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Gretsch Tony Williams Yellow?

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#1
4164SB

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Was TW Yellow a color created specifically for Tony Williams? The first version of his yellow sets appears in 1970 (see PIC) but the color is not shown in Gretsch catalogs of the time. The 1981 Gretsch catalog pictures Tony with a snare and floor tom in TW Yellow on the back cover but the color is not mentioned as being available. :dontknow:
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#2
DolFan54

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Probably, I've alWAYs been a sucker for Tony Williams Yellow. I once owned an '80's Gretsch kit in TWY. Austin based Fibes used Gretsch as a model for their drums right down to using Jasper shells. I thought it was ultra cool that they called their yellow Lifetime Yellow!

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Fibes kit is stacked behind the '40's Gretsch kit.

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#3
K.O.

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It was a lacquer finish so it was possible to do as a one off set. Originally it probably was intended as a one of a kind thing at Tony's request but when interest grew from others after seeing Tony's set Gretsch probably decided to add it to their regular color options. It did eventually turn up on the swatch page, although sometimes TW yellow drums are wrapped rather than lacquered.

If I recall correctly there was mention in the Gretsch price lists (in the fine print) that you could get your drums painted in any color lacquer you wanted if you were willing to pay a bit more. So even in the years between when Tony first premiered the color and when Gretsch added it to their standard color choices a person "in-the-know" could order a set done up like Tony's.
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#4
drumsforever

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I remember seeing a few good drummers in the 1970's playing the T. W. Yellow Gretsch kits including Narada Michael Walden and Jan Hammer when he recorded some solo work and played the drum parts.
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#5
franke

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One could buy yellow gloss wrap from Delmar back in the seventies/ I'm pretty sure that this was used on Gretsch as well as Rogers "Spanish Gold": [attachment=112530:Rogers SG Kit 002.jpg]

Below is my Slingerland double bass kit that I re-wrapped back in Carter administration,

[attachment=112528:Sling_Yellow_double_bass_2.jpg]


and a one-off yellow (not mine) Slinger-Leedy.

[attachment=112529:Yellow_Leedy_sling.jpg]

Edited by franke, 30 September 2011 - 01:52 PM.

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#6
Sonorholic

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I think Elvin may have had Yellow Gretsch drums before Tony, but I'm not totally sure. I think it was just because he had drums that color for so long that it got the name.
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#7
4164SB

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I think Elvin may have had Yellow Gretsch drums before Tony, but I'm not totally sure. I think it was just because he had drums that color for so long that it got the name.


The earliest evidence I've found of Elvin's yellow kit is the one below. It's the cover of a Vanguard demo album from 1976.
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#8
Sonorholic

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Well, if that's true, then Tony would have had them first. That kit in the photo is probably from the late 60's. I'd forgotten that Tony had a bop kit in that color. I'd only thought of the 'big' drums which would have been mid 70's too.

D'oh! Once again didn't read the original post closely enough. 1970 it is!

Edited by Sonorholic, 11 October 2011 - 09:51 PM.

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#9
mlvbs

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I've got a TW Yellow Lacquer 18-12-14 from the 70's. These were purchased for Bernard Purdie when he asked that a studio in New Orleans provide him with a set "just like Tony's". He used them for the one recording session and left them there.
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#10
Yoshi

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I've got a TW Yellow Lacquer 18-12-14 from the 70's. These were purchased for Bernard Purdie when he asked that a studio in New Orleans provide him with a set "just like Tony's". He used them for the one recording session and left them there.


Great :notworthy:
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#11
JOE COOL

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i wonder why delmar or no other company ever manufactured a cadillac green wrap.
gretsch offers it in lacquer,but only on the ferrone sig set.
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#12
astrosoniq

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There was a cadillac green wrap, I have got a early 70's kit with it:

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#13
JOE COOL

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i wasnt aware.that must have had a short run.
there obviously is enough demand for the yellow to continue producing it.
suprisingly the legendary cad green continues to be ignored and unavailable.
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#14
K.O.

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i wasnt aware.that must have had a short run.
there obviously is enough demand for the yellow to continue producing it.
suprisingly the legendary cad green continues to be ignored and unavailable.


Yellow lacquer is still in the catalog for Gretsch USA Customs. They call it "solid yellow lacquer" now, although the color code is still "TWYL" which somewhat transparent.

I have a set of Gretsch color sample toms from the 80's or 90's. Fourteen 6" toms in all the cataloged colors (and no, none of them are for sale) . The Tony Williams is a wrap on this color set although you could order it either in lacquer or nitron (wrapped) at the time.
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