The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach Shows Off Bo Diddley On ‘Rig Rundown’

December 5, 2019

Premier Guitar’s Chris Kies caught up with Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach and his guitar tech Dan Johnson for a peek at his current live rig, which included a Gretsch Bo Diddley.

“[A Gretsch guy] saw us playing all these ridiculous guitars,” said Auerbach “So, he sent us a Bo Diddley guitar!”

Johnson stripped the original Firebird Red finish off to expose the maple grain and, with the help of a maintenance guy at the Wiltern in Los Angeles, slapped a coat of dark wood stain on it for a unique finish.

“I was working late one night, and Dan was saying, ‘You know, I kinda want it to look more like something I would be interested in,’” recalled Johnson. “He came up with the idea of making it brown. I sanded the red off the top down to the wood, and I was working on it late at the Wiltern and the night guy showed up. He saw me sanding on it. I was just finishing it and he asked, ‘Now, what are you doing?’ And I said, ‘I wanted to go to the hardware store and get some stain to do a shitty finish on it!’

“We were out in LA, so I didn’t know where a hardware store was.  So he said, ‘You should come to the basement!’ And there was a giant shelf that had the exact brown. In a half an hour, it was done.”

“This plays really good too, surprisingly good,” added Auerbach.