Epiphone Joe Bonamassa ‘Lazarus’ 1959 Les Paul Standard and BB King Lucille review

These signature Epiphones for two of Gibson’s most famous endorsers look so good as to challenge the legendary guitar maker at its own game. Let’s see if they can do it…

Epiphone Lazarus Les Paul
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Guitar World Verdict

The Lazarus is a brilliantly thought-out, relatively budget guitar that punches well above its weight, while this Lucille is a head-turner that might be heavyweight and scary for anyone unfamiliar with the Varitone, but is very playable with a lot of sweet sounds.


  • +

    Build, looks, finish, playability, value.

  • +

    Lucille has a huge range of tones.


  • -

    Lucille is a heavy guitar.

  • -

    Its Varitone and dual inputs might put some people off.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Epiphone is knocking it out of the park at the moment. We adored the Coronet, Crestwood and Wilshire trio, and this duet looks equally set to stun. 

On offer is a recreation of Joe Bonamassa’s legendary ‘Lazarus’ Les Paul, an instrument he resurrected from a dilapidated wreck into a delicious original-looking ’59 Les Paul. This sits alongside a jet black semi-solid ES-355-style Lucille model as played by perhaps the greatest electric blues guitarist of all.

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Neville Marten

In the late '70s and early '80s Neville worked for Selmer/Norlin as one of Gibson's UK guitar repairers, before joining CBS/Fender in the same role. He then moved to the fledgling Guitarist magazine as staff writer, rising to editor in 1986. He remained editor for 14 years before launching and editing Guitar Techniques magazine. Although now semi-retired he still works for both magazines. Neville has been a member of Marty Wilde's 'Wildcats' since 1983, and recorded his own album, The Blues Headlines, in 2019.