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1965 Gibson J-45

Garrett Park Guitars

This guitar is in our Hall of Fame Collection and is no longer available for purchase.

For your consideration Garrett Park Guitars presents this 1965 Gibson J-45

Gibson slope shoulder acoustics are widely sought after for the their tone and playability. These guitars were the workhorse of the Gibson line staring in 1942 and continuing to today.

We just acquired this guitar and restored it to bring it back to solid playing condition. The ceramic bridge was replaced with a rosewood bridge and a bone saddle, two cracks were repaired in the top, and the top was resprayed. We also added a new vintage correct replacement pickguard and resprayed the top. The results are fantastic, and not only does the guitar look great it also plays and sounds great. Comes with a newer molded so its ready to take out and gig. This is the same year and model as the one played by Donovan, so get your Hurdy Gurdy Man on!

Nut width -1 9/16"

Serial number-356216

Condition-Player Vintage

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From the Gibson website...

 For nearly 70 years, the J-45 has not only proven itself a Gibson classic but also a benchmark of acoustic guitar design. It has remained, mostly, unchanged – proving that the best ideas are often the first ones. The journey of the Gibson J-45 keeps going. Here are some facts you need to know…

1. The J-45 was part of Gibson’s round-shoulder, dreadnought “jumbo” line that began in 1934 with the Gibson Jumbo Flattop.

2. 1942 was hardly a great time to be launching a new guitar. World War II was raging, times were hard and there were government-imposed rations on the commercial use of timber and metal. 90% of Gibson’s workforce was recruited for war-related projects. The remaining Gibson luthiers had to use up to four pieces of (then rare) spruce for the J-45’s top. Spruce was also used, back then, in U.S. airplane manufacturing.

3. The J-45 was originally only available in a sunburst finish. Why? Because a sunburst finish was better-suited to a multi-piece top – the finish would better disguise any join in the timbers. 1940s sunburst J-45s are rare now, and very collectible.

4. The J-45’s “The Workhorse” nickname was coined by Gibson. The idea was to produce a guitar that was unflashy but stylish, a good value and great sounding for any acoustic player.

5. The J-45 boated improvements on Gibson’s 1930s J-35. Top bracing was improved with an X-brace behind the soundhole. The J-45 also had a rounder neck, instead of the J-35’s overtly V-profile.

6. In 1943, Gibson made a few J-45s with a maple neck but no truss rod because metal was still in short supply for guitar makers due to WWII. Other 1943 J-45s were built with mahogany tops, and some were all maple.

7. The J-45 remains Gibson’s best-selling acoustic guitar ever.

8. John Lennon had an epiphany playing a Gibson J-45. When The Beatles went to Rikishesh, India, in 1968, a fellow traveller was Scottish folk-pop singer Donovan Leitch. Intrigued by Donovan’s playing on the Gibson J-45 that the musician had brought along, Lennon asked if Donovan would teach him fingerstyle/claw-hammer techniques. “I explained it would take three days at least to get the basics,” remembered Donovan. “He was a good student. It’s a difficult style that requires perseverance. When John had it down, he was so pleased to find a whole new way of songwriting emerge. That’s what happens to a natural songwriter when you get a new set of performing skills. He immediately wrote ‘Dear Prudence’ and ‘Julia.’ John wrote lots of songs for the ‘White Album’ [proper title, The Beatles] based on this new style.”

9. Donovan bought his cherry sunburst Gibson J-45 guitar in July 1965, during his visit to the Newport Folk Festival, but it was stolen from a U.K. concert hall in the early 1970s. Donovan is still looking for his favorite guitar.

10. Michelle Obama gave Carla Bruni, wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, a sunburst Gibson J-45 as a gift in 2009. The U.S.’s First Lady’s gift was given at a NATO summit in Strasbourg. Bruni is not only an actress/model, she’s also a singer and guitarist.

11. In 1968, Gibson made some J-45s with white pickguards that were screwed-down into the body. Gibson never tried that again.

12. Bob Dylan has reverted to playing a sunburst J-45 since the mid-1990s. Dylan first owned a J-45 in 1962 and the sound of a J-45 is all over Dylan’s early albums.

13. Buddy Holly’s favorite acoustic was his Gibson J-45. Like Elvis Presley, Holly had a leather cover made for his guitar: the cover included Holly’s name on the face, the songnames from his debut single “Blue Days, Black Nights” and “Love Me” on opposing sides of the top of the body by the neck, as well as having “Texas” spelled out along the bottom portion of the cover in white lettering. Holly played his Gibson J-45 to record “Everyday,” “Send Me Some Lovin’,” "It’s Too Late” and many more.

14. The J-45 (and natural finish J-50) became a go-to acoustic for numerous blues players from launch. Pink Anderson, “Mississippi” John Hurt, Gabriel Brown, Elizabeth Cotten, Blind Gary Davis, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Skip James all played the instrument at some time.

15. Rush’s Alex Lifeson used a Gibson B-45 (the J-45’s smaller brother) 12-string on the album 2112.

16. Why “45”? The original recommended price was $45. A 1942 Gibson J-45 will now probably cost you at least $5,000.

17. Early J-45s are known to collectors as “banner” models – they sported a silkscreened gold banner on the headstock which proclaimed “Only a Gibson is Good Enough.” These instruments are very rare.

18. The J-50, launched in 1946, was essentially the same guitar, but with a natural blonde finish.

19. James Blunt’s favorite guitar is his 1966 sunburst Gibson J-45, used to write and record his breakthrough Back to Bedlam album.

20. Jefferson Airplane’s Jorma Kaukonen’s first “proper” guitar was a J-45. “I wasn’t interested in being a guitar player,” he told The Jewish Standard. “I just liked singing songs.” To persuade his father to pay for the guitar, Kaukonen had to learn how to play two songs perfectly. One was “Jimmy Brown the Newsboy.” Kaukonen nailed it and got his coveted J-45, bought at a music store on M Street in Washington, D.C.

Serial Number: 356216 

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