So what is stored in Brian Henneman’s axe arsenal? I’m glad that you asked.
A bit of everything except for a Gretsch. Yeah, I know Billy Duffy, Billy Gibbons and Brian Setzer still sling them but Henneman has his reason.
“I used Gretsch’s for 10 years,” he said. “So, I was a heavy-duty Gretsch guy but then what happened along the way was I quit drinkin’ and as soon as I got sober all of a sudden my Gretsch wasn’t in tune anymore. Well, guess what? It never was in tune. I was drunk!”
Click here if you want to read the entire Bottle Rockets interview.
Interestingly, he once made a deal with Jay Farrar of Son Volt and Uncle Tupelo that involved a Gretsch.
“It was a ‘59 Gretsch Tennessean (6119 Chet Atkins). I traded him for a ‘62 Mercury Comet. So I traded a guitar for a car. Believe me, he won,” Henneman asserted.
Farrar was selling a tour-bus load of equipment on an episode of Reverb Shop and mentioned the trade.
“This guitar here has a story behind it I traded it for a 1962 Mercury Comet to Brian Henneman of The Bottle Rockets…I’m not sure who got the better deal. You know they were both classic things. This has always kind of been a go-to guitar because of the great sounding Filter’Tron pickup and the whammy bar.”
Currently, the Gibson brand is “in hand” for Henneman. “Right now, I’m using a very strange guitar which is called the Gibson Marauder. If Gibson made a Telecaster that’s what this thing is.”
Henneman explained the Marauders were produced in the ‘70s and that his version is a limited one.
“I have a super rare one though called the Marauder Custom. They only made 83 of those. They kind of don’t sound like anything really. They kinda sound like…kinda like a Gibson, kinda like a Fender but more like a Fender than a Gibson.”
He admitted the Marauder possess a dubious distinction. “The only thing they’re famous for in this world is…it was the guitar Paul Stanley used to smash every night in the Kiss shows.”
Though they have been redeemed by the fact that Jeff Lynne used one during the period of the “A New World Record” album.
Check out the “Do Ya” video.
“I still have my Rickenbackers.” He hits his Rickenbacker chords with Paul Weller-authority. “I don’t have any Gretsch’s anymore. I got a lot of stuff. I have some Gibsons. I have some Fenders…I got rid of a lot of them.”
Cool read! I like the quote about it was never in tune, he was always drunk. Depressing but hilarious! I got into Gretsch from being a fan of the Walkmen. They were always into those vintage guitars but said they were tough to maintain.