The Gretsch Broadkaster party continues with another signature model: this time for Portugal. The Man's John Gourley

Gretsch John Gourley
(Image credit: Gretsch)

We're all in favour of Gretsch signature model guitars that recognise newer artists – and so is Gretsch it seems. The Fender-owned brand just announced its second Electromatic Broadkaster artist model in two weeks; this time for Portugal. The Man lead frontman John Gourley.

The new model follows the surprise release of a $699 boygenius signature Broadkaster Jr at the end of January, but at $1,199.99 it's certainly a significant step up in price from that. Gourley maintains affordability was still a concern in its inception – and the specs balance that ideal with some nods to the Pro range.  

"The first thing we talked about was, can we make an affordable guitar? First and foremost" says Gourley in the video above. The model was an easy choice – the Broadkaster has long been his favourite guitar, with the Bigsby B70 tailpiece his favourite feature. "I just love hearing things bend into tune," he adds. "That is the most satisfying thing in the world to me."

Whether you regard a model over $1,000 an affordable guitar is up for debate, but the specs here are 'Pro-inspired' with USA Full'Tron pickups, locking tuners and even strap locks. The finish is an Iridescent Black that's sure to stun under the lights. 

Gretsch John Gourley

(Image credit: Gretsch)

While boygenius's Broadkaster was a Jr model, Gourley's signature has a seemingly larger maple body, but it's thinner than usual – reflective of the musician's need for comfort onstage, while having controllable feedback. The centre bock is chambered spruce. 

And it's very much built for the stage as well as home. "I'm not gentle with guitars at all, and I don't think you should be – I think you should play these things," says Gourley. "It's like sneakers – I put them on, I wear them, skate in them, that's what they're there for."

Skate films have been an influence on the whole band, and that's where artist Cleon Peterson's work on this model comes into the picture. "Cleon Peterson was an artist at Toy Machine," explains Gourley. "He just drew skate decks all day and Cleon is actually our neighbour [where Gourley lives]. We had actually become friends years ago and we ended up creating a lot of stuff during the pandemic. I was always a massive fan of him so I just think I hit up Cleon and said, 'Hey dude, do you wanna make a guitar with me?'

Gretsch John Gourley

(Image credit: Gretsch)

Peterson's input manifested in the 'cloud' fingerboard inlays, bespoke truss rod cover (a nod to Gourley's Alaskan homeland) and metal head badge, plus the graphic on the pickguard. Like the boygenius Broadkaster, they're another stylish way of sitting the guitar apart from anything else in the Gretsch catalogue. 

Additional specs include silver sparkle binding, an anchored Adjusto-Matic bridge, thin U-shaped maple neck with 12" radius laurel fingerboard and 22 medium jumbo frets.  

Find out more at Sweetwater, Andertons and Gretsch Guitars

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.