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Freddie King ES-345 or ES-355 Signature Model?


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Wanda King is Freddie King's Daughter. She still lives in Dallas area and she performs routinely around town. She has a wonderful personality and loves the association with her famous father.

 

This morning, she posted on Facebook this message:

 

Gibson and Fender Guitar have plenty of signature and custom collection guitars that represent a bunch of talented current day guitar heroes.

I've been in communication with the Gibson folks going on two years about honoring Blues guitar legend Freddie King ( Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee) with a Signature / collectors choice... ES 345 or a 355 cherry red but I am getting the we will get back to you response. I know Gibson is about business dollars and cents. Gibson need to sale 100or 200 units.to make it worth their investment.

Now you ask, how can we help? Well I would like for you to chime in... should Gibson create a Freddie King signature/custom ES 345/355 and would you like to own one?.

Freddie King he was one of Gibson's best salesmen and ambassodor each and everytime he straped on his Gibson.

 

Get the word out and see if we can turn this grassroots movement into a real honorable Freddie King Signature Model.

 

Link:

 

Wanda King - Facebook Link

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I also have a Beale Street Blue ES-335 that I love. I am not able to afford to keep near duplicates of various guitars either. I don't know if I would want to sell my 335 for a Freddie King model. But given the chance, I would explore that possibility.

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I think the above responses are probably typical of ES players. I'm as big a Freddie King fan as anybody (he's by far my favorite of the "King" triumvirate), AND I'm a 345 player, but I don't see a Freddie sig model as much of a profitable business move for Gibson. Plus, I think of Freddie as a 345 player, a quick google images search seems to have more photos of him playing a 355. So do you make a 345 or 355 sig model.

 

When the "Johnny Winter Firebird" came out I was privy to the contract terms between Gibson and Johnny. Contrary to what we might think, the artists DO NOT make a bunch of money off the deal, so it would not really even help his family.

 

But....., the man sure could play (and sing)!

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A few random thoughts...

 

I'm with Larry in terms of being a big fan of Freddie King. He was one of the primary reasons I kept playing the guitar in my early years (1970's), and for learning the fundamentals of playing blues (which has been a great foundation for playing other styles as well).

 

If this idea came to fruition, I would be glad primarily because it would make more young people aware of Freddie and his music. Lovers of the blues (particularly urban style blues) who are motivated to study the music are likely to discover Freddie at some point anyway, but this might broaden his profile among guitarists and musicians in general. That can only be a good thing, even if the business aspect of this is dubious (which I think it probably is).

 

If I were to suggest either the 345 or the 355, I would go with the former, based on the fact that the 345 association goes back closer to his golden era (that "Bonanza Of Instrumentals" album cover); and because of the already-strong associations that the 355 has with B.B. (and others).

 

Personally, I'd rather not see anyone try to add legitimacy or importance to any legendary blues musician by associating them with the rock and roll hall of fame. There are fundamental flaws in that concept, the greatest of which is promoting the idea that being associated with "rock" idols is somehow the ultimate goal and prize in a musician's career. In the sense that Freddie is included in a general music hall of fame, I'm fine with that.

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I think the standard 2011 ES-345 that I have is close enough already to whatever a "Freddie King" ES-345 would be. The main difference being the dual input jacks on the rim...which I prefer over the original single stereo jack on top.

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No need...IMHO. He used pretty much stock ES-345's and ES-355's.

Cherry, Walnut, and VSB colored varieties. Maybe, if Gibson just

put the ES-345, and ES-355's back into standard production, with

those color options, and Maestro, Bigsby, or Stop-tailpiece options,

I'd be very happy, with that alone. [thumbup]

 

CB

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Unfortunatedly there's not enough younger guitar players coming up knowing Freddie King history to motivate Gibson to invest in a signature FK model. Us old hats may be the last generation with the knowledge and the wealth to appreciate a FK signature model. Personally, I think Freddie King was the Blues master.

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Yeah, and even if they did make a "Feddie King" model, those that buy them,

will still never sound like Feddie King! I've never really understood the

appeal, of having someone else's "signature" guitar? I have a Gibson "Lucille"

but, it wasn't purchased, because of my love for BB King...it was because it was

an ES-355 (top of the line) for 400 dollars LESS, than an ES-335, at that time!

Pure economics! I DO Love "Lucille," however! And was tickled to get, and

thankful that I still own her. And, too, at the time of my purchase, there was

NO regular ES-355 being offered. Not even a ES-345, at that time, either!

 

But, it was not purchased because it was BB's guitar! [biggrin]

 

CB

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...I've never really understood the appeal of having someone else's "signature" guitar...

 

I actually removed the "BB King" silkscreen from the case of my ES-345. Lord knows, I'm not trying to be BB King.

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Spitball, how did you do that? What did you use and did it mark the case up at all? I love BB's work but I don't need his name on my ES-345 case.

Thanks John

 

I don't recall what solvent I used, but it didn't come out very clean and was a pain in the neck. I would recommend painting over the silkscreen or putting a sticker over it. If you really just want to remove it and have a clean case that looks like the silkscreen was never there - I don't have any good suggestions.

 

I wanted it just to be blank, but I ultimately silkscreened my own name over the mess.

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I don't recall what solvent I used, but it didn't come out very clean and was a pain in the neck.

 

I was hoping for an easy answer here. Years ago I bought a bunch of used road cases from a production company that had their name and logo silk-screened all over them. I tried every solvent I had in my shop and came to the same conclusion. The textured ABS laminate the cases were made from made it even worse.

 

Never even got one clean enough..... so I had a sign shop supplier friend of mine make me a bunch of sign-vinyl "peel & sticks" with MY band logo on them.

 

All to say I came to the same conclusion, stickers. Although I think if it were a case for a high-dollar guitar, I would just buy a new "plain" TKL case, and put the logo case aside.

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I have a 1964 Fender Tremolux that I got 30+ years ago. Some band named "The X-offs" had spray painted the bottom cabinet silver; hardware, nameplate, tolex and grill cloth. I got the paint off with brake cleaner and it worked pretty good then recently replaced the grill cloth. Thank god they never spray painted the head. I will NOT try brake cleaner on my new ES-345 case so don't worry!

Thanks John

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What years were his ESs'??? Were they all mid-60s and up? I'd like to get Gibson pickups with that same logo on the cover. I guess those pickups would've been T-Tops with the orange enamel wire and short Alnico 5 magnets??? If Gibson does release a beauty of an instrument like Freddie's, I'll be trading in my 2013 ES-335 Dot Figured for one!

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Why? Who will be the target market?... get a ES-345 or 355. It's getting to be too late for Mr. F. King...he's slowly fading away from today's generation.

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Sometime after he passed away one of his guitars was offered for sale in the UK, along with one of his stage suits - yellow with blue stars I think, big flares, enormous lapels.

I could probably have afforded it but in fact the inclusion of the suit put me off - ghoulish I thought to have that hanging in your cupboard, you'd never want to wear it.

 

I still think about that. And agree with the comments here - weren't his guitars just stock ES models?

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I am stil a great fan of Freddie, I stil look at hundred of pictures I took when he was in Europe in 70's .... and as I stil play blues guitar today , I am quite sure I shall buy a FK model .... BUT what string gauge and brands did he use ? Which thumb-pick and fingerpick did he use ? OK maybe there are stil in production or you can easily find a similar product... AND now the AMP the Fender Quad Reverb which is distinctive also of its sound ? When you listen to Albert Collings , you recognize this kind of texas blues climax. As Fender stops the production of this amp, you shall start to explore by testing different kinds of amplifiers to get Freddie's feeling .... or maybe have you already found the solution ?

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I would.

 

There are many kinds of "signature" guitars, but 2 ways of doing it: You make a signature guitar using someone's name to sell more, or you make a signature guitar that sells anyway but the name is used to make folks more aware of the person.

 

As interested in what guitars who played as I am, I sadly don't know much about what Freddie played. IF a Freddie signature was in a store, I would want to at least play it. And I would also be interested in what was different about it.

 

What I DO know is Freddie had good taste, and for that reason, I suspect a guitar based on his likes would appeal to many?

 

Everyone likes a good guitar, and my feeling is a good 345 or 355 would sell regardless. If it was basically a standard one (based on Freddie's, of corse), I kinda think folks interested in these particular models would be more turned on by the idea it was a "Freddie" signature rather than turned off.

 

And certainly, Freddie deserves it.

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Yes, there's no doubt he "deserves" a signature model! [thumbup] But, maybe just "Freddy King" on the TRC

would be enough...since I'm pretty sure his guitars were "stock!" Maybe, Gibson would use Ebony on

the fingerboards, of his 345 and 355...since THAT would have been "stock," back then. [biggrin]

Another possibility could be to have his signature, engraved in the fingerboard, close to the neck

joint, somewhat like the Martin 000-28 EC model, with Clapton's? Just a thought...

 

CB

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Huge Freddie King fan (fan of all three Kings). Have an Epi Lucille. Love it. I would buy an Epi or Gibson Freddie model in a heartbeat.. I didn't know his daughter played. Am interested in her tunes.

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