gretsch chet atkins country gentleman

George Harrison displaying both of his Gretsch Country Gentleman guitars

Photo: Popperfoto/Getty Images

Since George was a big fan of Atkins (he wrote the sleeve note for Atkins’ album Chet Atkins Picks On The Beatles), as is written in Beatles Gear: “[George] was no doubt pleased to have a new guitar which had been designed by Gretsch in collaboration with Chet Atkins, the American country guitarist whom Harrison admired.”

This guitar was also the one that was accidentally destroyed. On 2 December 1965, The Beatles and their equipment were on the road during the UK tour, with one guitar - one of George’s Gretsch Country Gentleman guitars - falling off the back of the Austin Princess, into the road and oncoming traffic.

George is quoted on the incident in NME from 10 December 1965:

“About 13 lorries went over it before our chauffeur [Alf Bicknell] could get near it. Then one of the lorries stopped and the driver came up with the dangling remains of it and said: ‘Oy, is this ‘ere banjo anyfink to do wiv you?’

Some people would say I shouldn’t worry because I could buy as many replacement guitars as I wanted, but you know how it is. I kind of got attached to it.”

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More goodies from guitar shopping this week…

1) Fender Limited Edition “Sandblasted” Tele

2) FSR Paisley Deluxe Reverb

3) Trini Lopez reissue 335.  I love the diamond f-holes!

4) Pair o’ pretty ‘Pauls

5) Flying V Standard.  I would do awful, awful things to have this guitar…  ;)

6) G6122 Country Gentleman

7) Gibson USA gold ES-335, along with that V from my dreams and a lovely ES-390.

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Guitar shopping this week at the Long & McQuade store in Brampton, near Toronto, Canada:

1) Wall o’ new Stratocasters.  Check out the nice Dokota-like red and the “channel bound” neck in the middle, as well as the interesting dark candy cola-style finish (bottom row left).


2) 1500 for a new Les Paul?  C'est impossible!  Ahhh…not when it’s a Les Paul Lite…half the thickness of a regular Les Paul.  And so affordable!

3) Lovely figuring on a Custom Shop ES-335

4) When the parking lot is full and you just happen to be driving a raised 4 x 4, you make your own parking space!  :D

5) I nearly bought this Ricky 620 - only $1300 CAD!

6) Anyone know what those two knobs on either side of the Bigsby do?

7) A couple of pretty 335’s and a lefty pre-2013 SG Standard.  There’s also an ES-390 in the background.