The Surfing Greek! – 1967 Greco Model 912 Electric Guitar

Greco 4 pup 5 Sometimes a guitar design comes along, and it makes you stop in your tracks and take a double, or triple take.  Check out this guitar!  Part Framus, part Hagstrom, part Gumby, and parts of a ton of other stuff I can’t quite put my finger on.  Geez Louise man!  Greco 4 pup 3Someone commented recently on one of my videos that these guitars “just want to surf.”  And I have to agree with that sentiment.  Start picking down there by the bridge and it’s like instant James Bond theme music!  Notice the neat little flip-up mute, the crazy lava pick guard, tons of chrome, the tasteful German carve, and four honkin’ pickups and your really ready for business.  Only in the 60s man!Greco 4 pup 4The Greco name was owned by the Goya Corp. in the USA, but there were Greco guitars being made by Fujigen Gakki in the late 1960s.  Most people know the famous Fujigen Gakki plant for being the factory that Fender chose to produce guitars in the 80s and 90s.  But in the late 60s Fujigen were producing some interesting guitars like this Greco right here.  These guitars seemed to only appear from late 1966 to early 1968.  Initially this four pickup model was called the GE-4, but in 1967 was called Model 912.  The four pickup flagship model here cost $99.50 in 1967, and these guitars came in two and three pickup models as well.Greco 4 pup 2According to the founding family of Fujigen Gakki, there were only 500-600 of these guitars (in all pickup variations) ever produced.  So if you happen to own a four pickup version of this guitar, you have a truly rare bird.  In 1968, Fujigen purchased the Greco brand name (for the sum of $1000) and made the Greco name a Japanese exclusive.  So these first Greco guitars are not common in the USA.Greco 4 pup 6

By 1970, Fujigen had stopped all guitar exporting (for a few years) and focused on building guitars for the Japanese market.  This time period marked the beginnings of the copy era, and the cool Ibanez era.  But of course yours truly still digs the wacky 60s era with all the quirks and weirdness.  All told, these guitars were built rather well and seemed to hold up (in varying degrees) with the passage of time.  To be honest, it’s just amazing to see some of these guitars still floating around since not many were ever made.Greco 4 pup 1 I suppose we have to thank all those kids who gave up learning the guitar after a few lessons.  I wish I had a secret locator to find these guitars under all the beds and closets in America!  As usual, Dano at Happy Guitar Repair worked his magic and set this Greek up, and Mike Dugan represents with some old Chuck Berry style work.  Enjoy!

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11 thoughts on “The Surfing Greek! – 1967 Greco Model 912 Electric Guitar

  1. Anonymous says:

    Tom Morello has a 2 pickup version of this guitar he calls “creamy” that he bought in Canada while on tour. He paid $69 for it and uses it in the studio. Google it its sweet.

  2. Robby Nine says:

    I have one of these 4 pickup models in almost the same color. I bought it 10 years ago and rarely fiddle with it. Anyone care to make me an offer? But yeah. It is very cool;)

    1. Izzy Tramp says:

      I play in a band now called Tyrannosaurus Wolf. And we’re moving into a more Iggy Pop vintage rock sound. I have a pretty boutique setup and was looking for an obscure guitar with plenty of personality to match my rig. This would be perfect. Please send me a few pics and I’ll make you an offer.

      Thanks,
      Izzy

  3. nodiak says:

    Hey, been looking for info on my old guitar, so nice to find this! I had one of those 4 pickup Greco’s exactly like shown in this article. Bought new in 65 or 66 for $100 in Indiana. Have a picture of me playing it with my buddies on my 12th birthday, Dec 1966. Loved that guitar, had fun with the funky mute getting sitar like. Yes, remember doing secret agent man picked down by the bridge, hilarious… Played through a Gibson Skylark Tremolo. That combo played loud in a concrete basement was intense man! 🙂 Played it everyday for several years. God Bless paper route money! Hell yes wish I kept it!
    Robby Nine, reply if you still want to sell it!
    Don Wilson

  4. steve says:

    I just got a bass version of this 1967 with a original case just a few hours ago , wicked looking , needs minor work

  5. Andy G says:

    I just had this guitar slightly restored (bad wiring). It was passed down to me from my Father. I had a hollow body Greco too, but I am sad to say I parted ways with it when I was young and dumb…. Thanks for posting this, it is very hard to find info out about this weird, but awesome guitar!

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