Head back to the garden with Gibson’s Alvin Lee ES-335 '69 Festival’ reissue guitar

(Image credit: courtesy of Gibson)

Hot on the heels of the Chuck Berry 1955 ES-350T, Gibson has announced another rather impressive artist model, the limited edition Alvin Lee ES-335 '69 Festival’ electric guitar.

The new guitar is a replica of Lee’s legendary heavily-modded 335, which he used, among other things, to shred Ten Years After’s I’m Going Home at Woodstock.

The ES-335, according to Gibson, includes “all the stickers, aging, modifications and mojo of the original.”

Lee, who passed away in 2013, spoke (opens in new tab) about some of these modifications, which included a replacement neck and the addition of a single coil pickup, in a 1987 interview with Guitarist magazine.

(Image credit: courtesy of Gibson)

Regarding the stickers applied to the finish, he said, “They just got thrown on, actually. But when I broke the neck at the Marquee, I sent it back to Gibson for repair, and when it was returned they had lacquered over all the stickers. So they couldn’t come off.”

In addition to replicating those stickers, the new ES-335 boasts a three-ply maple/poplar/maple body with an Aged Sixties Cherry finish, a solid mahogany neck with an Authentic Medium C-Shape profile and an Indian rosewood fretboard with a hide glue fit.

Pickups are uncovered Alnico III Custombuckers in the neck and bridge, with a Seymour Duncan SSL-1 in the middle position.

Other features include a No-Wire ABR-1 bridge, Bigsby B-7 tailpiece and Kluson Single Line, Single Ring Tulip tuners.

Only 50 Alvin Lee ES-335 ’69 Festival’ models are being offered worldwide, at a price of $7,299. For more information, go on home to Gibson (opens in new tab)

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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.