magazine go to http://class.georgiasouthern.edu/alumni/connect

For more information on the Gretsch Family and the Gretsch Company, go to gretsch.com.

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Music Icons Meet In Brooklyn

December 11th, 2012

Charlie Watts and Fred Gretsch Celebrate Each Other’s Anniversaries

This past December 8 saw a unique meeting between two icons of the music industry—both of whom were celebrating very special anniversaries.

Legendary drummer Charlie Watts was performing at the brand-new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The seventy-one-year-old Watts and his compatriots in the Rolling Stones were celebrating their fiftieth anniversary as “the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band.”

Fred W. Gretsch and his wife Dinah attended the Stones concert as a way to celebrate two anniversaries of their own: fifty years of association with Charlie Watts as a Gretsch drums endorser, and Gretsch’s 130th anniversary as a musical instrument manufacturer, which the company will mark in 2013.

The location of the meeting held a special poignancy for Fred and Charlie both, since the Barclays Center is only a short distance away from the original Gretsch factory at 60 Broadway in Brooklyn. As a boy, Fred spent many a summer there working for his uncle, Fred Gretsch Jr. And it was in that very factory that the drumkits used by Charlie in his early career with the Stones were built. (The program for the Barclays Center show, titled 50 & Counting: The Rolling Stones Live included thanks from Charlie to Gretsch Drums and to Fred Gretsch.)

Fred Gretsch and Charlie Watts backstage.

At the Brooklyn show Fred and Dinah had a chance to visit backstage with Charlie, and to exchange reminiscences about Charlie’s long and storied career on Gretsch drums. This was their second meeting this year; they’d gotten together this past March when Fred and Dinah were vacationing in Europe and Charlie was performing in Vienna, Austria with an eclectic group called The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie.

While backstage at the Barclays Center Fred and Dinah also chatted with Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell. This was another reunion of sorts; they had connected in 2008 when Chuck served as the musical director and bandleader for the Gretsch Big Event. That was a concert held at New York City’s Highline Ballroom to celebrate Gretsch’s 125th anniversary.

The Stones’ “50 & Counting” mini-tour started in November with two shows at London’s O2 arena. The show at the Barclays Center was the first on the US leg—and their first in the US since 2006. It is scheduled to be followed by performances at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on December 13 and 15. But another, very special appearance was added to their agenda: the 12/12/12 benefit concert at New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden. On that show the band will be joined by such stellar artists as Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, and The Who to raise money for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Christmas 4 Kids Gretsch Guitar Auction 2012

December 8th, 2012

The 11th annual Charlie Daniels Band and Friends Christmas 4 Kids Benefit Concert was held on November 19 at the famous Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and the Gretsch Foundation once again provided another classic guitar–the G6118T Anniversary.  This guitar had been in the Gretsch Foundation collection for 10 years and was often used for photographic assignments.  It was modeled after the 1958 75th Anniversary guitar, which had an ultra-cool, two-tone smoke green finish, straight from that era’s Cadillac and featured a “G”-cutout tailpiece.  The Charlie Daniels Band and Friends Concert is the cornerstone of Christmas 4 Kids’ fundraising efforts.

Warren Thinn with Dinah & Fred Gretsch

A big “congratulations” goes out to new owner of this guitar, Warren Thinn, who won the silent auction with a bid of $5,700.

For over twenty years, Christmas 4 Kids has given the joy of Christmas to thousands of Middle Tennessee children who might not otherwise experience it. Each December, local businesses, volunteers, celebrities, recording artists, and their bus drivers set aside two days from their busy schedules for these special children.  Learn more about this great organization at the Christmas 4 Kids website.

Visit the Gretsch Foundation website to learn more about “Enriching Lives Through Participation in Music”.

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Spotlight: Tim Armstrong Electromatic

November 15th, 2012

From the Guitar Guitars Website:

G5191TMS Tim Armstrong Electromatic® Hollow Body, Rosewood Fingerboard, Man Salmon

Loud and ferocious, the Gretsch G5191TMS Tim Armstrong Electromatic Hollow Body bears the personal stamp of Rancid founder and punk godfather Armstrong. Further, it features two dynamic new “Black Top” Filter’Tron™ pickups, which endow the latest generation of Electromatic hollow-body models with an electrifying new voice and identity.

Huge tone resonates from its bound single-cutaway hollow body, which features parallel tone bar bracing with sound post and bound f holes. Other features include a one-piece maple neck with graphite nut, bound rosewood fingerboard with 22 medium jumbo frets and acrylic block inlays, gold-plated pickup bezels, three-position pickup switch, Adjusto-Matic™ bridge and Bigsby®-licensed B60G vibrato tailpiece, gold-plated hardware, Grover® tuners, bound headstock, and Armstrong’s signature on the truss rod cover. Left-handed model also available, featuring a right-handed Bigsby®-licensed B60G vibrato tailpiece. Why a right-handed Bigsby® on a left-handed guitar? Because Tim Armstrong said so!

G5191TMS Tim Armstrong Electromatic® Hollow Body Left-Handed, Rosewood Fingerboard, Man Salmon

For more information on the G5191TMS Tim Armstrong Electromatic, visit the Gretsch Guitars website.

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Enjoy A Night of Music!

November 6th, 2012

Elmhurst College Presents The Gretsch Electric Guitar Ensemble In Concert

by Fred W. Gretsch

Elmhurst College Gretsch Electric Guitar Ensemble

I’m pleased to invite anyone in the Chicago area to attend a concert showcasing Elmhurst College’s Gretsch Electric Guitar Ensemble this coming November 13. The group will be performing as part of the college’s Electric Guitar Ensembles Concert, which will also feature the Electric Guitar Collective, a group open to all electric guitar students. Under the capable direction of faculty member Mike Pinto, both groups will perform a variety of music, including jazz, Latin, pop, and rock.

Since the early 1990s the Gretsch Family has been pleased to fund student scholarships in music and music business at Elmhurst College, and to support the development of a state-of-the-art recording studio there named in recognition of my parents, William and Sylvia Gretsch. And as a proud Elmhurst College alum myself, I was personally honored in 1993 when the college’s unique guitar ensemble program was designated as the Gretsch Electric Guitar Ensemble.

While virtually all other ensemble opportunities for electric guitarists have only one guitar chair, the Gretsch Electric Guitar Ensemble features five electric guitarists, a bass guitarist, and a drummer. This provides a unique opportunity for guitarists to learn to play with each other, emphasizing blend, balance, phrasing, dynamics, and articulation. (It also makes for a unique concert performance.) The Ensemble recently recorded and filmed one of their arrangements in the Gretsch studio, which is marking its 25th anniversary this year. The video can be seen at Elmhurst College Music’s YouTube page.

The Electric Guitar Ensembles Concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on November 13 in the Mill Theatre, 253 Walter Street in Elmhurst. Admission is free. For more information, call (630) 617-3390.

Savannah Folk Music Festival a Great Success

October 18th, 2012

FROM THE SAVANNAH FOLK MUSIC SOCIETY:

The Annual Savannah Folk Music Festival began with a huge crowd in attendance at 7 pm on Friday, October 12 in Ellis Square with”FOLKFEST” showcasing Savannah Folk Music Society Members. The large audience, seated all around ELLIS Square and in the courtyard at City Market, was entertained with a variety of different styles of music from the many genres that make up folk music.  Savannah Folk Music Society President Chris Desa opened the show and Jim McGaw, Lauren Lapointe, Cynergy, and Pace Brothers performed for and were applauded by an appreciative audience of local area residents and out of town visitors who enjoyed the show.  The best part was the ticket price. . . “ F R E E“.

Noteworthy Art and More Auctions, Friday, October 12 & Sunday October, 14 (Ellis Square & Grayson Stadium)

Chris Desa and Fred Gretsch with Alison Krauss & Union Station signed Gretsch Guitar Auctioned During Festival

All 14 guitars, generously donated by the GRETSCH FOUNDATION and some of which were artfully transformed by local Savannah artists (see below), were sold at silent auction during the Friday and Sunday events.  One brand new playable Gretsch Historic Series guitar, signed by all performers at the Sunday concert was auctioned and sold on October 14 at Grayson Stadium.

Youth Songwriting Competition, Saturday, October 13

The Youth songwriting competition, with $1,000 in prizes sponsored by Portman’s Music Superstore was held at Stewart Hall, First Presbyterian church where 3 finalists performed their original songs.  Declan Berkley of Savannah won First Prize – a $500 gift certificate for his song “North Pike Island”, Catherine Altomare also of Savannah placed second and received a gift certificate of $300 and Kent Woods of Ridgeland, SC was third and received gift certificate of $200.

Blues Guitar Workshop with Doug Macleod, Saturday, October 13

Immediately following the songwriting competition, a two-hour acoustic blues guitar workshop was hosted by headliner DOUG MACLEOD with about 12 local guitarists and listeners in attendance.  It was a great opportunity for attendees to spend quality time and learn from one of the best blues performers in the country.

Old Time Country Dance, Saturday, October 13

Savannah Arts Academy gym was decorated with numerous colorful quilts in preparation for the Festival Dance, which was again very well attended by nearly 250 people.  The “Curley Maple” Band provided excellent music throughout the evening which veteran dance caller Janet Shepherd relied on to “call” and guide novices and veterans alike through a myriad of contras, squares, waltzes, and circle dances.

Concert at Grayson Stadium, Sunday, October 14

The Sunday Festival Concert began on schedule in Grayson Stadium with Deidre McCalla, Curley Maple, Al Petteway & Amy White, and Doug Macleod each performing two sets for the benefit of audience members who could attend only a portion of the concert.  It was a treat to see long time fans of the performers position themselves at vantage seats in the stands to get a close up view.  Every artist gave a stellar performance to an appreciative and attentive audience scattered all over the stands behind home plate at Grayson Stadium.

The Youth Songwriting Competition winner Declan Berkley performed his winning song “North Pike Island” on stage at the Sunday Concert.

Overall, the festival was a great success and next year we will be back again in our usual location at Grayson Stadium said Chris Desa.  The collective efforts of SFMS leadership, members, volunteers, and numerous sponsors is greatly appreciated.

Major Festival Sponsors

City of Savannah Leisure Services Bureau: Dept of Cultural Affairs

The Gretsch Foundation

Portman’s Music Superstore

Quality Rock Q 105.3

Brighter Day Natural Foods

For more information about the Savannah Folk Music Society, call (912) 898-1876 or visit www.savannahfolk.org.

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Four of the beautiful art guitars auctioned during the festival:

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The Round Badge Returns to Gretsch USA Custom Drums

October 6th, 2012

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT BY GRETSCH DRUMS:

In January 2013, Gretsch will reintroduce a round, brass, vent hole badge on all USA Custom drums, including G-4000 Series Metal and G-5000 Series Wood Snare Drums.

The newly designed Gretsch Round Badge shares many of the same characteristics of the original version. Both are made from brass, yet the new version has only the Gretsch name embossed. (On the original brass badge, all of the graphic elements were embossed.) To enhance the look of the new badge, a simulated “patina” is applied giving it a textured, rustic appearance. The new badge will be affixed to the drums’ vent hole using a pneumatically pressed brass grommet. And, a grommet will be used for all drums whereas on the original round badge series the toms used a tack since there was no venthole on round badge era toms. Only the round badge era snares and bass drum had ventholes.

The Gretsch Round Badge was used on all Gretsch USA-made drums between 1930 and 1970 and grew to become an iconic symbol. Gretsch Drums manufactured during this period continue to be highly collectable and extremely valuable throughout the vintage drum community.
Even though Gretsch has introduced several alternative badge styles since 1970, the Round Badge continued to make periodic comebacks for special commemorative products like the 120th Anniversary Edition Products in 2003 and the 125th Anniversary Drums in 2008. In January 2012, a silver version of the traditional Round Badge was introduced on the newly released, USA-made Brooklyn Series.

“The reintroduction of the Round Badge to our USA-made product is a welcome return to a classic and very emblematic Gretsch Drum design,” said John Palmer, Director of Product for Gretsch Drums. “As we approach the company’s 130th anniversary, we are very proud to combine key elements of our rich heritage with our continuing advancements in drum making.”

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