One of the great things about a vintage guitar is the story behind the instrument. This is also the case with this vintage 1958 ES-225TDN that I acquired through a friend. I traded it for a 1960s Gibson SG, another fantastic instrument. However, I myself am a big fan of vintage hollow bodies.
The Gibson ES-225 was the first Gibson Thinline guitar. The ES-225 is manufactured in Sunburst and Natural finish. In terms of pickups, you had the choice of a P-90 (middle position) or two P-90s. An ES-225 with dual pickups is more valuable than with one pickup. In addition, an ES-225 in Natural finish is more popular than Sunburst version.
Every vintage guitar enthusiast knows that something magical happens when these old Lifton cases are opened. The thrill, what's in the case? This Lifton case was extra special. The name "JOE KEENE" was written on the outside of the case in typical 1950s "Cowboy Letters". It felt like I had gone half a century back in time. Unfortunately, the sound of an incoming email on my phone brought me back to the 21st century.
I did some research on the name "Joe Keene". I learned that Joe Keene had a successful career as a studio musician, songwriter (recording artist) and producer. Joe started his career in 1956. In total, Joe has written about 80 hits for various artists. These were mainly Country artists such as; Charley Pride, The Willburn Brothers, Dickey Lee and Narvel Felts. I'm a big Country music fan. So, it couldn't be better!
But back to the magical moment. When the case opened, a beautiful natural ES-225 was waiting for me! The Gibson was modified to (probably) Joe Keene's wishes, but what a guitar! For example, the original tailpiece was replaced with a later Gibson Diamond tailpiece and early 1960s ABR-1 bridge with nylon saddles. The original tuners have also been replaced with Double Line Gibson Kluson tuners from the same era as the bridge. Furthermore, the guitar was not tinkered with. Personally, I think this is a good upgrade. The upgrade makes the guitar easier to intonate and it stays in tune better.
I use this ES-225 daily and weekly for gigs. This is the fifth ES-225 I've owned personally, but every time I plug this guitar in and hear those old P-90s roar, it brings a smile to my face again! A very special guitar with a beautiful look.
In 1958 a Gibson ES-225TDN in Natural cost $244.50 (without case).
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