Monday, 17 October 2011

What guitar is Mike Oldfield playing in this video?
Via the Guitarz Facebook page, reader Grégory Gutierez asks if we can identify the guitar being played by Mike Oldfield in this 1980 performance.

It looks rather like a Gibson L6-S that has been customised with new metal pickguard, pickups, and a metal plate on the headstock. Oldfield was known to play this model Gibson, and there are photos of him playing such a guitar, albeit without the modifications.

Shaped like a rather wide-bodied Les Paul, the L6-S was the first Gibson to have a 24-fret neck. It was designed by Bill Lawrence and was in production from 1973 through to 1979.

The L6-S Custom model (which is, I believe, what Oldfield played) features a chicken head 6-position rotary switch for pickup selection allowing for various series, parallel and out-of-phase tonal options.

Pictured here we see a Gibson L6-S "Midnight Special" which is currently listed on eBay with a very low starting price. It might be one to watch if you want a "budget priced" Gibson, assuming that the bidding does not go too crazy.

The Midnight Special mainly differed from the other models in the series by having a bolt-on neck.

G L Wilson

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