Joe Walsh’s 1957 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins

This was Joe’s guitar before he gave it away to Pete Townshend sometime before April 1971. Pete then went on to use the guitar to record the entirety of Who’s Next album.

I never really got into old guitars until Joe Walsh (James Gang) rang me up one night and said, “I’ve got something for you,” because we buy one another presents. He buys me old concert amps and I buy him synthesizers and we have become very good friends. Anyway, he said, “I’ve got something for you,” and I said “What?” and he said, “A 1957 Gretsch.”

I used that guitar on every track on Who’s Next, it’s the best guitar I’ve ever had. It’s the finest guitar I’ve ever owned, it’s the loudest guitar I’ve ever owned. It is so loud, man, it whips any pickup that I’ve ever come across. It’s maybe six or seven times louder than anything I’ve come across. If I plugged it in my amp tonight, normally I’d be working on volume 6 or 7, but I would work this guitar on 1.

Pete Townshen, MAY/JUNE 1972 GUITAR PLAYER


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