1963 Gretsch PX6120DC “Chet Atkins” Hollow Body

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In April of 1966, when the Beatles went into Abbey Road Studios to record “Paperback Writer,” John Lennon was photographed playing a 1963 Gretsch PX6120 DC “Chet Atkins” Hollow Body guitar finished in a stunning Orange color.
Friedrich Gretsch, a young German immigrant, founded the Gretsch Company in 1883. Gretsch manufactured banjos, tambourines, and drums, until his death in 1895. His son, Fred Gretsch, took over the company and moved operations to a larger facility in Brooklyn, New York in 1916. Gretsch eventually became a prominent manufacturer of American musical instruments. Guitar production began in the early 1930’s, and by the 1950’s and 1960’s, Gretsch guitars were highly sought-after instruments. Famed Country guitar legend, Chet Atkins, was an endorser of certain models and this gave Gretsch great visibility. Later, Beatles guitarist George Harrison, himself a huge Chet Atkins fan, would use and popularize the PX6122 “Chet Atkins” Country Gentleman and PX6119 “Chet Atkins” Tennessean models leading to an unprecedented boom for Gretsch guitars.
First introduced in 1954 as a single cutaway model, the original 6120 Hollow Body electric guitar is considered to be one of the most popular models in the Gretsch line. In the early 1960’s, the 6120 evolved into a double cutaway (“DC”), thin body, guitar.
The 1963 model specs were: 16” wide hollow body; 2 ¼” thick body; 24.5” scale; Double Cutaway (“DC”); Simulated (painted) "F" hole body; "T" roof Gretsch peghead logo; Zero fret; Bone nut; mixture of gold and nickel parts; Filter'Tron humbucking pickups with "pat pending" and molded gold pickup rings; Thumbprint (neoclassic) inlays; Ebony fingerboard; Smooth Leather back pad; Single mute; “Chet Atkins” Signature on pick guard; Two switches on upper bass bout (tone and pickup selection); One standby switch on lower treble bout; Two Separate pickup volume knobs, plus master volume knob on lower cutaway; Bar bridge; Single mute with one rotary knob; and Gretsch Bigsby B6 vibrato with “V” cut out.
In 1967, Lennon gave his 6120DC to his cousin, David Birch, who still owns it.
The 1963 Gretsch 6120 DC displayed in our collection is identical to John Lennon’s guitar. 63_gent.htmltennessean.htmltennessean.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0shapeimage_5_link_1shapeimage_5_link_2
John Lennon with his 1963 Gretsch 6120DC inside Abbey Road Studios during the "Paperback Writer" sessions.

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