In the midst of a summer tour with Crosby, Stills & Nash, Stephen Stills sat down with MusicRadar for a lengthy interview where he talked about his career, the live CSN 2012 DVD that is coming out July 17 and his guitars of choice.
When asked about his history with Gretsch, Stills went back to the late 1950s.
“A friend took me to Tampa, Florida in 1959 to a demonstration at the local music shop, and we saw Chet Atkins,” Stills recalled.
“Right there, that began my love affair with Gretsches, because you can fingerpick ’em, particularly if you take the pickguard off. I’ve been doing that for a living for 50 years.”
Stills noted that he picked up his first Gretsch when playing with Neil Young in Buffalo Springfield.
“Actually, I think I got my first Gretsch in the Springfield. Neil played one, which immediately attracted me to him. Anybody who played a Gretsch, that was it,” he said.
“But I liked the orange ones. Graham [Nash] knows all the nomenclature. I like the brown ones, actually. I have two old, brown single cutaway Country Gentlemens, and they’re really, really good.
“Now, the White Falcon in CSNY. Everybody was buying every guitar in sight. I happened to find a stereo White Falcon, and I traded Neil for his old one, which I still have. I’ve offered it back to him, but he says, ‘No, no. A trade’s a trade. You beat me on that one.'”
Read the full interview here, and visit Crosby, Stills & Nash’s official website for more information.