1956, L-5-CES
The headstock inlayed with pearl Gibson, labelled Style L-5-CES/Gibson Guitar/Number A-22494 is hereby/GUARANTEED/against faulty workmanship and materials./Gibson INC/KALAMAZOO MICHIGAN,/U.S.A., factory order number V2798 8, fitted with two Alnico pickups, length of back 21 in. (53.3 cm); and period hardshell case with adhesive tape inscribed by Lee Dickson Gibson '56 L5/S. Burst Alnicos/#22494

This guitar has been used as a spare to Eric Clapton's main Gibson L-5 [not included in the auction] which he's used to date since the 1993 Blues Tour. (2)

Lot Essay

EC: This is a guitar that I regret [selling] It's a stunning guitar... I love those Alnico pickups, they are the best studio favourites.

KK: How do these respond in recording in comparison to the Humbucker?
EC: Well in the stage/live situation they're just a little bit more difficult to manage. Because at some point, when you get to the volume you need...given that the rest of the band are playing fairly loud the feedback is pretty uncontrollable at the bottom end. It's a challenge, and it's fun, and it's really powerful. But in a studio, where you're playing in much more easier managed dynamics, they're the best sounding pickups in the world for me. We used this on the Robert Johnson album.
LD: ..and on From The Cradle.

EC: When you want that rich blues sound...[the L5s or the Alnicos] are the best in the studio. They don't have the same kind of fluidity in terms of the left hand, because their set up has a different playability. But in terms of sound they're stunning.

KK: Do you set these up with flat ones?

EC: No, no.

LD: With Ernie Ball 11 to 52..

EC: I don't really get on with flat ones. I've never really liked them. They're strange...they sound dead to me.

CW: Would this have been used on both the From The Cradle - recording and tour?

EC: Yes, all those guitars got used on different songs.

LD: We took the most guitars out we've ever done on the Blues Tour. We had about 24 guitars for every show.

EC: One for each song.

LD: We'd use 15 to 18 of them, then we'd have a couple of spares for the crucial guitars.


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