Brian Setzer’s gorgeous Gretsch guitar has now been inducted into the Smithsonian Museum of American History. Setzer’s guitar – which is actually a replica of his 1959 Gretsch – will be part of the stunning collection of musical instruments at the museum that includes John Coltrane’s saxophone, Dizzy Gillespie’s trumpet, Prince’s Yellow Cloud electric guitar, and Eddie Van Halen’s “Frank 2” guitar.
As a lifelong fan of the Stray Cats and the big band sounds of The Brian Setzer Orchestra, I could not be happier for the innovative Setzer. As a young rockabilly musician, I lusted after that classic Gretsch guitar – that garish orange body with those two dice that he drilled to replace missing tone knobs and the Lucky Lady, skull and crossbones, and Black Cat stickers. As to the replica guitar that will be at the Smithsonian, apparently his original guitar began to age and became unplayable. A master guitar builder replicated every detail of the original and created an exact replica in 2006 that Setzer has been playing. Congratulations, Brian Setzer! Rockabilly rules!