A 1979 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean hollow-body electric guitar that was once owned by Chris Cornell and featured in Soundgarden’s video for Rusty Cage is up for sale on Reverb.
Cornell was a huge fan of Gretsch guitars over the years, notably using a 1989 Jet Silver Sparkle single-cut when recording Black Hole Sun (and shooting its video). He was a big fan of this Gretsch, too. Listed by River City Guitars in Spokane, Washington, it is described as being used by Cornell in the studio and onstage.
Bearing the serial number 29279, it is being sold with a certificate of authenticity that’s been rubberstamped by the superior court of Washington for King County.
Furthermore, it looks to be in excellent condition. Comprising a laminated maple body, a laminated rock maple neck, all-original spec with a pair of original adjustable pickups, each controlled by tone selector switch, pickup selector switch, individual volume controls for each pickup and a master volume control.
The Dark Cherry Red finish, which was introduced in 1972 when Gretsch changed the model number from 6119 to 7655, looks to have lightened considerably over time but looks incredible nonetheless.
The G7655 has a 24.5” scale, a bound rosewood fingerboard inlaid with Neo-Classic fretmakers, and a zero fret.
Its hardware is chrome-plated and includes a Gretsch-branded Bigsby vibrato (listed in Gretsch catalogues at the time as a Bixby) and tailpiece.
The zero fret is interesting. A fret located just past the nut before the 1st, it first appeared on Gretsch guitars in 1959 by special request from Chet Atkins.
According to Gretsch, it was originally referred to in marketing literature as the “action-flow fret nut”. The Chet Atkins signature guitars in the current Gretsch lineup have one, as does Billy Duffy’s model.
For more information on the listing, head over to Reverb.