Gibson has created a limited-edition guitar honouring the late Soundgarden and Audioslave singer Chris Cornell. The Chris Cornell Tribute ES-335 guitar was set to be unveiled at the “I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell” concert on Jan. 16 at The Forum in Los Angeles.
Cornell died on May 18, 2017, after taking his own life. He openly struggled with depression. While his death was devastating for many, his legacy will live on through his music and instruments such as the Gibson guitar.
“Chris Cornell was not only one of the most iconic singer-songwriters of all time, but he was also a modern innovator who left a legacy that transcends music genres and generations,” said Cesar Gueikian, chief merchant officer, Gibson, via Blabbermouth. “It is our honour to release this tribute ES-335 in his memory. It’s a guitar Chris fell in love with and which became a part of his creative expression. Chris was a special artist and we hope that this guitar will inspire fans to find their sound, and inspiration, just like Chris did, for many years to come.”
Cornell had worked with Gibson in the past to develop the original ES-355 Artist Model. The musician was greatly involved in the guitar’s design and development. The tribute guitar is bathed in an olive drab satin finish and features aged Lollartron humbucking pickups, clear “no number” top hat knobs, and a mother-of-pearl Chris Cornell “signature” peghead inlay.
Just 250 of these guitars will be made available beginning in spring 2019.
Meanwhile, the “I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell” concert, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, was expected to feature several star-studded bands, including Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Audioslave, the Foo Fighters, and Metallica.
Proceeds from ticket sales were allotted towards The Chris And Vicky Cornell Foundation and The Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation. Gibson also donated two of the limited-edition models to raise additional money for both charities.
Cornell shot to popularity during the ‘90s grunge movement. He was considered one of the best lead singers of all time by various outlets, including Rolling Stone, Guitar World, and MTV.
Soundgarden was one of the most popular bands during the ‘90s. Hit singles include “Spoonman” and “Black Hole Sun,” both of which won Grammy Awards. Cornell also released four solo albums and was the lead vocalist of Audioslave from 2001 through 2007.