Ridge rocks on!: Third Avenue party celebrate’s famous Brooklyn guitar maker

Uke-O-Rama: Charles Moran shows off the new ukelele he won at the Twang-O-Rama event at StreetSounds on June 4.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

This party went up to 11!

Six-string enthusiasts from far and wide descended on StreetSounds in Bay Ridge to celebrate the Brooklyn-born Gretsch guitar company on Gretsch Day on June 3. A borough librarian took home a Gretsch ukulele in a giveaway, and he plans to use it to inspire a new generation of music lovers in his book-lending branch, he said.“We have a story time so I plan to learn some songs to play there, I think it would neat to do for the kids,” said Charles Moran, who works at the Kensington Library. “Right after I won, I was dying to run home and learn how to play — there hasn’t been a day since when I haven’t strummed a few chords.”

The great-grandson of company namesake Fredreich Gretsch — who founded the now iconic rock ’n’ roll company in Williamsburg in 1883 — handed Moran and two other music-makers their new lutes himself. One out-of-towner was even lucky to win one of the shiny, gold electric guitars that made the Gretsch name a staple in 20th-century pop culture. Everyone who came got to munch on free pizza — and take home free guitar picks and other guitar-aphernalia.

Plus, a half-dozen musical acts performed rocking Gretsch guitars, including the local pop-punk band Off The Roof and John “The Cat” Gatto of the old-school Long Island rock legends The Good Rats. Other acts included the world’s fastest banjo player Todd Taylor and rockabilly man-from-across-the-pond Darrel Higham.And State Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) dropped by to talk about the importance of music for the youth.

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.

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