Watch: Joe Bonamassa takes the Gibson Theodore electric guitar for a test drive

“What a blast from the past this is”: Bonamassa

Gibson made waves last week with the announcement of the Theodore, a lost double-cut electric guitar design from the legendary Ted McCarty. Now, Joe Bonamassa puts the instrument to the test in a new video from the brand.

The Theodore is significant in Gibson history as it predates the Les Paul Junior, which ended up becoming the brand’s first double-cut electric guitar taken to mass production. Similarly, the guitar’s hockey-stick headstock design was only seen a year later in 1958 on the Explorer.

“This design ended up in a file cabinet for almost 65 years,” Bonamassa explained in the video.

Ted McCarty, who designed the Theodore, also helmed many of Gibson’s guitar design innovations in the 50s and 60s.

“There would be no 335 without Ted McCarty; there would be no Les Paul model without Ted McCarty; There would be no Firebird without Ted McCarty, and no Flying V or Explorer,” Bonamassa elaborated.

“And [the Theodore] would have been right in there in that mix with Ted and his team at the time; they were going to build this and the Super 400 – it’s really, really great to see it come to life 65 years later.”

He added: “I really think it’s such a great hybrid of such Gibson designs of that time.”

The new Theodore has an alder body with a walnut centre strip, a set mahogany neck, an Indian rosewood fretboard with a 12-inch radius, 22 narrow-tall frets and a 24.75-inch scale length.

It has two soapbar P90 pickups routed to Les Paul-style controls, along with a wraparound tailpiece and vintage-style Kluson tuners. The Theodore is available now, limited to just 318 units worldwide in natural, cherry and ebony finishes at $4,999 each.

Learn more at Gibson.com

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