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Another Vintage Find: 1967 Gibson Trini Lopez

One More for the “Bucket List”

I’m not sure how many of people my age would have a clue as to who Trini Lopez is…

He’s well-know to those who were rockin’ it in the Mid 60’s. People who recognize and appreciate great vintage guitars may also know of Mr. Lopez.

I became aware of his guitars when my dad told me a story about one of his best friends who has an original one-owner Trini Lopez Gibson guitar stashed under his bed. He’s had it since he was a teenager and he doesn’t even play guitar. (Craig, if you ever decide to sell that guitar… PLEASE!!! Call me!!!) Also, I’m a huge fan of Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters. He has a Gibson Trini Lopez signature model that is pretty much a twin to the original guitar!

While on a recent visit to my favorite guitar shop in the country…Chicago Music Exchange…I was scanning the back wall looking for something vintage and unique to take for a test drive. My eyes were immediately drawn to a red 1967 Trini Lopez, identical to the one owned by my dad’s friend. I know I’ve probably said this before, but I may have just found my dream guitar!

I picked it up and could tell just by holding it that this was something special. This unique instrument was like nothing I’d ever played before. Previously I had only seen them in pictures or on stage being played by artists such as Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters or occasionally by Rusty Anderson while playing with Paul McCartney.

The first thing that catches your eye is the distinctive diamond shaped “F” holes in the body. This guitar is similar in size and feel to a standard Gibson ES-335 which I talked about in a previous blog, however, this Trini Lopez model was on an entirely different level than other 335’s I’ve played. When I plugged it in it immediately came to life. The two original patent number embossed humbuckers screamed into action. The playability was fantastic. The guitar has what I would describe as a medium neck profile and a slightly higher action, but still very playable.

Trini Lopez the artist was know as one of the premier guitarists and songwriters of the early 60’s. Gibson first honored the “Original Latin Pop Superstar” in late 1964 by introducing two very distinct models with his name on them. The first was the Trini Lopez Deluxe model, designed after Gibson’s Barney Kessel model. The other was a thin body, semi hollow electric similar to the ES-335 and called the Trini Lopez Standard.

Ownership of a Trini Lopez original is very high on my guitar “bucket list.” Of course, as a humble guitar player, I may have to win the Lottery to get one. If that happens, there will probably be more than just one! Honestly, vintage or reissue I’d love to have at least one of these in my collection!

Thanks to CME for letting me come in and play whatever I want when I’m there. Also, thanks to all of you that continue to check out my blogs!


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