By Phyllis Pollack
We all know the solo.
The album it hails from has sold over 16 million copies. The album on which the song originally appeared and was named for also won the Grammy Award in the category of Album Of The Year in 1977. The greatest hits album it graces has gone platinum more than 40 times.
Now Gibson Custom is releasing a guitar named for the song it is most known for. The guitar is also named for the guitarist that inspired the release of the model. The guitar company has announced that the Don Felder “Hotel California” SG Double Neck guitar model in a strictly Limited Edition is available, with only 50 aged and signed units available, and 100 aged units produced.
One of the most recognizable guitar solos of all time, Don Felder’s dual guitar attack with Joe Walsh on the Eagle’s “Hotel California” has become a California anthem and a national phenomena.
Felder has always played the hit song on a Gibson EDS-1275 Double Neck, performing the 12-string introduction on the guitar’s top neck and switching to the lower 6-string neck for the epic soloing duel with the former James Gang guitarist.
Felder first became interested in music after seeing Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan show, and started his first band when he was 15 called “The Continentals,” which also included Stephen Stills. He met Bernie Leadon soon after, later one of the founding members of the Eagles. Felder also gave a fellow student guitar lessons for a year and a half in Florida at a local music shop, Tom Petty.
Later Felder would move to New York with a band called Flow. After Flow broke up he moved to Boston. It was there that he met the rest of the Eagles in 1971 while they were on their first tour. In 1972 Felder moved to California and in 1974 Felder was called by the Eagles to add slide guitar to their song “Good Day in Hell.” The following day he was invited to join the band and the rest is musical history.
The Gibson guitar’s Custom Double Neck is crafted in the image of Gibson’s iconic EDS-1275 Double 12 model, only around 110 of which were produced between 1962-’68, demanding a reissue in 1977, when Felder acquired his example. The Don Felder Double Neck carries all the classic appointments of the era, including four great Gibson PAF-style humbucking pickups (two per neck) on a resonant solid-mahogany body. In addition, however, the guitar also includes custom wiring and modifications that Felder added to his EDS-1275 to help it suit his live performance needs. All are aged to accurately reflect the look of Felder’s own Gibson Double Neck, while 50 are also signed and numbered by the artist. All come with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.
Gibson Custom begins with a select one-piece mahogany body, and two necks carved from three pieces of maple each for added strength. The ensure the neck/body joints remain stable, the neck is set further into the body than that of an SG Standard, with a joint at around the 15th fret. The headstocks of both necks are back angled, a detail that increases string pressure in the nut to improve resonance and sustain, and each carries a set of Kluson tuners. Other hardware includes a pair of Tune-o-matic bridges and the chunky top mounted claw tailpieces that were custom-made for the EDS-1275 model in the 60s. There is also a quartet of Gibson’s Burstbucker humbucking pickups, with the chromed covers removed on the 6-string pair. There is a second output in place of the original bridge-pickup tone control to enable the 12-string neck to be routed independently to a Leslie rotating speaker cabinet to produce Felder’s trademark tone. The guitar has an “Aged White” finish in nitrocellulose that is carefully faded. Each of the two rosewood fingerboards carries accurate split parallelogram inlays and minimal headstock adornment.
Each Gibson Custom Don Felder “Hotel California” EDS-1275 comes protected in a custom rectangular case, includes a numbered Certificate of Authenticity, and the instrument is covered by Gibson’s Lifetime Warranty.
The model will be available in September 2010.
Other signature double neck guitars issued by Gibson in the past have included the Jimmy Page Reissue Double Neck guitar, a replica of the 1971 Gibson EDS-1275, that Page played on stage live with his band Led Zeppelin.
Watch a video of the former Eagles member talking to Howard Stern about the video for “Hotel California.”