UK Gibson distributor Selmer first included the Gibson Barney Kessel Regular and Custom in their 1965/1966, and the page here uses the same image and description as used back then. The models were actually listed in US catalogs much earlier, first appearing in the 1962 Gibson guitars and amplifiers catalog.
Note that in less than three years (September '65 to July '68) the price of these guitars in the UK had skyrocketed, with an above 50% increase in price of the Regular (230gns to 350 gns) and a 45% increase in the Custom (310 gns to 450gns). Naturally with inflation prices rise, but in a similar period (June 1965 - June 1968) the US prices of these guitars rose by just 28% (Barney Kessel Regular) and 22% (Barney Kessel Custom). Actually, the December 1967 Selmer price list shows even higher prices still 370gns and 465gns, marking a whopping 61% and 50% rise in the Regular and Custom respectively. A UK government purchase tax increase was due in March 1968 (increasing Purchase Tax on non-essential goods from the existing rate of 27 1/2% to 33 1/3%), and may have accounted for some of the December '67 rise, however Selmer's price rise looks nothing short of opportunistic and excessive. Sales must have been affected, however, as these extreme prices were tempered for mid 1968. In any case, Gibson guitars, already hugely expensive, got a lot more so over these years.
Laminated spruce arched top and laminated maple back. Slim, fast, low-action neck joins body at 14th threat. Three-piece curly maple neck, adjustable truss rod, 20 fret rosewood fingerboard with split block pearl inlays. Adjustable bridge. Powerful twin humbucking pick-ups… Separate tone and volume controls can be pre-set. Three position toggle switch to activate either or both pick ups. Gold-plated metal parts on the Custom model
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