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Pete’s Gear: Gibson ES-345 Stereo guitars

Click to view larger version. 29 Jan. 1967, Saville Theatre, London, with Gibson ES-345. (Photo: SoundCityChris)

Click to view larger version. 29 Jan. 1967, Saville Theatre, London, with sunburst Gibson ES-345. (Photo: SoundCityChris)

Pete Townshend used Gibson ES-345 thinline semi-hollow archtop guitars during occasional shows in 1967 and 1968. These guitars featured:

  • Thin, double cutaway, semi-hollow body with solid maple block down center and triple-bound top, single-bound back.
  • Stereo electronics, two humbucking pickups, two volume and two tone controls, selector switch, Vari-tone rotary tone switch, trapeze tailpiece.
  • Rosewood fingerboard, double parallelogram fingerboard inlays, neck joins body at 19th fret.
  • Crown peghead inlay, gold-plated parts.

The models with which Pete has been pictured are 1965–1967 models. One of which cost Pete £200 and was later smashed (at the Marquee in 1968).

Pete in Melody Maker:

“I smashed up two guitars at the end of the show, because one I was using had recently been repaired and broke as I came on stage, so I played another one I use for recording. At the end, I though, ‘What the hell,’ and smashed them both. The Gibson Stereo cost £200 and the amps, which were borrowed, will cost about £20 each to repair. I can’t put it down to tax because when I say I use 70 guitars a year, they don’t believe me.”

Photo Gallery

Ca. 1968.

29 January 1967. Amps are Marshall JTM45 100 Super Lead and Marshall Major (The “Pig”).

Ca. 1968, with Gibson.
Ca. 1968, with Gibson.

The Marquee, 23 April 1968, with Gibson 345 Stereo, soon to be smashed.

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