George Harrison later described the Gretsch Duo Jet as his
"first good guitar." He bought it second-hand in 1961 for
around £75 (around $2,200 in today's money), apparently after
seeing an ad in a paper.
Harrison played the Duo Jet through the Hamburg days and Cavern
years, tours of Europe and America in 1964 and on many Beatles
recordings. The guitar, which looks almost identical to the
one photographed above, was a 1957 model. It is still owned
by the Harrison Estate today.
Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman
George Harrison bought two Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman
guitars in 1963. Although both guitars were very similar,
one had two control-knob mutes which could be used to "damp"
or "quieten" the strings, such as the one photographed above.
The Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman had been designed
in collaboration with American country guitarist Chet Atkins,
whom Harrison admired.
George probably acquired his first Country Gentleman, a 1962
model, in May 1963. Converted to US currency, the retail price
would have been around $740 then or some $5,200 in today's
Gretsch Country Gentleman guitars
Gretsch Jet Fire Bird
For a short while in 1963, George Harrison used a Gretsch
Jet Fire Bird, similar to the one pictured above.
Harrison later said the guitar belonged to somebody else,
and that he was just trying it out at the Cavern Club in Liverpool,
where the Beatles performed regularly in their pre-fame days.
The guitar was probably red, although all the photographs
taken of George with the Jet Fire Bird are in black and white
so it's impossible to know for sure.
for Gretsch Jet Fire Bird guitars
Chet Atkins Tennessean
In 1964, the year
that the Beatles started to conquer the world, George Harrison
acquired a new Gretsch guitar, this time a Chet Atkins Tennessean.
The guitar was most likely manufactured in 1963 or perhaps
in 1962, but no documentation exists and the guitar is no
longer in possession of Harrison's family.
The retail price then would have been $350 or around $2,400
in today's money.
Harrison used this guitar on a number of recordings, including
I Feel Fine and Baby's in Black. He also used it for live
performances during 1964 and 65.
Chet Atkins Tennesean guitars
Gretsch Chet Atkins 6120 (1962 model)
John Lennon used this guitar briefly in the studio in 1966,
and there are photographs of him playing it during the Paperback