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The buzz started around noon at Chicago Music Exchange this past Tuesday. Dozens of gorgeous Gretsch guitars were lined up throughout the store – an eye-catching display of bright colors, alluring shapes, and gleaming finishes. Chicago Music Exchange staff worked diligently to set up the scene for The Reverend Horton Heat & Gretsch Event, just a few hours away. Customers observed with quiet curiosity; some inquired and quickly decided that they would be staying for the show…
The Reverend Horton Heat have been playing to loyal fans since the mid-80s. They are known for a music style called “psychobilly” – mixing elements of rockabilly, punk, surf, country and big band. With this creative merge of musical genres comes a uniquely diverse fan base – which became apparent as the crowd began to grow at Chicago Music Exchange on Tuesday afternoon.
A string of motorcycles roared down Lincoln Avenue, arriving in style. Young rockabilly enthusiasts, retired rockers, and longtime Rev fans came through the store doors with a shared purpose. Local businessmen took the afternoon off work and stood in line, eager to meet The Reverend Horton Heat and hopeful that they might be the lucky winner of the Gretsch Electromatic Junior Jet II – the event’s much-anticipated guitar giveaway.
At two-o’clock, The Reverend Horton Heat tour bus pulled up in front of Chicago Music Exchange, drawing the attention of passersby and turning heads on the typically quiet neighborhood street. And then the show began.
The Reverend Horton Heat – consisting of Jim Heath, Jimbo Wallace and Scott Churilla – were greeted by a room of smiling, eager fans. The band played for about 40 minutes, including two new songs off their upcoming album and a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Rockin’ Dog” – with The Rev referencing Presley as one of rockabilly’s original stars.
When the show ended, the band boarded their tour bus and headed to their official show at Reggie’s Music Joint downtown. To learn more about future Chicago Music Exchange events, see our Events Page.
Thanks to Gretsch Guitars, Victory Records and Reggie’s for making this event happen!
New Reverend Horton Heat record, Revolution, coming in November on Victory Records!
About The Rev’s Gear
Jim “The Rev” Heath plays the G6120RHH model – a 1955-style Gretsch with a Western motif and 1958-style pickups and controls. The beautiful electric hollowbody guitar is built to the Rev.’s own specs. It features TV Jones® Classic pickups, pinned Adjusto-Matic™ bridge, Sperzel® locking tuners, clear pickguard, “G” body brand, bound oversized f holes, stained maple headstock overlay, multiple aged body bindings and aged fingerboard and headstock binding. Aged vintage wide-block pearloid inlays feature a western motif of cactus, steer heads and fences, and the headstock features perloid steer head and Gretsch logo inlays. Vintage-style maple stain nitro lacquer finish.
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