Gibson unveils the first ever Chuck Berry signature guitar

Gibson already showed it off as a preview on the 2019 NAMM Show floor back in January but now it's officially ready to buy; the first ever signature guitar model for the first real guitar hero of rock 'n' roll. Introducing the Chuck Berry 1955 ES-350T.

And roll over… bank manager. It's another limited edition Gibson Custom Shop model – only 55 will be made – and we're seeing preorder prices of nearly £8,000 from UK dealers right now. But this is a period correct hollowbody labour of love for a true trailblazer.

(Image credit: Gibson)

It's perhaps strange that it's taken this long to see a signature model for such an icon. Until now the ES-350T with the early period P-90 pickup configuration like Chuck's (they switched to PAFs in 1957) were only available as special orders from the Custom Shop. One very special customer who took up that option was Jimmy Page, who used the model for Led Zeppelin's 02 Arena reunion show in December 2006 to play In My Time Of Dying. 

“How is it that I’m now holding a brand-new, as authentic as it gets ES-350T?” asks Chuck's son, Charles Berry Jr. “Gibson wanted to do a guitar with my dad…the goal was to make them as authentic as possible. And this is as authentic as possible…absolutely perfect.”

The Gibson Chuck Berry 1955 ES-350T features hand-picked figured maple, a pair of 'fiery' P-90 pickups, a replica strap and a replica of the Zuni 'Sun God' bolo tie Chuck wore throughout his 1950s purple patch. So once you've perfected that duck walk you'll have everything you need. Either that or you can hold out hope for an Epiphone version. 

For more info visit Gibson

(Image credit: Gibson)
Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.