A 6th Generation Gretsch Abroad – Making the Rounds in Germany and the UK
During the month of October in 2017, I worked with GEWA Music in Germany. During this time, I had the opportunity to go on the road with the traveling salesmen for Gretsch in both Germany and the UK.
I was introduced as a member of the 6th generation Gretsch family to the different store managers and got to sit in during meetings as the salesmen sold Gretsch drums. While on the road, I visited several different drum shops that sell Gretsch kits, and I also got to meet some amazing drum enthusiasts who were eager to meet me and talk about the history of the Gretsch brand.
One such drum enthusiast was Dr. Drum near Frankfurt in Germany, who was very excited to talk about Gretsch. He told me that times are pretty difficult for small shops, especially when they have to compete with large retailers, but Gretsch has stayed fairly popular through everything. Dr. Drum also mentioned that he really appreciates the personal approach that he has experienced when working with Gretsch, and mentioned to me that one of the nicest things was when he received a handwritten letter from my grandfather, Fred Gretsch.
After touring Germany and meeting many different store managers and drummers, I flew to England for another sales tour. The England sales tour was excellent, and I was better able to understand the customers! I was able to understand and communicate in German, however, it was not perfect.
In England, I learned about GEWA’s plan to outfit some schools with Gretsch instruments and we met with one store to discuss a possible discount for students who came in searching for a Gretsch instrument. In another store, the owner was extremely excited to meet a member of the Gretsch family and he had me recount the Gretsch history and asked me about the Gretsch Brooklyn kits. At this shop, I was used primarily as a sales tool to help push the Brooklyn Kit and the owner ended up buying one!
The tour around Germany and Great Britain helped to illuminate me on the Gretsch community, and also helped me learn about some of the different challenges that are facing the music industry, especially in Great Britain where Brexit is affecting the currency. For me, my time in Germany and England was an amazing experience and I learned a lot.
— Daniel Gretsch
(Gretsch Generation 6)
Daniel Gretsch is the great-great-great-grandson of Friedrich Gretsch (founder of the Gretsch Company who emigrated from Mannheim to the US in 1872 and began the company in 1883) who has recently completed an internship with GEWA in Germany.