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Boogie Loud!

Fireworks! What better way to start the new year! The Gibson Les Paul London Fog and a limited edition Mesa Boogie Mark I King Snake (Carlos Santana). I guess the neighbours will soon be knocking on my door!

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Gibson Les Paul London Fog – Mesa Boogie Mark I

1961 Gibson ES-335 Warren Haynes Signature

I found this guitar on a shelf, I almost forgot about . The ES-335 is an exact replica of the 1961 model Warren Haynes used with the Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead and Gov’t Mule. Built in 2013 by Gibson Memphis and recreated into every detail. It has the period correct Mickey Mouse cutaways and a 60’s rounded neck. The laminated top and back show a nice “Cathedral” pattern and the pickups are Burstbuckers 1 & 2. This is number 38 from a limited run of 500. I never saw the on the Gibson website, … so here it is for you to enjoy!

Gibson ES-335 Warren Haynes Signature
Gibson ES-335 Warren Haynes Signature

Gibson “Playing Authentic”

Man, I love Gibson guitars! I own and play 30+ original Gibsons, all modern or vintage instruments and I never had any complaint about quality, playability or whatsoever. Sure they don’t come cheap but I enjoy the tone, the look and the feel of a real Gibson guitar. I am a fan of the brand and I got a LP Custom headstock tattooed on my shoulder. Never felt to go into discussion with the numerous Gibson Bashers in cyberspace.

There is nothing wrong with a company trying to protect its intellectual property, they have every right to protect their legacy and take action towards counterfeiting and unfair competition. Counterfeit guitars flooding the market can even decrease the value of my authentic collection. 

Today I came across the Gibson “Play Authentic” video featuring Gibson’s Director of Brand Experience Mark Agnesi. (see the video below) The clip carried out a warning to rival brands that produce guitars with body shapes and designs similar to Gibson models. “You have been warned, we’re here to protect our iconic legacy!”  Pretty strong words and from a marketing point of view maybe not the best decision in re-branding the Gibson company.  The public reaction was pretty hefty and the video was pulled off of Youtube.  Sending out a cringe is not a good move when you are in an attempt to revive your company.  The video may be gone but the first trademark violation lawsuits are filed against Dean, Schecter and Luna Guitars. More to be followed soon. 

The Gibson and Fender models are being copied for almost fifty years now. We had the Japanese lawsuit guitars in the seventies. The headstock shape and the logo are both considered as a trademark but there are already a number of court cases that decided things like an SG, LP or Strat shape are not enforceable trademarks.  Why decide to claim your “authenticity” when your competitors have been doing “variations” for more than 5 decades? 

I don’t see the point in making money by filing lawsuits against competitors? Isn’t that old-style management from the HJ-era?  On the other hand Gibson itself used to copy other manufacturers designs. In the eighties Gibson issued the Gibson US-1, a Superstrat.  In 2009 the Gibson Guitar Company did a short run of the low-end Jimi Hendrix guitar, a Stratocaster with a slightly different headstock.  Slash, the Gibson brand ambassador himself used a luthier LP copy when playing Guns’n Roses! What about the issues with the German company that developed those dreaded Robotuners? And in my opinion the 2019 Gibson EB Bass looks more like an Ibanez or Yamaha…

Gibson US-1

Gibson should take action towards the Chinese counterfeit guitars, they steal their logo and trademark. But companies like Schecter make good quality instruments based on a traditional design. Gibson should be flattered by that!

Gibson Play Authentic Video

Gibson ES-335 Semi-hollow body bass

It’s the bass player who makes your girlfriend dance! That is why I love the bass…  Today I went into the vaults of Château PGC and discovered this beautiful Gibson ES-335 bass guitar from 2013. Memphis made and Brussels played! 

The Gibson ES-335 is a modern (?) take on the legendary Gibson EB-2 bass that was in production from 1958 to 1972. The EB-2 was a short scale bass, the ES-335 has a full 34 inch scale which nowadays is the standard in bass guitars. Today’s 335 has a vintage and tight sound delivered by two humbucker pups. The neck pickup was moved to the middle position (aka P-bass) and another one was added to the bridge. It delivers a punchy and balanced tone. It features a 3-way toggle switch and the regular tone and volume controls for each pup. 

These instruments don’t pop up very often and I am surprised it had such a short production run. Gibson is always associated with guitars and is not the bassist’s favorite brand. I think this bass deserves more love. It is a great instrument and at a very good price point. At the time you could pick one from the shop at prices below €1,500.00. Today the sell second hand way over €2K.  A future collectable? 

Here are the specs: The ES-335 four string bass has a laminated maple body and top. Rosewood fingerboard and a maple neck. The headstock sports four open “clover” tuners and pearloid inlays. The neck and body have bindings and the guitar has a nitrocellulose lacquer finish to add some vintage mojo to the instrument. 

The ES-335 is a great player, the center-block body is well balanced and the action is perfect. The 3-point bridge is easy to adjust and can be set to your preference in a jiffy. 

It is big, it is cool and it sounds like thunder. I can’t wait to get some flatwound strings on it and “jazz-up” the weekend!  

Cheers, ‘till next time…