Keith Richards’ Maton Supreme Electric 777
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This is the guitar that Keith used for the recording of Gimme Shelter and Midnight Rambler from the 1969 album Let it Bleed. According to an interview Keith gave to Guitar World magazine in 2002, the guitar belonged to a guy who stayed at his London apartment for a while.
He crashed out for a couple of days and suddenly left in a hurry, leaving that guitar behind. You know, “Take care of this for me.” I certainly did! It served me well through the album.From the Archive: The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards Looks Back on 40 Years of Making Music
However, by the end of the recording sessions the guitar literally fell apart in Keith’s hands.
It had all been revarnished and painted out, but it sounded great. It made a great record. And on the very last note of “Gimme Shelter” the whole neck fell off. You can hear it on the original take.From the Archive: The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards Looks Back on 40 Years of Making Music
As far as the specs, the guitar featured a hollow body design with two “f” holes. Based on the photos, it was equipped with two single-coil pickups, and a Bigsby B6 tremolo. The part about it being “revarnished” is possible but seems unlikely. The finish on the photo looks practically factory new, and the wood grain is clearly visible below it.
The original guitar is still owned by Keith, and was recently presented on display as part of the “Exhibitionism,” an interactive multimedia exhibition of the Rolling Stones’ career. [Exhibit: Guitars, clothes and grunge part of Rolling Stones display]. Nowadays he also owns a replica made by Maton, and delivered to him in 2014. [Revealed: Famous Stones riff an ‘Australian sound’]
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