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1959 ES355 MONO!


Sep 16, 2007
Hi all,

I've posted about this guitar a few times over the last few years, but finally got round to taking some photos of her the other day so thought I'd share!
This was my first ever venture into Vintage Gibsons, around 8 or 9 years ago when I was sixteen. Would you believe, I traded a nineties Firebird for her! And so the vintage seed was planted..

The old girl has had a LOT of work, but we'll start with the good.. She's a factory Mono, from either late '59 (it has the small 21st fret inlay) or early-mid '60. The only original parts on her are the pickguard, and possibly the TRC.
At some point, she's suffered a headstock break, and was refinished in a horrible black Poly. She was robbed of the PAFs, electrics, bridge and stoptail, and has even had a backplate cut in the rear. When I got her she had a pair of mid seventies Dirty Fingers in her, which I've now replaced with some early sixties Pat Numbers.

Its sound is really quite unlike most ES3*5s I've come across. My 67 335 sounds very hollow, and has that slightly 'polite' poky-ness to it. This however, just sounds like a great Les Paul! Rich and thick sounding. Utterly wonderful!

I will get her refinished at some point. In the right light, the guitar glows purple, which I guess is probably the red stain underneath the refin. It has some gorgeous flame to the rear (it's just such a shame about the control plate!), but it appears that whoever did the paint job managed to sand through the laminate on both the horns, front and back, so whilst I'd love her to be cherry again, I may have to settle for something a little different..

Anyway, less talkin', more lookin'.. Apologies for the crummy shots, an iPhone camera is all I've got to snap these on.

Here she is :salude

And the purple glow! (plus foot..) :yah

And with my 335, and 58 JR;



Active member
Mar 17, 2005
Wow, who would have done that to such a fine vintage guitar? Ready the boiling oil! Glad to see you are planning to do right by the old girl with a righteous restoration! Looking forward to seeing the "after" photos!


Les Paul Forum Member
Jul 16, 2001
I love it too. Total Keith Richards vibe.


New member
Apr 24, 2012
I love it anyway
Add me to the list. Let's see....

1) Looks cool
2) Plays great (it does, doesn't it?)
3) Sounds "utterly wonderful"

Enjoy her --and don't look at her backside too often. :salude

Greasy G

New member
May 6, 2013
So she has a couple of battlescars, been mistreated somewhere along the years, ain't we all? Beautiful guitar.