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© Jody Cortes/Sygma/Corbis
Inspired by Bow Wow Wow’s Matthew Ashman, Billy Duffy bought his first Gretsch White Falcon while a member of the band Theatre Of Hate. It wasn't the exact model he wanted; he had to settle for a Baldwin-era double-cutaway.
After meeting singer Ian Astbury and forming Southern Death Cult (soon shortened to simply The Cult), Duffy got his hands on the guitar of his dreams: a mid-‘70s, single-cutaway Falcon.
This is the guitar he used on the highly influential 1985 album Love, which featured the band‘s signature song, She Sells Sanctuary. To achieve his distinctive sound, a bewitching blend of chiming, echo-laden riffs and three-chord crunch, Duffy stuffed his Falcon, equipped with Seymour Duncan PowerTron pickups, with T-shirts, makeup pads, cotton balls - whatever was handy - to minimize unwanted feedback.
During the late ’80s, Duffy would make considerable use of Les Pauls on more harder-edged records, but he always came back to his White Falcons.