On Jan. 15, Gibson revealed the limited edition signature Chris Cornell ES-335 prior to the “I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell” concert. The highly anticipated gig ultimately celebrated the life and music of the musician. It took place at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
The instrument was crafted as a tribute to commemorate the legacy of the late-Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman, as well as his dedication to Gibson guitars. Cornell sadly took his own life on May 18, 2017.
The chief merchant officer of Gibson, Cesar Gueikian, spoke at the show, saying, “It is our honour to release this tribute ES-335 in his memory. It’s a guitar Chris fell in love with and which became a part of his creative expression.”
“Chris was a special artist,” he added. “We hope that this guitar will inspire fans to find their sound and inspiration, just like Chris did, for many years to come.”
Gibson shared a number of images to its website and social media pages. The guitar holds a classy satin finish in olive drab green and beautiful pearl peghead inlays, making it one of the most distinct and recognizable axes to date.
“When we first partnered with Chris to work on his original Gibson ES-335 artist model, it was immediately clear that he also had an innovative eye for guitar design,” wrote Gibson in an official statement.
It’s a reissue of Cornell’s 2013 signature model Memphis ES-355, except this time, the guitar features his iconic signature on the headstock and each tiny detail is tailored to his own preference, including the aged Lollartron humbuckers and the unique volume/tone knobs — which feature no numbers and a clear finish.
“Chris Cornell was a modern innovator who left a legacy that transcends genres or expectations,” they added. “His voice carried a generation into the unknown, but somehow always got us back home. We miss him dearly.”
The exclusive guitar is limited to only 250 units. Two were donated as prizes at last week’s concert in order to raise money for the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation, as well as the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation — which was founded by the singer and his wife, Vicky Cornell.
Their foundation was launched to protect and provide for vulnerable and neglected children around the globe.
All proceeds from the “I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell” concert were donated to the two charities.
More details and specifications on the signature Chris Cornell ES-335 can be found on Gibson’s official website.
The magnificent axe is expected to be made available later in the spring.