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.

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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.

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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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