NAMM 2017: Joe Bonamassa and Epiphone Launch Firebird I Signature Guitar

(Image credit: Epiphone)

Joe Bonamassa and Epiphone have announced the limited release of the Epiphone Polymist Gold Firebird I and the Epiphone Tobacco Sunburst Firebird I. These guitars were carefully crafted and modeled after the original 1963 Gibson Firebird 1.

Designed to true historic specifications, the Joe Bonamassa Firebird I is presented in two finish options: Polymist Gold and Tobacco Sunburst. The reverse Firebird body shape pairs a two-piece maple top with a one-piece genuine mahogany back.

The neck consists of double-carved, one-piece genuine mahogany and the one-piece fingerboard is made from hand-rolled Indian rosewood with cellulose trapezoid inlays. The guitar features custom add-ons like the ProBucker FB720, a one-of-a-kind faithful recreation of the original early Sixties Firebird pickup and exclusive Kluson’s superb re-issue of the original Firebird/Banjo style tuners.

“When Epiphone approached me about doing this guitar, I said we have to base it on a very special guitar called Treasure, which is my original 1963 Firebird I,” Bonamassa says. “This guitar was loaned to me by a gentleman named Dan Silverman. He came to a show in Portland, Oregon, and came up to me and said ‘Joe, I want you to play this in good health, take it on the road, and give it another life.’ He bought it new in 1963. I immediately named it Treasure because it’s one of my prized possessions. I’ve used it on a lot of different records. I’ve played ‘Slow Train’ ”—the lead track from his 2011 album, Dust Bowl—”on it more times than I can remember.”

Bonamassa’s guitar tech Mike Hickey adds, “The very first year of this guitar doesn’t have Firebird on the pick guard—that’s how you can tell the year. This guitar also doesn’t have the tremolo, which is a rarity.”

This newest 2016 Epiphone model joins the successful series of custom Joe Bonamassa Signature Guitars manufactured by Gibson Custom Shop, Gibson USA Factory and Epiphone Custom Shop.

To purchase these exclusive custom models, head here.

For more information, visit

For all of Guitar World's 2017 Winter NAMM Show coverage, head here.

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Guitar World Staff

Since 1980, Guitar World has been the ultimate resource for guitarists. Whether you want to learn the techniques employed by your guitar heroes, read about their latest projects or simply need to know which guitar is the right one to buy, Guitar World is the place to look.