Barney Kessel Guitars

1968 Gibson Barney Kessel

Color: Cherry Sunburst, Rating: 9.25, $6,850.00 (ID# 02209)
Call to Inquire: (818) 222-4113


Barney Kessel does Kiss & Grand Funk Railroad…


1968 Gibson Barney Kessel


This all original cherry sunburst "Barney Kessel" guitar weighs just  6.50 lbs. and features a unique 17 inch wide, 2 5/8 inch deep body with a double Florentine cutaway. One-piece laminated lightly flamed' maple top with two unbound 'f' holes and two parallel braces. Lightly flamed laminated maple back and sides. One-piece mahogany neck with a nut width of 1 9/16 inches, a scale length of 25 1/2 inches. and a very comfortable medium-to-thick profile. Single-bound rosewood fretboard with 20 original jumbo frets and inlaid pearl split-parallelogram position markers. Triple binding on top and bottom edges, single-bound headstock. Super-400 style long headstock with Inlaid pearl "Gibson" and pearl crown inlay. Two-layer black on white bell-shaped truss-rod cover with 'Custom" in white, secured by two screws. Black-painted headstock rear face with serial number "896639" stamped in blind. Individual 'double-line' Kluson Deluxe tuners with bell-shaped 'double-ring' keystone buttons (each stamped on the underside "D-169400 / Patent No."). Orange oval label inside the bass f-hole with the serial number "896639" written in black ink. Two original 'Patent Number' humbuckers with outputs of 7.60k and 7.30k, each with a rectangular black label on the underside reading "Patent Number". Two black plastic pickup rings, the neck one being stamped on the underside "MR 490 / M-69 7" and the bridge one "MR 490 / M-69 8". Five-layer black over white plastic pickguard with Gibson in white (slightly faded). Four controls (two volume, two tone) on lower treble bout plus three-way pickup selector switch with black rubber mounting ring on treble horn. Black plastic 'witch-hat' control knobs with ribbed sides and metal tops. Gibson Tune-O-Matic non-retainer bridge with nylon saddles and rosewood base. Trapeze tailpiece with raised diamond and rosewood shield featuring a black plastic nameplate with "Barney Kessel" engraved in white. There are just two tiny and almost invisible marks/scrapes on the bass side of the body, otherwise this fine jazz box is in near mint (9.25) condition. Housed in the original Gibson four-latch black shaped hardshell case with orange plush lining (9.00). This guitar is one of just 98 guitars shipped in 1968 out of a total run of 1,035 examples shipped between 1961 and 1973.

Celebrity owned: This guitar was owned and played by Bruce Howard Kulick (born 12 December 1953) who is an American guitarist, musician and since 2000 a member of the band Grand Funk Railroad. Previously, Kulick was a long-time member of the band Kiss (1984–1996). He was also a member of Union with John Corabi from 1997–2002 and Blackjack from 1979–1980.

Barney Kessel (October 17, 1923 – May 6, 2004) was an American jazz guitarist born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA. He was a member of many prominent jazz groups as well as a "first call" guitarist for studio, film, and television recording sessions. Kessel was a member of the group of session musicians known as The Wrecking Crew. Kessel began his career as a teenager touring with local dance bands before moving on to bands such as that led by Chico Marx. He quickly established himself as a key post-Charlie Christian jazz guitarist. In 1944 he participated in the film Jammin' the Blues, which featured Lester Young, and in 1947 he recorded with Charlie Parker's New Stars on the Relaxin' at Camarillo session for Dial Records. He is featured on the compilation Charlie Parker on Dial.[1] He was rated the #1 guitarist in Esquire, Down Beat, and Playboy magazine polls between 1947 and 1960. Barney Kessel is known for his innovative work in the guitar trio setting. In the 1950s, he made a series of albums called The Poll Winners with Ray Brown on bass and Shelly Manne on drums. He was also the prominent guitarist on Julie London's definitive recording of "Cry Me a River". Also from the 50s, his three Kessell Plays Standards volumes contain some of his most polished work. Kessel was also a member of the Oscar Peterson Trio with Ray Brown for a year, leaving in 1953. The guitar chair was called the hardest gig in show business since Peterson often liked to play at breakneck tempos. Herb Ellis took over from Kessel. Kessel also played with Sonny Rollins in the late 50s and can be heard on the Sonny Rollins And The Contemporary Leaders album on songs like "How High the Moon". A "first call" guitarist at Columbia Pictures, during the 1960s Kessel became one of the most in-demand session guitarists in America, and is considered a key member of the group of first-call session musicians now usually known as The Wrecking Crew. In this capacity he played on hundreds of famous pop recordings including albums and singles by Phil Spector, The Beach Boys, The Monkees and many others. He appeared in an acting part playing a jazz guitarist named "Barney" in one episode of the Perry Mason TV show. He also wrote and arranged the source music, including a jazz version of "Here Comes the Bride", provided by the jazz combo that figured in the story.


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