Gibson hails rock 'n' roll with Custom Shop Murphy Lab Chuck Berry ES-355

Gibson is celebrating what would have been Chuck Berry's 95th birthday - and the forthcoming live album, Live From Blueberry Hill -  by issuing a sublime limited edition, Murphy Lab-aged Custom Shop replica of the pioneering rock 'n' roll guitar legend's 1970s ESS-355.

Based on Chuck's favourite 1978 Wine Red 355, the reproduction version is built from a maple body, with a three-piece maple neck equipped with an ebony fingerboard, custom block inlays and carved to match the profile of Chuck's original. 

It's packing two Gibson 86 Custombucker Alnico 5 humbuckers with standard Gibson control configuration of two volume and two tone controls, but with the addition of a six-way Varitone control giving you a heap of tonal options.

Elsewhere, the 355 features a Tune-O-Matic bridge with Maestro Vibrola, Grover tuners, bound F-holes, bound tortoiseshell scratchplate and a split-diamond inlay on the headstock.   

Learn from the master with these Chuck Berry-style blues licks

Chuck Berry

(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Getty)

Go back to the building blocks of rock 'n' roll

A statement from Gibson accompanying the release says, "Chuck Berry was a founding father of rock and roll, His stagecraft and musicianship laid the foundation for nearly every genre of rock and popular music. His playing, showmanship, and catalog of music helped launch many musicians' careers, and countless sidemen shared the stage with him. So did his trusted Gibson guitars.”

The Gibson Chuck Berry 1970s ES-355 will be a limited run, with just 100 units available worldwide. The guitar comes with a Chuck-style captain's hat, conduit bracket/finger holder (with instructions) and certificate of authenticity inside the case. It's available now priced at $6,999.

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.