Growing up in the late 70’s, I found myself hooked to the Rockabilly Revival listening to music from bands like The Jets, The Polecats, Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers to name a couple. But right at the top of the list was a three piece band from the States that moved over to London to try their luck on a British audience. Lee Rocker, Slim Jim Phantom and, the guitarist and lead vocalist, a young Brian Setzer formed the Stray Cats. Almost immediately, they were a smash hit with their unique sound. As a young fresh-faced guitarist I loved the Setzer guitar sound so much I wanted to be like him (Yeah, that never happened!). But the big thing was the orange Gretsch around his body. It was so cool, really Rock ‘n’ Roll. That one guitar turned out to be a major piece of musical history with a story of success, woe, loss, theft and major damage but still, to this day it remains as one of the most treasured possession in Setzer’s music arsenal.

“So what has this got to do with a North East Guitar magazine,” I hear you ask. Well, purely because for the pilot edition of our new magazine, I thought I would talk about my first real influence as a guitarist and the guitar which still eludes me. Simple really. I have loved the Gretsch 6120 forever and still live in hope that one day I will own one. Anyway enough about my dreams, let’s learn a little more about Brian Setzer’s Gretsch 6120 ‘Stray Cat’. Brian Setzer tells the story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *