2010 Gibson Custom Don Felder Hotel California EDS-1275
That song, that interweaved solo - a detail-perfect Gibson Custom Shop recreation of the guitar behind one of the greatest guitar songs of all time.
Song aside (if that's at all possible), this is a fantastic example of what the Gibson Custom Shop does to recreate not just the spec, but the gig-worn look & feel of a legendary player's guitar, down to the minutest dent, nick or crack. As an example, check out the detail of the double crack to the right running through to a single crack to the left of the bottom jack socket. It's a process that takes passion, relentless attention to detail and accuracy, and tireless effort. Hand-finished, then buffed and hand-aged. Doing that 150 times for this Limited Edition model (50 signed & aged, 100 aged). Master craftsmen at their finest.
All of which makes it a whole lot easier to strike an authentic and Guitar God pose with one of these around your neck. And back to the song (impossible to avoid, because the Limited Edition comes with a signed copy of the Hotel California tab and sheet music), now all we need is a Leslie rotating speaker for that 12-string intro....
The first solid-body EDS-1275s came into production in 1962. Discontinued in 1967 and reintroduced in 1977 until 1990. Since then, it's really been the Custom Shop editions (like this one) that have held the torch in later years - with signature editions for Jimmy Page, Alex Lifeson and Don Felder.
The Gibson story and spec for this Hotel California model really cannot be beaten for the wonderful detail and insight it provides. Check it out below.
But you cannot help but wonder at the attention to detail: the Burstbucker I and 2 pick-ups, Felder's pick-ups of choice, the Custom Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge for the 12-string, the Claw tailpieces, the double jack socket, allowing the guitar to be played through two amplifiers separately (in this case, a Leslie rotating speaker for that 12-string intro), and, of course, the hand-aged finish.
This is one legendary guitar for one legendary song . . . but if you're prepared to bare your chest, and picture it in a Cherry finish, you can just about get away with your very own Jimmy Page Stairway To Heaven tribute.
See & Hear It In Action
Hotel California: Just in case you've just landed from another planet and have never heard the song before . . .
Stairway To Heaven: Breaking the "No Stairway" rule, immerse yourself in that other legendary song that, in live performance, has a Gibson EDS-1275 at its heart. Yes, not exactly the same spec, but it'll do....
Sources & Links
Introducing The Hotel California: Sadly no longer available on the Gibson website, but thanks so much to the Guitar Site for capturing the original press release here. We miss the detail behind Don Felder's set-up for Hotel California, and the spec, documented in detail by the Gibson Custom Shop. But at least we have this.
Music Radar's Review: Short by Music Radar's standards, but, as they say themselves, all is more than covered by the Gibson write-up.
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