Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Basking in the frets of the master: Chet Atkins guitars in Feb. 21-22 Music & Entertainment Auction

Jan. 13, 2009
Posted By Noah

the frets of the master: Chet Atkins guitars in Feb. 21-22 Music & Entertainment Auction

Now, I haven’t exactly wheedled my way into the Music & Entertainment vault at Heritage World-HQ – located as it is in a steel bunker, miles underground, in a secret undisclosed location – but I know for a fact that within those hallowed steel-reinforced concrete walls there sits a section of the Cochran Collection of Guitars, a select few of which were actually played by Chet Atkins. You can link to one of them by clicking here, or on the picture above.

If I were to be in the presence of those guitars I don’t quite know what I would do. My first thought would be to pick them up and play them, or at least one of them, but I know more likely than not I would be deemed unworthy to do such a thing and my head would explode like one of the Nazis at the end of Raider of the Lost Ark. And no, I’m not joking.

If you haven’t already shaken your head in disbelief that we have actual Chet Atkins-played guitars in-house, or you don’t know who Chet Atkins even was, then I pity you… Really… All you need to know, if you don’t know already, is that Atkins was, and still is, probably the greatest country guitarist to ever live and one of the five greatest guitarists of the 20th Century, and I’d stand on Jimi Hendrix’s coffee table and say it if I could. He set the standard for great country guitar, and rock guitar for that matter, and did it all with a level of ease, and class, that had never been seen before and hasn’t been seen since.

This is one of those groupings that gets everyone who knows enough to know excited about it. Doug Norwine, head of the M&E department – and a superb musician himself – is so excited about these beauties that he’s almost – almost – at a loss for words in describing them. If you know Doug, then you know how great that means these guitars are.

Here’s a link to the catalog for the auction. Just do a search for Chet Atkins and marvel at the beauty.