Gibson release Chuck Berry 1970s ES-355 to honour his 95th birthday

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine


Gibson release Chuck Berry 1970s ES-355 to honour his 95th birthday

Chuck Berry holding his Gibson guitar wearing a sailors cap
(Photo: Danny Clinch)
Words by Sam McNiece

With hardware and construction faithful to his original guitar.

October 18, 2021 would have been Chuck Berry’s 95th birthday. In commemorating the Rock ‘n’ Roll legends legacy, Gibson Custom Shop have created 100 basically exact copies of his favourite guitar, a 1970s ES-355 in Wine Red.

What you need to know:

  • Gibson Custom Shop have released the limited edition Chuck Berry 1970s ES-355 guitar to honour what would be his 95th birthday.
  • The guitar has been meticulously crafted to be a true copy of the original including custom aging to make the axe look as authentic as possible.
  • Gibson have created 100 of the Chuck Berry 1970s ES-355 guitars which are available worldwide now.

Read all the latest product news here.

All the appointments on this re-release have been selected to be historically accurate to Chuck’s original guitar (that he was actually buried with!) There’s aged gold hardware, a Maestro Vibrola, Grover tuners, a Varitone switch and a Split Diamond headstock inlay. The Chuck berry 1970s ES-355 sports a maple body and neck with a 24.75″ scale length, 12″ fingerboard radius and 22 frets.

“Of all the guitars my dad played, the 1978 ES-355 by far was his go-to. The guitar traveled the world with my Dad for over 36 years,” says Charles Berry Jr. (Chuck’s son).“His last album Chuck and the new live album Chuck Berry: Live From Blueberry Hill were recorded with the Gibson Wine Red ES-355. It’s a real road warrior and Gibson has done a brilliant job making this run of excellent big bodies. Like his original, these new ones resonate to the point you can actually feel them singing. It’s a True Tone MONSTER! Tom Murphy’s mad scientists in the Murphy Lab have aged them wonderfully. Put on the Captain’s hat, attach the conduit connector (if you dare), turn it up to 11 and rip!”

The guitar comes with Chuck’s favourite Captain’s hat plus an electrical conduit strap that was used as a finger holder, which allowed him to play the guitar over and behind his head.

Check out this video detailing Chuck’s impact on music and an intro to the new model.

Head to Gibson’s website to find out more about this limited edition guitar.