Gibson is releasing a Marcus King signature ES-345

Gibson’s Mark Agnesi recently sat down with Marcus King backstage at the Crossroads Guitar Festival, and among the topics they covered was the imminent release of the Marcus King ES-345 signature electric guitar.

King can be seen holding the #1 prototype, based on his own ’62 ES-345, in the video, and he goes on to discuss the origins of his original model.

“We were getting ready to do our first big run and my father came to this shoot I was doing just before we left to go to New York City,” King explains of the ’62 ES-345.

“None of us really knew what to expect about New York City. But my dad gave me my grandfather’s guitar that was left to him when my grandfather passed, like, four or five years prior to that. And he kept it kind of hidden away - it was like a hurt thing. My father and I are very close and his father and him were very close. Similar relationships and both bonding over music.

“So it was hard for my dad to see that guitar. And he said he had prayed about it and thought about it and felt that my grandfather would want me to have it. So it was a really touching moment that he gave me the guitar and said I could run with it and let me take it to New York City.

King recently posted a photo on Instagram of the original ’62, which he calls Big Red, side-by-side with the Gibson prototype. The new signature model recreates the design and appointments of King’s guitar, down to the sideways Vibrola, split parallelogram inlays and “Custom Made” plaque behind the bridge.

So far there’s no actual release date for the signature guitar, but as Agnesi says at the end of the video, “The Marcus King ES-345 from Gibson. It’s coming very soon.”

Keep your eyes on Gibson for more details.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.