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The Gretsch White Falcon Dave Grohl used in the Foo Fighters' Monkey Wrench video has sold at auction for over $53,000

Dave Grohl plays a 1990 Gretsch White Falcon in the Foo Fighters' Monkey Wrench video (left), the same 1990 Gretsch White Falcon
(Image credit: Foo Fighters/YouTube, Gardiner Houlgate)

The 1990 Gretsch White Falcon electric guitar that Dave Grohl used in the Foo Fighters' Monkey Wrench music video has sold (opens in new tab) at auction for over $53,000.

Once owned by Foo Fighters guitarist Pat Smear, and used extensively with the band both onstage and in the studio, the Japanese-built model – serial number 906593-39 – was the subject of a number of modifications, and eventually sold by Smear on Ebay in 2003. 

You can see the guitar – which was sold by Gardiner Houlgate (opens in new tab) – in action in the Monkey Wrench video below.

Earnie Bailey, Smear's guitar tech during his time with Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, made a number of after-market mods to the instrument. 

First, he swapped (opens in new tab) out the guitar's original tailpiece with an original 1950s Gretsch Cadillac example that was found by Smear in a junk shop, then, he put a pillow inside its body in an effort to rein in feedback, while covering the guitar's F holes with black velvet. 

"I had to have a White Falcon after seeing the great Matthew Ashman use one with Bow Wow Wow in 1981," reads (opens in new tab) an accompanying note – written in 2002, and sold with the guitar – from Smear. "The guitar looked amazing but the early ones were super rare and expensive and the '70s models had all that extra crap like dampeners and stereo switches. 

"When the '90s reissues came out," he continued, "I could finally get one without worrying about banging around some overpriced museum piece on the road... or so I thought. It instantly became one of my favorites, getting special treatment and was usually the one to pull out to play in hotel rooms and show off to visiting friends.

"Earnie made modifications while on tour, eventually creating my ultimate Falcon. I played this guitar on several Foo Fighters tours and on The Colour and The Shape album. It was also used by Harlow on their Harlowland album. Enjoy!"

The 1990 Gretsch White Falcon formerly owned by Pat Smear

(Image credit: Gardiner Houlgate)

The Gretsch was sold with a Polaroid picture of Smear holding the guitar, and three photos of Rancid's Tim Armstrong, actress Drew Barrymore and film director David Markey, respectively, playing the guitar, each dated (opens in new tab) February 19, 1996.

Incidentally, this very White Falcon also made an appearance in Guitar World's 1997 feature with Grohl and Smear, after the latter used it during a rehearsal attended by Guitar World writer Alan di Perna.

For more on the guitar, visit Gardiner Houlgate (opens in new tab).

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Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player (opens in new tab). Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder (opens in new tab) and Unrecorded (opens in new tab). Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.