Kay was among the most common brands among cheaper beginner-grade guitars made in the USA from the thirties to the seventies. The Chicago maker allowed legends such as Elvis and Springsteen to get their first instruments from hardware stores at a price their parents could afford. But they were also used by bluesmen such as Jimmy Reed for their distinctive dark hollow body sound, which is also the reason why they have also been praised by such contemporary luminaries as Beck and T-Bone Burnett.
Alex Trimble, the singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for the Irish indie band Two Door Cinema Club, has been known to use many cool guitars, including Duo Jets and Jazzmasters, but he was also touched by the idiosyncratic charm of that rare Kay. Kays were usually finished in sunburst, and the few of those who were finished in gold were smaller-bodied. A full-body fully-hollow all gold Kay is almost unheard of, except for that beautiful archtop.
The gold top finish has turned to a stunning verdigris in many spots, especially the back of the neck, and it is beautifully battered without having been thrashed. The neck is huge, and so is the woody sound. A great rare guitar with many stories to tell, as the case with a “Alex - Gretsch” tape marker clearly indicates.