Wendy Lubbers doesn’t know exactly how the now-famous Gretsch drum logo originated. But she speculates that Fred Jr.—knowing how creative her dad was, and seeing the many logos he had designed for local small businesses and schools—approached Bob about creating a new Gretsch drum logo. “My dad was as big-hearted as he was talented,” says Wendy. “He did a lot of free artwork and logos for his friends. I’m sure he jumped at the chance to work on something that was music related—especially for Uncle Fred and for Gretsch drums.”Read More
in the summer of 1982 my world changed when a group of kids that were 3-5 years older than me had a band and they played on the back of a trailer at the park. As I sat watching these guys play things I had never heard before like AC/DC, Aerosmith and Van Halen I was totally sucked in to each band member feeling connected to what was going on. I knew my small hands would never be comfortable with a guitar or bass and I also knew I would never have enough confidence to stand out front of a stage and sing. What really caught my attention were the drums! The drummer was only three years older than me and I will never forget seeing that 1973 maple cortex set of Ludwigs with the shiny hardware and hollow logo Zildjians. I wondered how this kid knew what to hit, where and when and how he knew how to make them sound the way they did.Read More
So you think that state-of-the-art rack system you emptied your bank account for firmly puts you among the pinnacle of 22nd Century Drummers, right? After all, it is equipped with a remote cable Hi Hat, so it's the “Latest and Greatest.” Would you believe your great grandfather, the guy you got those drummin' genes from, beat you to the punch by nearly a hundred years?Read More
This is my very first Gretsch set and I finally own a kit made in NYC - Brooklyn, as a matter of fact, during the heyday of round badge Gretsch drum manufacturing. This is one of the most beautiful drum sets I have ever seen. The kit can look yellow, gold, red and orange depending on the lighting. I personally think it looks best in plain daylight.Read More
Fred Gretsch Receives Honarary Degree from Elmhurst CollegeRead More
I sometimes wonder if the people currently living on what used to be the seventh floor of the Gretsch Building are aware of all the musical history that happened there (and all of the stars and legends that walked those floors when they visited the factory).Read More
This was sent to me by my drum nerd buddy Jay in Knoxville TN. He is the administrator of the Facebook group "Knoxville Drummers Union". He goes by the code name Jay Options over there. I think he is hiding from someone. You have to know the secret password to join that group and they are a shifty bunch :-) . Dorado Drums were added to the Gretsch Dorado catalog in 1973. They were cheap Japanese stencil sets; imports and didn't hang around too long. That's about all I know about them. I would put that particular set of Jay's in the $200 category just because they are in good shape. If the floor tom and snare drum were there they might be worth $300 to $350 - George Lawrence
Here is a quote from author Mike Jones about Dorado guitars. Some of this may be applicable to Dorado Drums.
" I love the Dorado myself and have the same model 12 string as you. I also have 2- Model 5985 solid-body electrics. They are extremely well made and very playable. I am including information about them in a chapter of my book "Gretsch's Lost Weekend; The Guitars of Booneville and The Hagner Musical Instrument Company, 1970-1981" I am not going to be devoting much to the acoustic models but here's what I can tell you.
The Dorado guitars were made by Matsumoko of Japan between 1971 and 1973. The most intersting thing is, other than minor cosmetic differences, Matsumoko made the exact same guitar for Epiphone, Aria, Conrad, Granada and Lyle, though less so, their acoustic guitars. The ones that were marketed by the other companies were manufactured between 1970 and 1976. The Headstock design seem to be the only real variable on all of the models. As to why they were distributed by Gretsch, there was a long standing rumor that the Dorado was imported by Gretsch/Baldwin to make up for the lack of inventory after the Booneville factory fire in January 1973 destroyed the Gretsch production facility. While a plausable theory, It doesn't work with the time line. It appears to be more of a deal worked out by Fred Gretsch (still on the Gretsch/Baldwin Board of Directors) and Bill Hagner to work with Japanese suppliers. Gene Haugh told me that the decision to import was made in the spring of 1972 by Baldwin and Fred Gretsch. The first catalogs with Gretsch's name appeared in the fall of the same year and offered only acoustic models. In the 1973 catalog they offered an electric 6 string solid-body as well as a solid-body 4 string bass. Your 12 string model was one of two 12 string models offered in the 1973 catalog. Interstingly they also offered drums that year. A little known fact that you might enjoy. Gene told me that Fred brought a Dorado acoustic to Booneville one day in early 1972. According to Gene, Fred had put some masking tape over the logo, came into Gene's office and asked him to try it out. Gene played around with it for a few minutes then Fred asked him how he thought it played and what he thought it was. Gene said it played great and thought it was a Gibson. Fred peeled the tape off to expose the Dorado logo and said "That's what I thought too. Were gonna start distributing these." Gene told me he didn't care much for the electric solid body model's finish but the acoustics were as good as anything anyone was making during those days. Dorado had 3 logos. Plain Gold screen in fat block letters, Gold silk screen normal block letters in 1971-72 and in 1973 they introduced a Stylish in-laid mother of pearl logo. Yours is a 1973. I'll see if I can find some acoustic pics of the Aria, Epiphone, Conrad, Lyle acoustics so you can see they are all the same. For now, here's how the Dorado solid-body electric compares with all the other Matsumoko solid-body electric guitars. I hope this helps.
The company Jasper Wood closed down in 2003. Because they had been primarily an office-furniture manufacturer they were forced out of business by the importation of cheap products… we’re all guilty here!Read More