Gibson L6-S

PART 5 notable users

Carlos Santana - Santana

Carlos Santana endorsing the L-6S. From the cover of the 1975 Gibson solid-body catalogue.

Carlos Santana endorsing the L-6S. From the cover of the 1975 Gibson solid-body catalogue

Carlos Santana endorsing the L-6S. From a 1974 music publication.
Carlos Santana endorsing the L-6S. From a 1976 music publication.

1974 and 1976 Gibson L-6S adverts

Carlos Santana started playing the L6-S in 1974 - he heaped praise upon it in the November '74 issue of Guitar Player magazine, and by 1975 was on the cover of the Gibson solid-body catalogue, and further magazine adverts as an endorsee.

Oh, I just flipped over this Gibson L6-S. It's not like i'm endorsing it, but that axe is beautiful. It's got more accessible frets, and the pickups are just incredible. With the controls, I can make it sound like a Stratocaster, a Telecaster, an SG, or a Les Paul - I get them all. It has a very fast fingerboard, and it's clean sounding.

Within a couple years Santana was endorsing Yamaha guitars. From June 1978's edition of Guitar Player magazine: The reason I left Gibson was because I feel like they're McDonalds now; they just wrap a hamburger and throw it at you... Yamaha to me, is more like my wife at Thanksgiving.

Yamaha came out with a guitar called a Super Combinator, and the body looks like a takeoff on a Stratocaster, but it's got all those phases that the L6-S has. It sounds like a Telecaster, or like a Strat with the switch between the pickup positions. That's why I liked the L6-S - because it was a Gibson, but it sounded almost like a Strat. But i've got to tell you the truth: that guitar was like a General Motors car - within two months, man, something would always go out. I found myself almost bleeding to sustain a note, and I know it wasn't all the amps fault.


Keith Richards - Rolling Stones

Keith Richards was a Gibson endorsing artist in the middle 1970s, most famously appearing on the cover of the 1975 Les Paul catalogue, but he has been pictured with a natural L6-S, which he received on a visit to the Kalamazoo plant in July 1975.


Al DiMeola

Al DiMeola in his 1977 Gibson advertisement for the L6-S Custom

Jazz guitarist Al DiMeola appeared in this 1977 advertisement for the L6-S playing an ebony Custom.


Johnny Borrell - Razorlight

Johnny Borrell of Razorlight playing his Gibson L-6S Custom
Johnny Borrell of Razorlight playing his Gibson L-6S Deluxe

Johnny Borrell of Razorlight plays two L-6S guitars, left: a natural L-6S Deluxe, far left: Tobacco Sunburst L-6S Custom.

I just got a new guitar! And I got a new amp, so I’ve now got two amps onstage and two guitars exactly the same. And they’re very rare – not expensive, but very rare. It’s a Gibson L6S and they were only made for about five years in the ‘70s, and now I have two of them. So my life is fucking great! Hehehe. I’ve got a Marshall stack, a fucking Vox, and two beautiful guitars. Know what I mean? What more could I want?

Photos courtesey of photographer Sophie Jarry, quotation from an interview with Johnny Borrell on drowned in sound website

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Gibson 1973 L6S Custom With Hard Case

Current price: $1224.95
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Gibson 1974 L6S Deluxe with Case

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Gibson 1981 Silverburst L6 S Body & Neck

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1981 Gibson L-6S SILVERBURST

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RLSchwinden Comment left 14th September 2016 07:07:18 reply
Paul Stanley of:KISS played a White '74 Midnight Special told to me by Him in Dec'82. Dave Davies: KINKS played a Blonde L6-S in 1975 for "School Boys" LP & Tour. told to me by him in May'02 Barry Goodreau of: BOSTON played a Blonde L6-S in 1977. DEVO: 2 guitar players used Blonde L6-S in 1978 I have played a modified Black L6-S (in KISS Tribute) since 1984 ... Rik (MrZerr0)