The Gretsch Electric Guitar Book

The Gretsch Electric Guitar Book

60 Years of White Falcons, 6120s, Jets, Gents, and more!

 by Tony Bacon


The Gretsch Electric Guitar Book is the latest book in Tony Bacon’s bestselling guitar series: A carefully researched text partnered with a gallery of full-color pictures of great guitars, rare memorabilia, and of famous Gretsch players from Chet Atkins to Eddy Cochran, Billy Duffy, Duane Eddy, and Brian Seltzer.

Gretsch electric guitars have a style all their own – a glitzy, wacky, retro charm that over the years has drawn players from unknown teens to timeless stars playing all kinds of popular music. No two old Gretsch guitars sound or feel alike: inconsistent crazy gadgetry – cool beauty – weird tone – stylish glamour.

The Gretsch Electric Guitar Book is an absorbing tale that takes the reader from the introduction of Gretsch’s first proper electrics, through to the famous Chet Atkins models and the White Falcon, and on to the recent guitars and the Fender era. Tony Bacon draws both from fresh and archived interviews with Gretsch players:

“Gretsch put together a prototype to show to Atkins, probably early in 1954. In a similar way to Les Paul and Gibson, Atkins had little input to the original design of his signature model. The label inside identified the sample guitar as a Streamliner Special, although it was more like a Country Club: it had a Melita bridge, a second DeArmond single-coil at the bridge, and Gretsch’s two-pickup control layout (four knobs plus one selctro). ‘That’s the first one I received,’ Atkins explained when he showed it to me in the 90s. ‘They sent it over and said: how about this? But I wanted a Bigsby vibrato on it and I especially didn’t like the f-holes, and later on we changed those.'”

The book tells the story through the people who design, make, and sell them – back then as well as right now. The book closes with a useful reference section with all the information a collector might want on original models, reissues, new guitars, artist models, serial number, and production details for every significant model, new and old, of this most enigmatic and revered brand.

8.5″ x 11″
160 pages
Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group


Tony Bacon writes about musical instruments, musicians, and music. He is a co-founder of Backbeat UK and Jawbone Press. Tony’s books include The Ibanez Electric Guitar Book, The Ultimate Guitar Book, and History Of The American Guitar. He lives in Bristol, England.

Gretsch, Sg cover



Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, the trade book division of Hal Leonard Corporations, publishes books on the performing arts under the imprints Hal Leonard Books, Backbeat Books, Amadeus Press, and Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

Posted on February 25, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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