A MODEL MADE LEGENDARY BY JOHN LENNON AND GEORGE HARRISON, THE GIBSON J 160E, IN THIS RARE 1960 VARIANT, WAS RECENTLY LISTED FOR SALE AT A FAMED CARROLL GARDENS GUITAR SHOWROOM
BY TIA KIM
Gibson Brands, Inc. (formerly Gibson Guitar Corporation) founded 125 years ago by Orville Gibson in Kalamazoo, Michigan but now based in Nashville boasts among its most iconic designs the Gibson Les Paul and Super 400. The company still makes both electric and acoustic models, as well as accessories and hardware.
Buyers with a taste for vintage Gibsons, however, need travel no further than to one of the borough’s most remarkable stores, RetroFret. Founded by Steven Uhrik and Larry Trupiano in 1983, the guitar repair facility and showroom was a fixture at its Gowanus location before moving this year to Carroll Gardens. Uhrik, who is now owner and head luthier, was, the shop’s site explains, “fascinated with woodworking, electronics, and the technology behind musical instrument construction, which led him into the world of guitar building and repair while still in high school.” Over time, the business expanded, and now sports a full staff of technicians, historians, luthiers, and sales associates.
This recently listed Gibson J 160E electrified flat top, Uhrik explained, “was a fairly successful guitar in its original 1950s incarnation, but is now remembered as one of the iconic ‘Beatle guitars’ of the 1960s. John Lennon and George Harrison both used 1962 J 160Es as recording and touring instruments extensively during the band’s breakthrough period, and this particular Gibson model remains indelibly linked to that legacy, both visually and sonically.”
Features include an adjustable bridge with a ceramic saddle and small screw ends, capped amber bonnet knobs, Kluson Deluxe tuners with keystone buttons, and most notably, a single sound hole ring pattern. “About as clean as we ever expect to see authentic vintage instruments nearly 60 years on,” Uhrik added.
87 Luquer Street / 718.237.4040 / retrofret.com