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Digital Subscriptions > Guitar Magazine > Jun 2019 > GOLD STANDARD


The ES-295 is one of the most iconic Gibson models of the 1950s. It probably would have earned that accolade on looks alone, but when a Tennessee picker used one to lay down some tracks with a Tupelo truck driver, the result was rock ‘n’ roll history. Check out this stellar example from way back in ‘53…

Scotty Moore didn’t keep his ES-295 for very long and didn’t play it on many Elvis tracks. Even so, it was enough for Brian Setzer to dub the ES-295 the “ultimate rockabilly guitar”. Most agree it only featured on the first four Elvis singles. Having traded a ‘52 Telecaster for his ES-295 and subsequently fitting a trapeze tailpiece and a Melita Synchro-Sonic bridge with individually intonatable saddles, Scotty chopped in the ES-295 for a ‘54 Gibson L-5 in the summer of 1955. Later on, Danny Gatton was certainly partial to his ES-295, and he turned a young Joe Bonamassa onto them, too. Other notable users include Geordie Walker of Killing Joke, Johnny A and one of this writer’s favourites, Diego Garcia – aka El Twanguero.

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