On Led Zeppelin’s classic “Stairway to Heaven,” Jimmy Page used an acoustic Harmony guitar, a Fender Telecaster, and a Fender electric 12-string. That made it impossible to recreate the recording in live performances, where Page was limited to one guitar at a time.
However, he found a partial solution in Gibson’s EDS-1275 double-neck, which allowed him to switch from six strings to 12 strings without changing guitars.
Gibson’s double-neck model started off in the late 1950s with a unique hollowbody carved-top design, but when Gibson transformed the Les Paul line to the pointed-horn SG body style in 1961, the double-neck models followed suit.
The lighter body weight of the SG design made the EDS-1275 more comfortable to play than the earlier version. Due to increased popularity, what had been a custom-order model became a regular production guitar.
Page replaced the humbucking pickups on the six-string side of his EDS-1275 with coverless Seymour Duncan units, but otherwise this is the stock production model - despite the “Custom” inscription on the truss-rod covers.
Gibson stopped offering the EDS-1275 in 1969 – this guitar was special-ordered in 1971 – but thanks to its use by Page (and later by Slash of Guns N’ Roses), demand for double-necks did not go away. Gibson revived the model in 1977, and it remains in production today.
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Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.
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