-- Museum of Musical Instruments
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   Gibson and Fender had more initial success with their electric guitars than the Gretsch Company, but they were never as adventurous in their color schemes and decorative details. Gretsch set out to top the look of all its competitors when it introduced the prototype of its White Falcon model at a trade show in 1954. Retailing at a whopping $600 (the most expensive guitar of the Gretsch line), it sported a creamy white finish set off by gold sparkle binding and gold-plated hardware. The jazzy-looking tailpiece drew inspiration from the Cadillac logo, and a V-shaped notch in the top of the headstock mirrored its energetic style, while wings inlaid below it and engraved into the pearl fret markers emphasized the avian name. Gretsch boasted that "cost was never considered in the planning of this guitar." Despite great styling and a trendy name, the White Falcon never became strongly identified with any particular guitarist, but Falcons have been played by both Neil Young and Brian Setzer.

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