From a home-made "Flying V" made from his bedroom
door to. . .
. . . the largest Gretsch collection in the
historical collection of vintage, rare, and one-of-a-kind Gretsch guitars
is on display at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville,
Tennessee. The new exhibit, American Sound and Beauty: Guitars from
the Bachman-Gretsch Collection, features 75 of the more than 300 Gretsch
guitars amassed by Canadian musician Randy Bachman of The Guess Who and
Bachman Turner Overdrive fame.
It is the largest collection of guitars ever displayed
at the museum and marks the first time the public has seen a part of Bachman’s
extensive Gretsch collection, considered the largest in the world. The
Gretsch Foundation, the charitable arm of the Gretsch family, purchased
the collection in 2008.
Fred Gretsch, fourth generation Gretsch Company president,
thinks “American Sound and Beauty” is an appropriate name for the exhibit.
“The guitars on display are as American as it gets,” said Gretsch. “Most
were built in Brooklyn, New York at The Gretsch Building, a building my
grandfather Fred Gretsch Sr. constructed and opened 100 years ago in 1916.”
“These guitars also contributed their unique sound to
the evolution of popular American music, including jazz, country, and of
course, rock ‘n’ roll,” continued Gretsch, “Plus, Gretsch ushered in a
new era of colorful and sparkly guitar finishes in the 1950s. The guitars
on display are just beautiful and look like true works of art in the Museum.”
Gretsch honours Chet Atkins, the most important endorser
of Gretsch electric guitars, and the musician that influenced a long list
of artists including Duane Eddy, Paul Yandell, George Harrison, Neil Young,
Stephen Stills, Brian Setzer, Steve Wariner, Joe Robinson, Tommy Emmanuel,
and Randy Bachman.