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The Allure of the Blonde

Can you say sexy? Even the checking is sexy. The cool factor on a blonde 345 is off the charts. The price can be a bit off the charts too (but not this one)

OK, I admit it. I’m a sucker for blondes. My wife is a blonde. Most of my ex-girlfriends were blondes. Hell, I’m a blond or at least I was when I had hair. Blonde 335s and 345s are the ones we drool over. They are rare, expensive and beautiful-not unlike some of the…”oh, hello Sweetie…nothing, just writing my blog post…” Never mind. Anyway, the handful of blonde 335s and 345s command a big premium and it’s easy to see why. Out of the 135 or so ES 335s and 345s I’ve owned, I never owned a blonde…until today. The early 60 that was listed on my Gbase page wasn’t mine-it was a consignment. Not any more. Now, I own it. What’s the big deal anyway? Everybody knows I love a red guitar but this is special. Not just in its cool  blonde rareness but in a cachet that’s hard to describe that, while certainly borne of the rarity, is not limited to it.  By now-50 odd years later, nearly all vintage pieces of this value and rarity that come to market are in the hands of collectors or will be bought by collectors. The players will go for the sunbursts and the red ones or the Historics. You can’t exactly bring a $30,000-$80.000 guitar on a gig unless you have a very large insurance policy and a bodyguard. So, what I think is going on here  is a kind of reverence that was once reserved for ‘bursts and a few acoustics. At least for me. Is this old girl a tired old 50 year old? Not a chance. This one has been played and, yes, revered. The only reason the last owner let it go was to buy, what else, a ‘burst. It ain’t perfect but it sure does play. A fat pair of double whites and a big ol’ 59 neck doesn’t hurt either. In fact, this was one of the first 50 guitars made in 1960 which is, of course, why it still shows the old style knobs and the big neck. That would change in short order. How rare are these babies? There are 209 blonde ES-335s and just 50 blonde 345s. Of those 50, 32 are 59s and 18 are from 1960. My blonde is, by serial number, a 60, so it is one of 18 in the world. If that doesn’t make you feel a little special, then I don’t know what will.  Will I own this one forever? Nope. I’m gonna hold out for a stop tail.

My first blonde ES-345. What can I say. She's a beauty.

4 Responses to “The Allure of the Blonde”

  1. Eduardo Araujo says:

    Look who showed up at Chicago Music Exchange, these days!

    http://www.chicagomusicexchange.com/recently-sold/gibson-es-345-natural-1960/

    I was looking through their website and I thought: “Hey, I’ve seen this guitar!”

  2. cgelber says:

    Yes, you have. That’s the same 59/60 that I owned for a while. It seems to have gone through a few dealers on its way to me. Fretted Americana apparently had it at one time as well. The CME page appears to date to 2010 based on the comment posted. I got this guitar in 2011. It now lives in the UK. It was a great guitar but not as nice as the one I have now.

  3. Eduardo Araujo says:

    I haven’t notice the date of the comment. Funny, she wasn’t listed on the site last week and has the “JUST SOLD” stamp next to the picture…

    Anyways, GORGEOUS guitar!

  4. cgelber says:

    I sold it in 2012 and had it for some time before I sold it.

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