Brian Setzer is one of the most famous Gretsch players of all time. The former Stray Cat guitarist has, as of last count, no fewer than one dozen Gretsch signature guitars, 10 of which are based on the celebrated 6120.
In this lengthy and informative video, Setzer presents a detailed look at his guitar collection, which includes loads of Gretsches as well as a D’Angelico Excel cutaway, a Gibson ES-175 with a Bigsby, 1956 Martin D-28 and numerous others.
He starts things off by showing the 1959 Gretsch 6120 he bought for $100 when he was 17, treating us to some tasty rockabilly licks with a generous dollop of Roland Space Echo delay. As with the other guitars presented in the video, Setzer tells the story of how he bought the instrument and the condition it was in.
“I wanted to look like Eddie Cochran, and there was [a Gretsch 6120] in my local paper,” he says. “It said, ‘Gretsch guitar, orange, 100 dollars.’ ”
Setzer went to check out the guitar, only to find the electronics had been gutted. “The guitar was on one side and all of the electrics were in a shoebox,” he says. “So I gave him one hundred dollars, and I took the shoebox and brought it to someone, and he put it back together for me.”
In addition to showing the guitars and talking about them, Setzer demonstrates the tones of each one with some soloing and strumming, including an impromptu rendition of the theme from Gunsmoke!