This 1949 Gibson ES-5 once belonged to T-Bone Walker
A 1949 Gibson ES-5 with a breathtaking flametop would be more than worthy of inclusion in any vintage guitar collection, but this axe is truly unique, having once been the main squeeze of none other than T-Bone Walker.
A giant of electric blues guitar, Walker had a trailblazing playing style and trademark showmanship that cast a long shadow, influencing BB King, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix and countless others along the way.
T-Bone Walker’s 1949 Gibson ES-5
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Believed to have been stolen from Walker at a jazz festival in France in the late 1960s, this instrument subsequently passed through the hands of several owners who were oblivious to its historical significance.
The guitar, now residing at Matt’s Guitar Shop in Paris, has battle scars and repairs which are consistent with Walker’s onstage flamboyance; archive photographs bear witness to the area around the jack socket being a frequent casualty of his exuberance. If only guitars could talk, this would have a tale or two to tell.
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