Gibson, ES-345TD, 1962 - Jay Geils


Serial Number: 
Cherry Red
Gibson Humbucking Pickups
The Story Behind

The ES-345 was first produced in 1958 as an upscale version of the ES-335. Although the design is very similar to the 335, the 345 featured a multi-position "Varitone" switch located just above the lead tone and volume controls, which added various combination of coils and capacitors to the electronic pickup circuit of guitar in order to alter its resonant frequency and add "colour" to the sound. The ES-345 also featured an optional stereophonic output jack, gold-plated hardware, large, parallelogram fingerboard inlays, and a thicker edge binding than that of the ES-335.

Only 204 ES-345's were shipped in 1962 and this is a rare factory stop tailpiece model.

The guitar was made famous in the 1985 film "Back to the Future", where 1980’s teen Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, fills in on such a guitar at the high school dance. The biggest difference is Marty’s guitar was retrofitted with a Bigsby, as many good things are. McFly was emulating Chuck Berry and playing Berry’s "Johnny B. Goode” before it was even released, thus insinuating that Berry got the idea for the song from McFly!

This Gibson ES-345TD (Thin line and Double Pickups) was personally owned and used for over 45 years by guitarist Jay Geils and was the first electric guitar owned by him.

In a Vintage Guitar Magazine interview with Jay Geils he remembers on the question: What was your first really good guitar and amp setup?

"It was a ’60s Gibson ES-345 and an Ampeg Gemini. I couldn’t afford a Fender. When I first saw B.B. in the spring of ’67, he had a red 355 and a Fender Super Reverb. So that’s what I wanted. But I couldn’t afford either, so I found a used 345, and it was close enough.”

He purchased it from Matt Umonov's shop in New York City in 1967.The tuners have been changed from the originals to aged Gibson Kluson style tuners. The stop tailpiece and bridge have been replated, but retain the original nylon saddles. The ES-345 is equipped with two PAF Gibson hum-bucking pickups.

It was used on some early J.Geils Band recordings as well as in his group Bluestime with Magic Dick.

This guitar sounds great, is fun to play and offers an array of useful tonal options including stereo output.

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