Discussion of history's greatest guitar player.


Postby David Elliott » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:16 pm

I met Mr. (Stan) Surman at (I believe) the 1989 CAAS Convention, and was very impressed with his knowledge of Gretsch guitars, and Chet memoribilia in general, so I have no doubt regarding the authenticity of these items, but as has been pointed out, documenting previous ownership is of great importance.

A beautiful example of one of Stan's guitars is indeed on page 130 of 'The Guitars of the Fred Gretsch Company', by Jay Scott, ©1992.

While far beyond my capability of affordability, I also don't think it is up to any of us to say that 'nobody' could afford to buy these guitars as a whole, because there are people out there with LOTS of money, who are not the least affected by this recession! :D

David Elliott
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Postby jay » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:51 pm

Excellent point about who could purchase the group.

First of all, we do not have any idea on what Mr. Surman (and please excuse me Mr. Surman for speaking about your property outside "your presence"...just bad manners) has in mind as a price.Buying in lots, actually discounts the guitars individually (in theory), but his bottom line for the group, might just be ballpark market for each guitar. That would exclude anyone getting a loan for the lot (very doable), to turn it for 20% or so piecing it out on the open market. Therefore you would be left with someone, with a love for Chet AND very cool guitars, having to have deep pockets. Establishing market value would be tough enough to begin with. You exclude the majority of the market, if you want to price in the "Chet" value.

I agree with the elite auction route. Although you have a middle man, you get top dollar for each guitar. This method, for this type of item, really favors the seller because it brings a ton more folks to the table.

To me, it is a heart-wrenching decision, for a very noble reason. Good luck, Mr. Surman, in your journey. It is an admirable collection.
jay kantor
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Postby guitarchuck » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:26 am

Just took a quick look through "The Guitars of the Fred Gretsch Company" book by Jay Scott. Here's some of the pages that show photos of Stan Surman's guitars. I'm probably missed some, but here's what I just ran accross:

Pg. 81 - 1961 6120
Pg. 90 - Late 70's 7660 Nashville
Pg. 123 - 1955 6121 Chet Atkins Solid Body
Pg. 130 - 1955 6120 in color (David Elliot already mentioned this one)
Pg. 182 - 1960 6122 Country Gentleman
Pg. 241 - mid 70's 7690 Super Chet
Pg. 245 - 7680 Super Axe and 7686 Atkins Axe

Like I said, I may have missed some, I just took a quick look through. I haven't compared to see which of these are in his collection that's for sale. It is impressive to have some guitars in your collection that are published.
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Postby John Knowles » Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:37 am

Stan and Patti, I know how much these guitars mean to you. I hope you are both doing well. John
John Knowles
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Postby David Elliott » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:45 am

Hi Stan,

I'd agree with the suggestions about contacting George Gruhn in Nashville, ( Perhaps you could negotiate a 'collection' rate of evaluating or appraising the actual value of the entire collection at one time.

While it's true some of the guitars are fairly 'run-of-the-mill' models, there are several in there that are definitely 'collector's' items, (such as your Gibson Phasar), and also your Haile guitars and single cut Country Gents!

Good luck-

David Elliott
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Postby Randy » Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:33 am

Trying to read that made my head explode. Hopefully this is a little bit easier to read. Not sure if I got everything correct or not: ;)

No individual pieces, please only inquire for serious interest:

1954 6120 - one of the first 50 made – mint
Original strap - signed by Chet
1956 6120
1960 6120
1962 Double Cut 6120
1956 6121

1958 Single Cut Country Gent - signed by Chet, oversized
headstock, Signpost pickguard

1960 Single Cut Country Gent
Double Cut County Gent
Chet Atkins Nashville
6119 Tennessean Single Pickup – Signed by Chet
Super Chet – Autumn Red
Super Axe - Red
Atkins Axe - Rosewood
Gretsch Chet Atkins Custom Strap - Mint
G6120 DSW.
G6120CGP Stereo
G6120 Hollow
G6120 1956 Reissue
G6120 Chet Atkins Double Cut
G6119 1962 HT Tennessee Rose
G6122 1958 Country Gent
G6122 1959 Country Gent
G6122 1962 Double Cut Country Gent
G6121 Chet Atkins Solid Body
6120 N. New Nashville
6120 Duane Eddy Signature - 1997
G6120 SSL Brian Setzer Nashville
G6163 Executive Amp
Gibson Chet Atkins CE
Gibson CE Sunburst Showcase Edition
Gibson Country Gent Prototype Made for Chet, signed by Chet
Gibson Orange Country Gent – Owned By Paul Yandell
Gibson Country Gent with Ray Butts Pickups – signed by Chet

Gibson Phasar – The one Chet is playing in the Christmas interview
video and the one Waylon is holding in the Gibson ad – signed
by Chet

Kirk Sand – made for Chet – Chet’s name on 12th fret
Del Vecchio Dimanico
Del Vecchio Dimanico

Hascal Haile Classical – the guitar Chet used to record “Chet Atkins
Goes to the Movies”. Documentation

Hascal Haile Classical – the guitar Chet is playing on pg 151 of
“Chet Atkins In Three Dimesions Vol#1”. Documetation

Hascal Haile – Tommy Jones personal guitar once owned by Chet.

Hascal Haile – signed by Chet
Hascal Haile – signed by Chet
Randy Parsons
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Postby thenorm » Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:57 am

I posted the list on the gretschpages. That should generate some interest. :D

Good of you to sort the list out, Randy. Much easier to read.

Just curious Mr Surman... I imagine you've held on to a few for your own playing pleasure. What are your favorite three guitars Not on the list? The ones you want to keep on hand?
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Postby pattie surman » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:33 pm

To answer your question Norm, first let me say I love the new Gretsch guitars' Paul Yandell derserves a tremendous amount of credit and gratitude from the Chet fans for making those guitars become a reality. people have asked me what will I do without my collection? Spend more time with my second love. Go to Google and type in Stan Surman or Gallery On First. End of plug. One could be a favorite of Christopher P arkening's early to mid 1960 Ramirez stamped by builder M.T. One could be a favorite of John Knowles for years, a Kohno and maybe ,what was the name of that guitar Chet used to play before he went with Gretsch,the one he cut a hole in the top of? Stan.
pattie surman
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Postby thenorm » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:45 pm

Thanks for your response.

Definitely agree on your praise of Paul's efforts on the 6122-59 and CGP. The man always had something in mind to better guitaring or to honor Chet.

Interesting (and understandable) to see your favorite instruments listed. Nice link at the gallery, too...

a man of many hats...
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Postby LeeRamirez » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:45 pm

Hi Stan, I had not heard from you for a long time. We met at CAAS in the early 80's. I have a dumb question. What is the difference between the Super Axe and the Atkins Axe?
Lee Ramirez
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