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! Someone 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!The 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.According 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.
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. 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!