Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 30

THE GRETSCH BST
BY MICHAEL WRIGHT
THE DIFFERENT STRUMMER

H

ow things change! There was a time when
Gretsch's BST "Beast" guitars were the
objects of derision. Falsely rumored to hail from
Japan, Mexico, or... Indiana(?), these (mostly)
bolt-necks felt nothing like the classic Gretsch
electrics sanctified by Chet Atkins' imprimatur.
Today, however, younger vintage-guitar
enthusiasts are less likely to be encumbered
by such prejudices, and typically cherish
the humble BST models for their playability and beastly snarl!
Sorting out their story isn't easy in part
because Gretsch seems to regard the Beasts
as stepchildren; the late Duke Kramer,
who headed Gretsch's Chicago sales office,
once dismissed them as "popcorn guitars."
Beasts were, after all, introduced just as
Baldwin was separating itself from the guitar business. In 1973, Baldwin transferred
control of the Booneville, Arkansas, plant
to Hagner Musical Instrument Corporation, run by former factory manager Bill
Hagner. By '78, that wasn't working out,
so Baldwin resumed responsibility for
manufacturing and the following year
moved sales and administration to
Chanute, Kansas (famous as the home
of Kustom amplifiers). Gretsch had just
about run its course.
The turmoil was exacerbated as Gretsch,
like every other American manufacturer,
faced serious competition from Japanese
makers - arguably more than most given

(LEFT) A breakdown of model-specific
features on various guitars in the Beast
line. The label identifies this as a BST1500 made in October of '79.

VINTAGE GUITAR

30

December 2016


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 1
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 2
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 3
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 4
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 5
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 6
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 7
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - Contents
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 9
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 10
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 11
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 12
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 13
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 14
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 15
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 16
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 17
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 18
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 19
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 20
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 21
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 22
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 23
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 24
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 25
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 26
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 27
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 28
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 29
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 30
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 31
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 32
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 33
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 34
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 35
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 36
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 37
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 38
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 39
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 40
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 41
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 42
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 43
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 44
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 45
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 46
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 47
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 48
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 49
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 50
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 51
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 52
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 53
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 54
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 55
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 56
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 57
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 58
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 59
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 60
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 61
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 62
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 63
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 64
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 65
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 66
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 67
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 68
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 69
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 70
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 71
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 72
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 73
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 74
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 75
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 76
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 77
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 78
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 79
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 80
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 81
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 82
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 83
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 84
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 85
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 86
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 87
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 88
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 89
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 90
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 91
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 92
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 93
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 94
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 95
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 96
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 97
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 98
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 99
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 100
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 101
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 102
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 103
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 104
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 105
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 106
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 107
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 108
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 109
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 110
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 111
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 112
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 113
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 114
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 115
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 116
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 117
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 118
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 119
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 120
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 121
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 122
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 123
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 124
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 125
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 126
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 127
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 128
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 129
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 130
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 131
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 132
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 133
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 134
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 135
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 136
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 137
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 138
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 139
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 140
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 141
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 142
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 143
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 144
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 145
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 146
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 147
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 148
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 149
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 150
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 151
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Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 153
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Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 155
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 156
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 157
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 158
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 159
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 160
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - IBC
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - BC
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