guitarchuck

Talk about guitars, amps and other gear.

Re: List of Chet Atkins Signature Guitars

Postby Vidar Lund » Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:08 pm

Have no fear. This Viking is very sivilized, or lazy as some would say!
Vidar Lund
 
Posts: 420
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:20 am

Re: List of Chet Atkins Signature Guitars

Postby guitarchuck » Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:40 pm

On the subject of pickguards: I don't know if any of you have ever noticed, Chet's first Gretsch in publicity photos. The Streamliner Special (6120 prototype) originally had a pickguard with a steer head and Chet Atkins block printed on it instead of the familiar Chet Atkins signpost pickguard that currently resides on that guitar.

Check out this publicity photo of Chet with his very first Gretsch:
Image
guitarchuck
 
Posts: 983
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:28 pm

Re: List of Chet Atkins Signature Guitars

Postby Vidar Lund » Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:17 pm

Excactly! That´s the photo on pages 70 and 71 in MMAG (This time I´m correct!): "Chet poses with the first guitar Gretsch made for him". It had the beltbuckle tailpiece Chet replaced with a Bigsby tailpiece. It´s also shown om pages 56 - 57 in the CGP catalogue.
Vidar Lund
 
Posts: 420
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:20 am

Re: List of Chet Atkins Signature Guitars

Postby guitarchuck » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:40 pm

Back to the subject of the Gretsch Atkins Super Axe. Here's a photo of a prototype from the early stages of the Super Axe development. As you can see the body shape was somewhat different, but similar. (The body was designed by Clyde Edwards at Baldwin). This was before Chet worked with them to add the electronic effects. At this point the guitar was called the "Hi-Roller". It had dice inlay. The dots were removed by the time it became the Super Axe and Atkins Axe because of the gambling association. This prototype belonged to Dean Turner. Does anyone know if Dean is still around? I wrote to him back when I was in my early 20's but I haven't heard of him in a long time. I know at one time he had many prototype Gretsch guitars. If I'm not mistaken, I think he told me he had Roy Clark's prototype Super Axe at one time also.

Image
guitarchuck
 
Posts: 983
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:28 pm

Re: List of Chet Atkins Signature Guitars

Postby David Elliott » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:06 pm

Chuck,

The last I heard from him, (I think about 5 years ago) Dean (Turner) was still pickin' and grinnin' in Fort Worth, Texas. Excellent Chet picker, and a really nice guy! Amazing knowledge of Gretsch guitars!

I'm sending you a very interesting article (in PDF format) on the development of the Super Axe written by the designer of the guitar, Ron Tipton. When he and Chet worked on this, it was called the "Tipton-Hot Strings" guitar!

David
David Elliott
 
Posts: 405
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:43 pm
Location: Simi Valley, California

Re: List of Chet Atkins Signature Guitars

Postby guitarchuck » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:45 pm

Thanks for emailing that article David. (I don't have a way of posting it either, it seems like Al Baggetta may have it on his website somewhere.) I already had it somewhere on the computer, I need to get stuff to where I can find it! :lol: It's amazing how the Atkins Super Axe came about. Chet knew what he wanted, Clyde Edwards designed the guitar shape, Ron Tipton designed the electronics that Chet wanted and Gretsch brought the guitar to production. My books by Gruhn say that No more than 8 protoypes and possibly as few as 3 or 4 were made before this guitar made it to production.
My Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars says the Roy Clark prototypes of this guitar have asymmetrical rounded double cutaway design, no control plate, knobs and switches in elliptical pattern.
Last edited by guitarchuck on Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
guitarchuck
 
Posts: 983
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:28 pm

Re: List of Chet Atkins Signature Guitars

Postby guitarchuck » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:50 pm

Since this thread is about Chet's endorsed guitars, I ran across these two nice photos on the web of couple of his favorite personal guitars, Chet's 1959 Gretsch Country Gentleman and his prototype Gibson Studio Classic - fleur-de-lis:

ImageImage
guitarchuck
 
Posts: 983
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:28 pm

Re: List of Chet Atkins Signature Guitars

Postby pattie surman » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:32 am

Thanks Chuck....I remember Dean from the early CAAS conventions . He had a one of a kind Gretch which I think was made for him. It had a pick guard shaped like the state of Texas.He was trying to get Fred Gretsch to do a Dean Turner model. Guitar Player magazine Oct.83 did a great story on Dean's prototypes. He was listed as the company's offical historian.Reference from Guitar Player Oct. 1983. "In1978 Gretsch built two prototypes for guitarest Roy Clark.he selected one and this is the other.The cat's eye shaped array of controls includes a built in limiter and phaser. Finished in blue stain with individually hand rubbed coats of lacquer, theinstrument features two Filter Tron pickups and a specially bound fingerboard. This guitar was never put into production.Above and right, made in 1976 at the request of Chet Atkins, this High Roller prototype was the first Gretsch known by that name.Seven subsequent prototypes ,which featured an onboard limiter and phaser , were the predecessors to the Super Axe.The dice inlays correspond to the fret number(the Super Axe's inlays didn't include dots).At Chet's recommendation. this guitar . as well as the High Roller prototypes and the Super Axe, were equipped with flat ebony fingerboards."End of reference.Guitar Player OCT. 83.No reference. Sorry I can't post the photos, they are great. Thanks Stan. guitarist spelled guitarist.
pattie surman
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:15 am

Re: List of Chet Atkins Signature Guitars

Postby bill park » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:15 am

guitarchuck wrote:Does anyone know if Dean Turner is still around?

I received a new CD that Dean had recorded and spoke with him by phone about a month ago. He's living the retired life and still playing guitar and doing well in Fort Worth. He was a mainstay at the early conventions - always drew a crowd and loved to play for anyone who'd listen.
Bill
bill park
 
Posts: 187
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:07 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO.

Re: List of Chet Atkins Signature Guitars

Postby guitarchuck » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:46 pm

Thanks, Stan and Bill for the info on Dean Turner. Thanks for that Guitar Player Magazine info Stan. I just ordered a copy on Ebay. I also found the issue with his Super Axe Roy Clark model on the cover:
Image
guitarchuck
 
Posts: 983
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:28 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Guitars and Equipment

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest