The Bee Gees’ Jive Talkin’ Gibson J-45 and EBS-1250 double-neck guitars up for auction

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Maurice Gibb was famed for his falsetto vocals as part of disco kings the Bee Gees, but he was also a keen guitar player, and now two of his most important instruments are set to go under the hammer.

First up is a Gibson J-45 acoustic, used to compose the band’s breakthrough hit, 1975’s Jive Talkin’, whose success led to the group’s iconic Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.

The guitar was donated to BBC Radio 1 to give away as a prize in 1987 and autographed by all three Gibb brothers. It was then sold on Channel 4’s Four Rooms show in 2014.

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Also for sale is Gibb’s custom-made 1968 Gibson EBS-1250 double-neck bass/guitar, believed to be the only one produced by Gibson that year. Gibb can be seen playing the guitar in the clip below.

It was sold in 1974 to another musician and collector, who has owned the guitar ever since.

Each guitar is expected to fetch over £10,000 ($13,000) when they go up for sale on 12 September at Gardiner Houlgate.

The auction also plays host to the guitar George Harrison played at The Beatles’ last ever Cavern Club gig, a Maton Mastersound MS-500.

Full specs

Gibson J-45 acoustic

Early 1970s, sunburst finish, 20-fret rosewood fingerboard (restorations and bearing a ‘L. Pohl Breslin Luther’ label to the inner back), signed to the front by all three members of the Bee Gees and dated 1987.

Gibson EBS-1250 double-neck 1968

1968 Gibson EBS-1250 double neck bass / electric guitar, made in USA, ser. no. 929990; Finish: walnut, buckle rash to the back and further blemishes as to be expected for age.

Fretboard: rosewood; frets: generally good; electrics: working, bass neck pickup replaced with a DiMarzio and with coil switch added to the scratchplate (original retained); Hardware: generally good, replaced control knob.

The Gibson EBS-1250 model was made in very small numbers, with Gibson records showing that only 22 were ever shipped. Due to lack of production, Gibson stopped recording shipping numbers of this model in 1967, with only 3 being made in that year. It is likely that this could be the only EBS-1250 made in 1968.

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