"George Gruhn knows more about vintage guitars than anyone on earth."
- Guitar Player editor Tom Wheeler
"Guitars, which I feel are the ultimate collectible, can be looked at, touched, listened to, and played. At the same time they are beautiful pieces of art that can be appreciated on so many levels. A guitar responds to the individual player and sounds completely different when you play it than when you listen to someone else play it . . . There is, therefore, greater depth of appreciation with musical instruments than with almost any other collectible, perhaps even more than with painting and sculpture." - George Gruhn (pictured with Boid, photo by Vincent Ricardel)
"Since 1963, George Gruhn has distinguished himself as the one to see in Music City - or anywhere for that matter - if you're in the market for a vintage stringed instrument . . . He categorizes his interest in guitars - like that of his staff and most of his clientele - as beyond obsession. 'Those with a serious interest have an addiction, and we've got the goods,' Gruhn says of his customers, who include the heavyweights of popular music - Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Lyle Lovett, Vince Gill, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney, just to name a handful." - Bone Magazine
Gruhn moved to Nashville in 1969 after getting his bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and doing graduate work at Duke University and the University of Tennessee. In 1970, he established Gruhn Guitars, which is one of the largest dealers of vintage and used instruments in the world. The "guitar guru" has been a featured columnist for Vintage Guitar, Guitar Player, Pickin', Frets, and Bluegrass Unlimited. He is the former vice president of research and development for Guild Guitars and designed several models for Tacoma guitars.
"There are many books in George Gruhn's office, but the one that got him started is an old one: The Field Book of Snakes of the United States and Canada . Herpetologists have carefully classified snakes so that if you meet a snake you've never seen before, you can figure out its lineage from The Field Book . When Gruhn took up an interest in guitars at college, he began to apply this systematic approach to musical instruments. 'It's easier to learn massive amounts of information in patterns than in random facts,' he says. This was a new way to approach vintage guitars, banjos, and mandolins, and now Gruhn is an acknowledged leader in his field." - The Nashville Business Journal
George Gruhn is the co-author of Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars, which is the comprehensive field guide to vintage fretted instruments, and the companion volumes Acoustic Guitars and Other Fretted Instruments and Electric Guitars and Basses. These books chronicle the history of American stringed instruments and are beautifully illustrated and exhaustively researched. His articles are published in numerous magazines.