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The Gretsch Drum Book is a Rebeats publication. Authored by Rob Cook in collaboration with John Sheridan and with assistance from Lee Ruff and Fred W. Gretsch, this book has been in the research phase for approximately 7 years. There have been periods of up to six months during which very little progress was made, but the book is finally now at the printer and is scheduled for release on August 3, 2013. The book ($40.00 paperback) will be available for purchase through the Rebeats website and on Ebay after making it's debut at the Gretsch 130th Anniversary event in New York. The book makes it's European debut at the UK Drum Fair September 28 and 29. Beginning in January of 2014, the book will be distributed at wholesale by Hal Leonard Corporation and the Ebook versions will be released.

August 3rd, 2013 Schedule of events:
Gretsch 130th Anniversary Celebration Concert Event hosted by Fred Gretsch, Joe Carducci, John Palmer at Steve Maxwell’s Vintage and Custom Drums and Rudy’s Music, Manhattan.

The day begins at Steve Maxwell’s shop at 723 7th Avenue, 3rd Floor. (48th St at 7th Ave) from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.. There will be a Meet and greet with Fred Gretsch, a display of rare vintage Gretsch kits, as well as an array of contemporary Gretsch kits. Visitors will meet the master building team of Paul Cooper, Josh Safer and Tonya Munn as well as the Gretsch Drum product, marketing and artist teams.

The festivities continue from 6 to 8 p.m. at Rudy’s Music, 461 Broome St. (in the Soho district) Fred Gretsch and Joe Carducci will have a presentation which will incorporate lively Gretsch anecdotes focused around Fred’s unique personal experience with the company, vintage video clips of legendary artist performances as well as vintage TV commercials to add historic vibe between sets by Gretsch artists: Chet Atkins Appreciation Society, Kimberly Thompson Quartet and Paul Pigat & Cousin Harley. There will be gifts for those in attendance; bags, pins, pens, sticker sheets, etc

The book follows the general template of Rob's other drum company histories; The Rogers Book, The Ludwig Book, The Slingerland book. The book will be a 288-page 8.5x11 paperback. Distribution will be exclusively through Rebeats and John Sheridan for approximately the first 6 months of release, then it will be available as an Ebook and distributed to the wholesale and international markets through the Hal Leonard Corporation.

The book starts with Gretsch family background. A chapter for this section has been written by Gretchen Elsner-Sommer, sister of Fred W. Gretsch and daughter of William Gretsch, former president of Gretsch. Gretchen's section gives great insights into the Gretsch family, particularly from the perspective of the Gretsch women. Gretchen maintains a website which gives further information from this perspective.

After the family section, the book explores the development of the drum manufacturing division of Gretsch, explaining and detailing the changes in ownership and manufacturing facilities from 1967 to 1985. The Gretsch company returned to family ownership in 1985, so the next chapter explains developments since 1985.

The endorser section of The Gretsch Drum Book alphabetically lists every Gretsch endorser that can be documented from Gretsch literature, along with the dates of affiliation and, for many, photos of the artists.

The dating guide section of the book includes chapters on Badges, Catalogs, Colors, Lugs, Hoops, Strainers, Mufflers, Pedals, Cymbal Stands, Hi-Hat Stands, Tom Holders, Snare Drums, and Outfits.

Click here to view the Table of Contents from the manuscript.



from the book's "Acknowledgements" page:

ROB COOK would like to thank:
John Aldridge (my brother from another mother to whom I owe more than can be expressed),
Philip Anderson, Florence Asciolla, Gary Asher, Sam Bacco, Edward Ball, Roy Burns, Jon Cohan, Mark Cooper, Paul Cooper, Derek Crawford, the late Bill Crowden, Mike Curotto, Jeffrey Davenport, Robert Delich, Bill Detamore, Deric Dickens, Brian Drugan, Karl Dustman, Gretchen Elsner-Sommer, Gary Folchi, Dave Ford, Hannah Ford, Gary Forkum, Rick Gier, Dave Gordon, Kim Graham, Luther Gray, Fred W. Gretsch, Dinah Gretsch, Michael Hacala, Bill Hagner, Ryan Hajj, Bill Hartrick, Emi Keffer, Paul Librizzi, Joe Luoma, Dave Mattacks, Steve Maxwell, Lloyd McCausland, Winnie Mensink, Monmouth Music, Joe Montineri, Ferit Odman, John Palmer, Joe Partridge, Jim Pettit, Professional Drum Shop of Hollywood (Stan & Jerry Keyawa), Revival Drum Shop (Keary Ortiz & Jose Medeles), Lee & Dorcas Ruff, Brian Scheidecker, Rob Scott, Nick Seiwert, Colin Schofield, John and Andrea Sheridan, Lena Thomas, Will Tillman, Nick Trocchia, Rick VanHorn, Andy Weis and the late Robert Zildjian.
There is simply no substitute for years of experience studying the products of a particular drum company. My biggest debts of gratitude are owed to John Sheridan, Lee Ruff, and their wives Andrea and Dorcas. The generosity they showed as they opened their homes, archives, and parts bins to me was remarkable. I don’t mean to rank the contributors, but a close third has to be Fred W. Gretsch; another gracious host who has been not only generous with permission to use images and information from his archives but very uplifting with his encouragement.

JOHN SHERIDAN would like to thank:
John Aldridge, Florence Asciolla, Sam Bacco, Edward Ball, Roy Burns, Mark Carter, Paul Cooper, Dawn Colwell, Terry Dennis, Deric Dickens, Micky Dolenz, Charlie Donnelley (the father of vintage drums), Dan Duffy, Karl Dustman, Jimmie Fadden, George Folchi Sr. (my other father), Gary & George Folchi Jr., Ernie Gadzos, Susan Gallagher, Bob Gatzen, Rick Gier, Dinah & Fred W. Gretsch, Bill Hagner, Bill Hartrick, Gene Haugh, Billy Jeansonne, John Keenoy, Emi Keffer, Fritzi & “Duke” Kramer (who I miss), Tom Lanahan, Dave Mattacks, Steve Maxwell, Joe Mazza, Roger Morin, Billy Murphy, Angela Neese, Phil Nestor, John Palmer, Joe Partridge, Louis Porsi, Brian Scheidecker, Nick Seiwert, Colin Schofield, Lena Thomas, Will Tillman, and Nick Trocchia.
Special thanks to Rob Cook for getting the ball rolling and seeing this project through to its fruition. Of course, I must thank my wife Andrea, not only for her support throughout, but also for her computer savvy and organizational skills that kept me going. Last, but certainly not least, I thank Fred W. Gretsch for all of his personal help, steadfast encouragement, and for keeping the great Gretsch legacy alive and well.


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