Backbeat Books 50 Years of Gretsch Electrics

If the words White Falcon, Duo Jet, Corvette and Hot Rod are enough to get you all hot under the collar, then you’re gonna love Tony Bacon’s new book. Stuffed with pictures of some of the coolest guitars ever made, plus a load of useful reference material, this is an essential purchase for all you fans of Gretsch guitars.

There’s a real focus on the artists who played the guitars over the past 50 years: Chet Atkins, Bo Diddley, Steve Marriott of the Small Faces, The Cult’s Billy Duffy and the greatest Gretsch maniac of them all, Stray Cats’ Brian Setzer, are all featured here alongside many others.

But the real stars are the guitars. Gretsch has produced some real works of six-string art since their earliest days. If you don’t fall in love with at least one of their beautiful models, well, you’re dead already.

50 Years of Gretsch Electrics is a right riveting read. There’s plenty of eye-candy, interesting archive material and we love the rock history accompanying the descriptions of each model. It’s bang-up-to-date, too, with information on the current Gretsch guitar range. While not quite as exhaustive as Jay Scott’s The Guitars of the Fred Gretsch Company, Tony Scott has produced a colourful, easy-to-read book that will appeal to Gretsch acionados and novices alike. File under quality guitar porn.

MusicRadar Rating

4 / 5 stars

Well written. Lots of lovely pictures. Good reference material.


You’ll fall in love with Gretsch guitars. You have been warned!


This is a brilliant read. There’s plenty of great pictures, it's packed with iinteresting archive material and it’s bang-up-to-date, too.


Tony Bacon

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All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.

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