Barry Steven Cowsill
Barry's Gretsch

If anyone had any knowledge of the current whereabouts of this guitar, please email me. The family is very interested in finding it, especially since Barry's passing.

These photos were taken from the eBay listing of this guitar back in July 2000. This is really a early sixties Gretsch Country Gentlemen given to Barry in the late 70's by Jeff Foskett and sports a black leather snap off back, infinity symbol carved inside, and bixby whammy. Jeff told Barry it had belonged to Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys.

The eBay listing read:
Thought to be late 60's, maybe early 70's. Used by the band The Cowsills from northern California and rumored to have been owned by Brian Wilson, although there is no documentation.

  • Bigsby
  • Knife edge pickup & original pickups
  • Beautiful Gretsch hollow body sound
  • Cut f-holes (not painted!)
  • All the electronics are working. I am not a dealer.

  • In an email forwarded to me, the seller said, "It was a little weird. I was in a vintage shop (Zone Music, where Tom Waits recorded Mule Variations) and I was playing this particular guitar. I had just been paid the day before and was looking for a big purchase. That night I was hanging out with a friend of mine who also frequents the store. He was telling me the history of one of the guitars in the shop. Ends up being the one I was playing. I met with the dealer and he said he was selling on consignment for an anonymous party. He said the person had a bit of fame and didn't want to be publicized as frequenting Zone. Why someone famous (and probably rich) would be selling a guitar, let alone this guitar, is beyond me and pretty questionable. But I bought it anyway because I like how it played.

    I started looking into it's history and I talked with one of the sons of the cowsills. He said his father used to play one identical to this, but that his had a muffler. We couldn't verify anything though. Most of the Cowsills equipment had been sold to pay off debts.

    As far as Brian Wilson is concerned, I think my timing may be at fault for the outcome of my search for authenticity. I emailed him (supposedly directly) but I never got a reply. This was about the time that the A&E special biography on him had come out. Apparantly his website had a boom. This might account for him ignoring a fame-claim. I emailed him again a few months ago, but I still received no reply."

    The front

    The back

    The neck


    Email Me 4/10/2008 Home