Tonight’s episode of “American Pickers” followed Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe, the professional hunters who travel the earth picking through treasures covered with dust and rust from age on this episode titled, “Red Barn, Black Keys.” As the episode begins, the guys are discussing what they would do if they were not pickers. Frank admits that he would love to have a talk show. Everyone seems to have one nowadays; Queen Latifah, Ellen, Wendy Williams and so many more. Frank would call his “On the Fritz.”
When Danielle calls, he answers with “You’re on the Fritz.” But she has news for them, and tells Mike that Frank’s idea is absolutely genius. But for the important news; a lead she has been working on for months comes through. So Mike decides that Frank will practice interviewing the guy, and he will do the picking. The business has been in his family since 1929, and he has been changing his mind several times. First, he wants to sell, and then he doesn’t and has been going back and forth with Danielle several times. He lives in a small Tennessee town, and the hardware store was the center of town for many moons. Sammy comes to the door, and the guys see everything from long ago. The place has been closed since 2006 and agreed that there are things in there they may never see again. There was a pair of shoes from a man who was seven feet tall and weighed over 500 pounds.
Frank found a knife display with several pocket knives inside and Frank offered $400, no deal. Everything the guys looked at; Sammy told them that somebody else had their eye on. They struck out with just about everything they inquired about. Finally, Allen got a brass headlight from an old Cadillac for $225. Once they got the ball rolling, Sammy started coming around. Frank got Flyded Sprayers to kill flies that contained DDT, and paid $150. The chemical was banned in 1960 because it caused a decline in the bald eagle population. Since that time, the eagles have begun to thrive. They found a large leather bag that was new long ago, and Mike got it for $80. It wasn’t easy getting a deal from Sammy, but he had lots of emotions attached to the place.
In South Carolina, Danielle sent the guys to see Renee, who had some guitars to sell. Her father was a musician, and the big red barn was a dance hall, but when they went inside, they could not see the floor. It was loaded with stuff she was also willing to sell. She had two Coca-Cola vending machines; one was too big and the other was a Vendo V-23, and Frank got it for $325. When they saw the guitars, and heard the history of them, they were very interested. Her father was Rudy, who played at the Grand Ole Opry. They took photos of the guitars and sent them to a guitar expert who told them the one guitar was Japanese, and the Gretsch was worth about $8,000 if it worked properly. Her amps were early 1960s, and a few were worth around $1,000 to $5,000 each. Mike offered her $10,500 for the Gretsch and two amps, and she asked for another $500. So Mike paid $11,000 for the three items.
Mike then headed to meet his friend, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys knowing he would most likely love the guitar and amps. Mike has known him for years, and he also has about fourteen Harley Knuckleheads. Dan loved the guitar and saw the history from the photo and a song list that was played on it. The name RUDY in letters on the bottom would remain adding more history to the instrument. One old amplifier was truly liked by Dan, and he even explained how people have gotten electrocuted by them. When he tried it out, it did not work well, and he found the reason; a mouse was living inside and there was hair and lots of mouse poop. Dan would give them $10,000 for the two items giving them a profit of $500. The other amplifier will go back to the shop and hopefully be sold for a profit. Dan stated that as long as he owned the guitar, its history will stay intact. He will have both the guitar, and the amplifier fixed by a professional and was very glad to have both items because he plans to use them on this episode of “American Pickers.”