Other Guitars

Scotty Moore’s ES-295

1

Just found out a bit of interesting gear trivia: Scotty didn't have the usual trapeze tailpiece/bridge on his 295. He had a standard tailpiece (non Gibson) and a Melita bridge. James V Roy talks about it here (go down the page to post 15) and it seems he knew Scotty and played the guitar a few times. There's also a link to a page devoted to the 295 which was on a lot of the Sun recordings.

2

The only guitar that I regret parting with was an ES295. I'm hoping that someday it will turn up; spray-painted black, chopped tailpiece to accommodate a tune-o-matic bridge, rewired with gray Beldon microphone cable, cracked pickguard, Grovers and a brass plate covering a repair at the jack.... pretty hard to miss. I'd love to have it back and restore it.

3

Melita's were available as an after-market part back then. The original ES-295 tailpieces have the annoying habit to shift position when you bend a string, and throw the guitar out of tune. And it doesn't intonate all that well with any string set.

4

I didn't play the guitar, I only held it. Scotty didn't own it then, it was owned by Larry Moss and I was there by invitation to shoot pix of some of his collection. See Link

Larry's is the one Gibson spec'd for the limited run (about 80) of the signature ES295s done up like his. They never got the tailpiece right though, and the bridges they got from Gretsch and ground off the name. The tailpiece is moot anyway since the one on Larry's guitar isn't the one Scotty had either. I don't believe they even mad that one at the time he had his. He had a Kluson tailpiece like they used on some ES125s of the day.

5

James, that you even got a chance to hold this iconic piece of history is still nothing short of incredible. The sound of Scotty's guitar on the Sun sessions is as important (to some of us anyways) as Elvis singing. Thanks for sharing your memories and if you want to share any more photos, many here would welcome them.

6

Flat screws too. Nobody kept the thumb screws.

7

The nerd in me wants to know the thread size and pitch of those screws. I have some but I have no idea what they are!!!

8

The only guitar that I regret parting with was an ES295. I'm hoping that someday it will turn up; spray-painted black, chopped tailpiece to accommodate a tune-o-matic bridge, rewired with gray Beldon microphone cable, cracked pickguard, Grovers and a brass plate covering a repair at the jack.... pretty hard to miss. I'd love to have it back and restore it.

– Journeyman

No Affiliation With Seller.

Maybe it's this one?

The only Gibson I'd really like to have would be an ES295. And a 330/whatever that Grant Green had. And an LP junior. And....

9

Damn. How crazy is it that the world presents an ES295 so closely matching Journeyman’s for sale right now. I love living in a world ultimately controlled by fate and karma. Justifies being good.

10

Flat screws too. Nobody kept the thumb screws.

– Billy Zoom

That's the one on Larry's. I've been trying to dig up pix from 54/55 of it when Scotty was playing it. Hard to determine but they almost look like thumbscrews. One of my buddy's at EPE sent me some high res versions recently but its still hard to tell. I'll put them up next week and let you folks guess. Given that the tailpiece is not right its conceivable the bridge might not be either. I've got the right tailpiece sitting on the shelf next to me, and also another of the ones like Larry's.

11

No Affiliation With Seller.

Maybe it's this one?

The only Gibson I'd really like to have would be an ES295. And a 330/whatever that Grant Green had. And an LP junior. And....

– lx

Don't think that one was mine; ad says it has original tuners and no mention of brass plate at jack repair. Also, mine had cream P90 covers. But thanks for pointing it out. I did send the seller an email asking him to check a few things.

12

This is the bridge that was on Scotty's when he had it and the one on Larry's (not "the"). Scotty's was a Kluson and Larry's is, I believe, Teisco made in the '60s. Jimmy Velvet, a longtime friend of Elvis' bought the guitar years ago in Memphis and showed it to Scotty who identified it as the one that was his. I can only speculate that subsequent owners may have attempted to put it back to stock and later tried to put it back the way Scotty had it or someone took another ES295, located the only parts they could and made it "like" his. Its anyone's guess but there's no paper trail so it can only be accepted as faith. Scotty's endorsement pretty much makes any of the other details moot. All his later guitars I matched to paperwork (copies he had).

14

For you own amusement, here is the bridge on Scotty's in February of '55 compared to the one on Larry's (with slotted screws). They are basically the same thing but what I have been unsuccessful as yet as previously mentioned is seeing clearly whether he had slotted screws or thumbscrews (in 55). What do you think?

16

What a thread. Thanks.

Funny I didn’t realize he had modified the 295 for years and years. The bridge and tailpiece surely added uniqueness to his tone.

17

What a thread. Thanks.

Funny I didn’t realize he had modified the 295 for years and years. The bridge and tailpiece surely added uniqueness to his tone.

18

Flat screws

– Chmason85

I think you missed or misunderstand the point (probably because I phrased the question out of context to my prior posts). The slotted screws are what's on that guitar now. The question is what are on the one in the pictures Scotty is playing in '55?

19

If he bothered to change the bridge, he would have changed the screws. That's what everybody did. They were a standard hardware store item.

20

If he bothered to change the bridge, he would have changed the screws. That's what everybody did. They were a standard hardware store item.

– Billy Zoom

Perhaps but I've never established if he actually changed it or bought it that way (regardless of what I wrote on that page). Its always been vague. I asked him once but never got the answer. All the pictures of him with it, with and before Elvis that show it only show it with the mods. He didn't pay much attention to or care about the details, and he didn't really mute the strings with his palm when he played. He wouldn't have been able to tell you if he had a Tele or and Esquire before the ES295. An old poor quality pic of him with it didn't show a neck pickup so everyone said it was an Esquire and he went with it. It was only in the last 2 years I was able to identify it as a Tele. He knew he had a "small" Fender amp that he initially used with it and someone suggested a Champ so he called it a Champ. It was actually a Deluxe. When I wrote the page on that Es295 initially in 2002 the owner and whereabouts of the one pictured hadn't been established. I added those pix from the film later.


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