“I started out playing a Telecaster. One day, I heard someone playing a Gretsch – I said, ‘What is that? That’s the sound I’m looking for!’” Portugal. The Man’s John Gourley joins a fresh wave of signature artists updating Gretsch for a new generation

Gretsch Broadkaster John Gourley Signature
(Image credit: Fender)

Growing up in the snow-capped nothingness of Alaska with a raft of his father’s records – but no record player – John Gourley fell in love with the aesthetic of music. “I would just look at those record covers. They felt so awing to me,” he remembers.

“They gave me this feeling of something happening on the outside of the woods where we were, and it made me feel less isolated. To me, the aesthetic is the most beautiful thing about music. It’s the sound – it’s the shape of the guitar, the clothes the player’s wearing, the way they carry themselves and make their instruments speak.”

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Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to Prog, Guitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.