Gibson Guitar have announced the production of 250 replicas of the Eric Clapton Crossroads 335 model, from which a significant portion of the proceeds will benefit the artist's 'Crossroads Centre' in Antigua. 'Crossroads Centre' is an internationally recognized treatment center for addiction, founded by the artist.
The ultimate blues and rock musician, 16 time Grammy winner, and the only artist to ever be inducted into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame three times, Clapton originally purchased the now famous Gibson ES 335 guitar in 1964 and used it throughout his illustrious career for the ensuing 40 years. The Clapton 335 has gone on to become one of most famous guitars in rock music history, and was purchased by Guitar Center at a charity auction in June of 2004 for a record price of $847,500.
Guitar Center subsequently loaned the original instrument to Gibson Custom so that it could be meticulously measured and recreated by Gibson's expert luthiers in preparation for the limited edition 'Crossroads' model, which has been approved by Clapton himself. The processes used to faithfully reproduce the guitar include digitizing the neck with a laser beam to ensure dimensional accuracy, aging the finish to simulate 40 years of loving use, replicating the Hare Krishna sticker given to Eric by George Harrison, and stenciling the 'distressed' case with the 'CREAM' logo - as per the original. All of the guitars will be signed by Clapton.
Guitar Center has purchased the first 175 of the 250 replicas now in production at Gibson Custom in Nashville, Tennessee, the balance of 75 replicas are destined for export markets.