1969 Guild Duane Eddy 400

Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee Duane Eddy first lassoed radio waves with his influential spaghetti-western style, single-note melodies, and eerie, low-string bends using a Gretsch Chet Atkins

Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee Duane Eddy first lassoed radio waves with his influential spaghetti-western style, single-note melodies, and eerie, low-string bends using a Gretsch Chet Atkins model. He bought that Gretsch when he was 16 and started his first duo with friend Jimmy Delbridge, who later recorded as Jimmy Dell. The aforementioned Gretsch would later help create Eddy’s two signature models released by Gretsch—the 6120-DE in ’97 and the brand new G6120DE. Long before Gretsch signed on to honor the Twangmaster General for his legendary guitar phrasing and echo-chambered recordings, Guild Guitars constructed a signature Duane Eddy 400 model in 1963. Upon its completion, Guild’s Duane Eddy 400 guitar stands as one of the first signature models built by a company for a player who wasn’t necessarily connected to their guitar brand or makes.

This 1969 Guild Duane Eddy 400— made during the initial run’s final year—is a semi-hollowbody with a bound, arched spruce top, maple back and sides, mahogany neck, and a 20-fret bound rosewood fretboard. To accommodate Eddy’s penchant for right-hand note bends, the 400 has a Bigsby vibrato—stamped with the Guild logo and “G” rather than the standard Bigsby branding. Additional points of interest are the bound headstock with the Chesterfield-style Guild logo, Eddy’s signature on the pickguard (rather than the more typical headstock or truss-rod cover), and the dual humbuckers that have been described as having a crisp, midrange bark.

A special thanks to Jeff Sadler of Rock N Roll Vintage Guitars (http://www.rocknrollvintage.com) in Chicago for the opportunity to feature this fine instrument and its story.

Have an axe that would make a great Guitar of the Month? Then email pics and your instrument’s story to us at gotm@premierguitar.com.

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