A vintage Gretsch Tennessean electric guitar that saw use in the original Monkees TV series is set to be auctioned in the UK this weekend (May 21).
The instrument was originally owned by Michael Nesmith and made appearances both onstage with the band and in the TV show. It was then presented to Gary Arnold, then the Vice President of Best Buy, in appreciation of his company’s role as sponsor of the band’s 1986 reunion shows.
It is signed by all four members of the band, including Nesmith, and has an estimated value of £18,000 to £22,000 (approx. $22,500 - $27,500).
Historics Auctioneers usually handles classic car sales, but says the instrument came to the market after the current owner heard they were selling a 1966 Pontiac GTO Monkee-mobile that was also used in the Monkees TV show. The auctioneer has described the guitar as “a true piece of music history."
Within The Monkees, Michael Nesmith in particular was fond of Gretsch guitars.
Both with The Monkees and during his solo career, Nesmith often played Gretsch 6075 and 6076 12-string guitars that the company had made for him, along with a sunburst Viking model and the company's Monkees signature guitar.
In a 2013 interview with Guitar World, Nesmith – in his typically self-effacing manner – discussed his and the Monkees' long-standing relationship with Gretsch, saying, "Gretsch has been supportive and very helpful, although the Monkees' television status has always kept the interest of instrument makers down regarding me. I also am not a very good player, so I don't get the same attention as more accomplished players."
If you’re interested in the sale of the vintage guitar, head to Historics Auctioneers.
A previous version of this story stated, in error, that the guitar on sale was a Gretsch Country Gentleman model.