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© Michael Ochs Archives/Corbis
You know the score by now. Here at MusicRadar, we love celebrating those perfect combinations of artist and instrument that burn brightest in the history of popular music. So far we've loved Les Paul legends, stroked the egos of Strat stars, run riot on Rickenbacker pickers and many more. Now, it's time to look at some of the guitarists - both contemporary and from decades past - who have made the Gretsch sound their own. And who better to kick off the list than a genuine trailblazer...
There are Gretsch players, and there are Gretsch players. And there are rock 'n' roll stars. And then there's Eddie Cochran. Killed in a car crash at just 21 years of age, Cochran's career was cut tragically short, but his influence cannot be overstated and still resonates at the pounding heart of rock 'n' roll.
Paul McCartney passed the most important audition of all time when John Lennon - then of The Quarrymen - heard him play Cochran's Twenty Flight Rock. Widely credited as the first guitarist to use an unwound third string for easier bends, artists as diverse as The Who, Hendrix, Bolan, The Sex Pistols, Brian Setzer and Rory Gallagher counted Cochran as a key influence. And if there's a better distillation of the spirit of rock 'n' roll than the car and girl-fixated Somethin' Else... well, frankly, there isn't.
At NAMM 2010, Gretsch announced a rather special Eddie Cochran tribute guitar. Read all about it here.