Gretsch 6120 book

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Re: Gretsch 6120 book

Postby BillB » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:36 pm

I wonder where that guitar is now. Is Bill Porter still alive?

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Re: Gretsch 6120 book

Postby thenorm » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:50 pm

I think Chet changed the pu's before he gave the guitar to Bill Porter..."

He did. The Bacon and Day Gretsch book has a photo of the guitar and it has the stock (for the period) DeArmond pickups on it with the standard (for the period) four knob one switch controls
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Re: Gretsch 6120 book

Postby thenorm » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:53 pm

Bill Porter died this year in midsummer

Here's one of many obits on him

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obitu ... 83733.html

He'd sold the guitar years ago. Funny thing about guitars like that and the 'red' guitar. Because they're so special them that own them have to worry about theft. I read somewhere that Thom Bresh had Merle's Bigsby necked Martin stowed in a bank vault or something like that for years before he finally sold it at auction.
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Re: Gretsch 6120 book

Postby guitarchuck » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:37 pm

I only saw it once after Ray invented those pickups Odell Martin got a pair for his 6120 I wanted to but didn't have the money I think Ray charged $125 each for them which was a lot of money back then

Thanks for your input Paul, that was a lot of money back then!

BillB:Speaking for myself, I find this thread very interesting.
It seems that over the years, we have found out quite a bit more information on the sealed-top red/orange guitar, except for its current whereabouts (would love to see current pics).

Bill, I'm glad you are interested too! I would like to know the who owns all 3 of those sealed top 6120's. I was very surprised to learn of the two-tone finished one.

I've always wondered about the black guitar that you can only see the back of on the cover of "Chet Atkins Workshop" album. I've always thought that maybe it's the black gold sparkle f-hole guitar that we've been talking about here. Here's a link from the Smithsonian that posibly confirms that: http://invention.smithsonian.org/centerpieces/electricguitar/pop-ups/03-10.htm
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Re: Gretsch 6120 book

Postby guitarchuck » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:48 pm

thenorm: Just because someone writes a book doesn't mean they got all the details right.

You're right about that Norm, he made another error on pg. 159 of the Gretsch 6120 book: "it was in his best interest to jump ship and partner with the Gibson Company on yet another signature model, the SST (solidbody acoustic-electric, 1981)". That should have read "CEC/CE" not SST. The SST came several years later and I think that was Gibson's idea.

But, the "Gretsch 6120 by Edward Ball" is really great for anyone interested, hardcover, 192 pages loaded with nice photos and detailed information. It retails for $39.99 but you can find it online for less than $30. Excellent book!
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Re: Gretsch 6120 book

Postby thenorm » Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:34 pm

I've always wondered about the black guitar that you can only see the back of on the cover of "Chet Atkins Workshop"..."

I'm sure that's his '59. It has the stairstep Grover Imperial tuners on it and it sometimes tended to photograph very dark depending on the lighting. 6120's (which those black guitars and that Smithstonian example were) didn't use those Grover Imperials. I think he just propped it there for the photo shoot. The photographer probably wanted more color in the shot so he grabbed that Tenny. Looking at the way that guitar is propped...it's no wonder he broke at least two guitar necks in his career.

That Tenny looks like it has a larger than necessary hole cut for the pickup. Makes me think it was some kind of tinkering/experimental guitar.
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Re: Gretsch 6120 book

Postby guitarchuck » Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:02 pm

Good eye Norm, I hadn't noticed the Grover Imperials! I hadn't noticed the pickup cutout on that Tennessean either!
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Re: Gretsch 6120 book

Postby Paul Yandell » Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:07 pm

I think that guitar is at the Smithsonion, thanks paul
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Re: Gretsch 6120 book

Postby thenorm » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:13 pm

Not looking for a fight… just making an observation…

I just clicked that link that Chuck posted that has a photo of a black 6120 and there's the sentence: "...This hollow-body electric guitar was Atkins's personal instrument and appeared on the 1961 Chet Atkins' Workshop album cover..."

(Here’s the link again)

http://invention.smithsonian.org/center ... /03-10.htm

If you listen to the commentary and look closely at the bass side of the fingerboard you can see the extra work Ray Butts did to it. It is Bill Porter’s guitar! Wow!

So between that and Paul’s input I’d say I was voted down. Definitely would be classed as a “workshop” kind of guitar

I don’t have access to my Workshop album and the scans in Google images are too small to go by but (gently he said) I really thought the dark guitar on the album cover had Grover Super Imperials on it and the one in the Smithsonian photo looks like a black finished 6120 with the period 6120 round button open back tuning pegs. They look that way in the Bacon/Day Gretsch book too. For a 6120 to have had Grover’s the mounting holes would have needed enlarging.

Maybe I made a wrong call on those tuners on the album. The guitar is in the back of the room and the photographer has the depth of field blurring the background a bit as I recall.

I could be wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time.
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Re: Gretsch 6120 book

Postby BillB » Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:18 am

That picture on the weblink said, "From the Chinery Collection." Since Chinery passed away a few years, it makes sense for that guitar to be in the Smithsonian.

I just went back to that site, and there are some pretty cool guitars, many of them from Chinery's collection. Les Paul's "log" is there as well. Nice to know that these guitars are in a place that will show the historical significance of these guitars to the rest of the folks.

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