“A completely new and exciting instrument… ”: How the double-necked Gibson EDS-1275 changed the course of rock guitar history

Photo of Jimmy PAGE and LED ZEPPELIN, Jimmy Page performing live onstage. Full length, holding guitar up, wearing suit with dragons printed up leg, playing Gibson EDS-1275 twin-neck/double-neck guitar.
(Image credit: Graham Wiltshire/Redferns/Getty Images)

“Beethoven described the guitar as a ‘miniature orchestra’ – but he never had the opportunity to hear or play the modern Gibson Harp-guitar,” says the firm’s 1923 catalogue. 

A hundred years ago, this obscure hybrid instrument may have appeared modern, but double-neck guitars were, in fact, around long before Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). Electric Spanish-style double-neck guitars were, however, a novelty when players such as Joe Maphis and Jimmy Bryant were using them in the 1950s. 

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Rod Brakes

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar WorldGuitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.