Each month in 2021, we will be featuring a member of the worldwide Gretsch community as our spotlight “featured player” of the month!
Our featured guitarist for July is . . . Larry Rosen!
Hailing from NYC originally, Larry Rosen now resides in the greater Los Angeles area where he performs around town with his mid-century-inspired band, Nocturnal Drifters. A four-piece band that runs the gamut from Wynonie Harris, Ruth Brown, and other 40s artists on up through the Collins Kids, Janis Martin, Imelda May, and even throwing in some Horror Pops, KISS, Nancy Sinatra, and Tiger Army along the way. Starting his musical education on trumpet in the 2nd grade, 1968 rolled around and so did electric guitars. From that point on it was bye, bye trumpet and hello rock ‘n’ roll.
Being around the hub of the music industry in the mid 70s at CBGB’s, Larry spent some years going around the world and freelance managing stages for other artists such as Mink DeVille, Blondie, Talking Heads, Steve Forbert, and the Dirty Angels while also performing in the reggae band Jah Malla on Modern Records for a bit. It was a first-rate rock ‘n’ roll education. Larry has shared the stage with Peter Tork (Monkees), Dallas Taylor (CSNY), Jimmy Henderson (Tucky Buzzard), Aileen Quinn (Annie), Terry Rangno (WeFive), and is totally comfortable on either side of the curtain, whether in the spotlight or running it.
The influences run deep and varied, whether from Jimi to Keef, the old Blues Men of Chicago, or going back to James Burton, Link Wray, and Scotty Moore. ALLTHING6STRINGS has always been the motto of Larry’s journey. A sojourn that eventually led to a love affair with the sounds of a Gretsch guitar. Like any good guitarist afflicted with G.A.S., Larry spends many an hour scouring Gretsch forums and websites, planning out his next Gretsch acquisition.
We asked Larry . . .
How old were you when you knew you were interested in becoming a musician?
Sitting in class every day at age 14 drawing pictures of guitars and dreaming of being on stage. I had my first paid gig at 16.
Why did you choose Gretsch?
I was on a mission to dig within myself to define my own sound. When I got my first Gretsch, I finally felt like I had achieved that goal . . . an instrument that touched my inner core.
What Gretsch gear do you currently use?
A 2006 Gretsch Cat’s Eye Historic 3161. (Tricked out with TV Jones pickups, Bigsby vibrato, and master volume and extra volume added.)
Which musicians were the biggest influence on you and why?
From Scotty Moore to James Burton, Chet Atkins to Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, I have been listening and learning from a wide palette of guitar tones. Steal what I can use and leave the rest has been my learning curve.
How did you adjust and stay musical during the COVID-19 pandemic?
To date, my band has created several videos we call the “Out of The Living Room Tour 2020.”
You could be featured in 2021 just like Larry. Click to find out how!