Eric Clapton’s 1961/62 Gretsch Chet Atkins Model 6120access_time First seen circa 1964
Eric was seen playing this guitar during the Yardbirds’ Ready Steady Go! TV appearance sometime in 1964. The show seems to have aired on May 22nd, 1964 [Ready Steady Go! Season 1 – TheTVDB.com], and as far as we could find, this is the only time Eric appeared with this guitar. This could possibly mean that the guitar was borrowed.
Since there’s some talk that this was the guitar that was sold at Christie’s auctions in 1999, it is somewhat important to note that this is not the case. That guitar was listed on the auction as the ‘Lot 18 – 1958 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean (translucent red)’, and was without a doubt a single cutaway model. The Gretsch that Eric was seen with during the Ready Steady Go! TV show in 1964 is obviously a double-cutaway version, which came into production only in 1961 [Vintage Guitars Info’s Vintage Gretsch Guitars] – making this theory not possible. The guitar that was sold at Christie’s is mentioned in a couple of sections below.