In October 2020, blues guitar titan Joe Bonamassa teamed up with Epiphone to create a new signature guitar, a recreation of his 1958 Gibson Les Paul Custom “Black Beauty." In October 2021, meanwhile, the guitarist many consider to be the finest blues player in the world today unveiled another new signature Epiphone Les Paul, a replica of his 1959 “Lazarus” LP model.
In what now seems to be an October tradition, Bonamassa announced today that he'd collaborated with Epiphone to create yet another new signature model, based this time on his lost-and-found 1962 Gibson ES-335.
“I used my Gibson 335 on my first solo album [2000's A New Day Yesterday] because I wanted to sound like Eric Clapton,” Bonamassa said in a statement. “A 335 makes you sound different because it’s semi-hollow, but it also has a very unique, fat and warm sound that no other guitar has.
"I sold the guitar about three years later to finance a move from NYC to Los Angeles. For almost 17 years I searched for that guitar, but then I finally got it back and now I want to share it with you.”
The Epiphone version of this treasured guitar features a five-ply layered maple body with a rounded, C-shaped, one-piece mahogany neck that sports a 24.75", 12" radius Indian Laurel fretboard adorned with 22 medium jumbo frets and small block inlays. From there though, things get a tad more interesting.
Powering this ES-335 are a pair of Gibson Burstbucker pickups – rather than the Alnico Classic PROs found on a standard Epiphone ES-335. These are controlled by your standard layout of two volume and two tone knobs, and a three-way toggle pickup switch.
The Bonamassa ES-335 also features a Maestro Vibrola tailpiece, rather than the usual LockTone Stop Bar unit, Epiphone Deluxe tuning machines, a dual action truss rod, and a "custom made" plate to the left of the guitar's bridge. All hardware is finished in nickel.
The Epiphone Joe Bonamassa signature 1962 ES-335 is available now – in a Sixties Cherry finish, and with a certificate of authenticity and custom hardshell case sporting Epiphone and Bonamassa graphics included – for $1,299.
For more info on the guitar, visit Epiphone (opens in new tab).