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A Guitar Fit for a King: Watch Elvis Hit the Stage With His Customized Gibson Dove

Elvis Presley in Concert at the Nassau Coliseum - June 22, 1973
(Image credit: Tom Wargacki/WireImage)

Throughout his storied career, the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” played various Gibson instruments. These included electric guitars such as the Super 400CES and acoustic guitars – notably a black customized Dove that was presented to him by his father.

In turn, a notoriously generous Elvis then gifted the prized instrument to uber-lucky fan Mike Harris in 1975 while performing his version of the 12-bar blues number “See See Rider.”

In 2016, this unique piece of rock ‘n’ roll history was sold at auction for $334,000 (opens in new tab).

Elvis: As Recorded At Madison Square Garden

(Image credit: Legacy Recordings)

Elvis performed with this fabled guitar (opens in new tab) for several years throughout the early ‘70s. It can be spotted in some of his best-known live footage such as the 1973 Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite broadcast, and the film from his historical 1972 Madison Square Garden gig.

Here, the King is seen hitting the stage of the famous New York concert venue to the tune of "That's All Right" before strapping on his iconic black Gibson Dove:

Alongside the new Elvis SJ-200 (opens in new tab), Gibson has just launched the Elvis Dove (opens in new tab)

Inspired by the flat-top seen in the above film, this instrument appears sans large “Elvis Presley” fingerboard inlays, although “Elvis” has been scribed on the truss rod cover.

Aside from that small detail you might never know it was a signature model. You could always attach the included Kenpo Karate body decal, however, should there be any doubt.

Gibson Elvis Dove

Gibson Elvis Dove (Image credit: Gibson)

Featuring a Sitka spruce top with hand-scalloped X-bracing, this maple-bodied square-shouldered dreadnought is fitted with a glued-in 25.5” scale mahogany neck sporting a 20-fret Indian rosewood fingerboard.

Decked out with mother-of-pearl double-parallelogram fretboard markers, headstock logo and crown inlays, and dove wing bridge motifs, this high-end guitar features gold-plated hardware throughout. 

A striking gloss nitrocellulose Ebony finish completes the look.

Purchase Elvis: As Recorded At Madison Square Garden here (opens in new tab).

Rod Brakes is a music writer with an expertise in all things guitar-related. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a journalist covering artists, industry pros and gear includes writing hundreds of articles and features for the likes of Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player and MusicRadar, as well as contributions for specialist books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.