The Gretsch Became an Icon Along With The Beatles

The rockabilly icon favored by countless guitar gods continues to rock on

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In 1961, an 18-year-old George Harrison opened a copy of the Liverpool Echo and saw an ad for a used electric guitar. It was a 1957 Gretsch Duo Jet—coal black, more chrome than a Cadillac. The seller, a Cunard crewman, wanted 75 pounds.

“I rushed right over to see it,” Harrison would recall years later, after The Beatles had made him famous. “It was my first real American guitar. … It was secondhand, but I polished that thing.



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This story first appeared in the March 12, 2024, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.