Gibson
Brand Gibson
Type Les Paul Standard
Year 1958
Serial number Unknown
Additional info

This is very rare and expensive original Gibson Les Paul from 1958. Mark got the guitar in 1995. It was his favourite guitar during the the Golden heart tour in 1996 and was used on a lot of songs. It can also be heart on the albums Sailing to Philadelphia, Shangri-La, Kill to get crimson, Get lucky and Privateering.

Click here for a nice magazine cover featuring this guitar. The Japanese magazine The guitar featured a great article in 2001 listing all of Mark Knopfler's guitars which he used on the Sailing to Philadelphia tour 2001. The article featured seperate photos of each of these guitars. Click here for a photo of the Les Paul Standard from 1958.

 

Brand Gibson
Type Les Paul Standard
Year 1959
Serial number Unknown
Additional info

Another rare and expensive guitar is this original 1959 Gibson Les Paul. Mark bought this guitar in 1995 or 1996. It is used in tours as a duplicate guitar for '58 Les Paul. Recognizable on the red colours on the outside of the edges which are less faded compared to the '58 Les Paul. Live used for Song for Sonny Liston and Why aye man.

The Japanese magazine The guitar featured a great article in 2001 listing all of Mark Knopfler's guitars which he used on the Sailing to Philadelphia tour 2001. The article featured seperate photos of each of these guitars. Click here for a photo of the Les Paul Standard from 1959.

 

Brand Gibson
Type Les Paul Standard Reissue '59
Year 1983
Serial number 90006
Additional info

This is a reissue of a 1959 Les Paul Standard. Mark got it from Rudy Pensa in 1984. It was Mark's first own Gibson Les Paul Standard. It was modified to get special sound effects.

The guitar was used on Money for nothing, Brothers in arms and on You and your friend. This picture is taken in July 2011 by Guy Fletcher during the recording sessions for Mark's album Privateering. Mark talked about the recording of Money for nothing in the
Guitar & Bass magazine from May 2005. Click here for an extract of that interview.

 

Brand Gibson
Type Les Paul Standard Reissue '59
Year Most likely 1985
Serial number 12849
Additional info
This is a custom made Les Paul Standard reissue. This guitar was built for Mark by Gibson Custom Shop with his birthdate as the serial number (12th August 1949). Mark used this guitar on stage during the Brothers in arms tour 1985-1986 and on Live Aid, 13th July 1985.

In an interview, Mark said: "That was a nice guitar, but it was all about fancy-looking tops, you know? I think a lot of English players actually prefer the plain top, which I do. My '58s kind of a yellowish top, and I really like that, a pale burst. I'm not a big fan of all this over-glossy tiger-stripe thing."

 

Brand Gibson
Type Les Paul R9 Reissue
Year Most likely 2010-2011
Serial number Unknown
Additional info
This is a custom made blue Les Paul R9 Reissue. Mark used this guitar on Brothers in arms during the early shows of European 2011 tour together with Bob Dylan. For that song, it was tuned a bit different compared to the '58 Les Paul that Mark usually uses for this song. Mark decided to go back to his '58 shortly after using it. Mark kept using this guitar during the European 2011 tour on Why aye man and Song for Sonny Liston. Click here for another picture of Mark and this guitar.

 

Brand Gibson
Type Mark Knopfler 1958 Les Paul
Year 2016
Serial number Unknown
Additional info
In October 2016, Gibson released a new guitar built by Gibson Custom Shop: the Mark Knopfler 1958 Les Paul. It is a precise replica of Mark's original and very expensive 1958 Les Paul.

Gibson issued three versions of it: VOS (Vintage Original Spec, limited to 150 worldwide), Aged (limited to 75 worldwide) and Aged & Signed by Mark Knopfler (limited to 50 worldwide). Mark signed these 50 guitars in his own British Grove Studios in November 2016.

On the back of the headstock, the serial number can be found. The VOS model simply spells MK, the Aged version the full name KNOPFLER and on the Aged & Signed you'll get the signature and serial number, both in Mark's hand writing.

Mark played the new issued model himself live for the first time during the Bill Wyman's 80th birthday party on 28th October 2016 on the song Playtime Deluxe. You can recognize the guitar as being the new model by the golden sticker that is still on the guitar.


 

Brand Gibson
Type SG
Year Mid-sixties
Serial number Unknown
Additional info Mark Knopfler used this guitar on Two young lovers during the Love over gold tour 1982-1983. Click here for another picture of Mark and this Gibson SG.
 

 

Brand Gibson
Type Chet Atkins
Year 1982
Serial number A027
Additional info
This is an electric classical guitar. The guitar has a solid body, a piezo pick-up under the bridge and nylon strings.

Mark used it on Private investigations, Love over gold and the outro of Romeo and Juliet during the Love over gold tour 1982-1983. During the Brothers in arms tour 1985-1986, it was used on Your latest trick, Private investigations and So far away (Calypso version) in 1985-1986. Later it was replaced with the Ramirez Spanish guitar.
 

 

Brand Gibson
Type Super 400 CES
Year 1953
Serial number A22087
Additional info
A very rare and expensive guitar. Mark used this guitar on Fade to black on the On every street album (1991).

On stage, the guitar was used on Run me down during the 1990 UK tour of The Notting Hillbillies and on Your latest trick during the On every street world tour 1991-1992. In 2004, Mark used the guitar again to play Blue moon of Kentucky and Baby let's play house at the tribute show for Elvis Presley.

Click here for a picture of this guitar backstage during the On every street tour.

 

Brand Gibson
Type ES-330
Year 1958
Serial number Unknown
Additional info This picture was taken by Guy Fletcher on 3rd June 2001 with the comment: "Mark's 1958 Gibson 330 was let out for the day (as we're in London). Mark insisted I take a shot of it in the dressing room..."

 

Brand Gibson
Type ES-330
Year 1960
Serial number Unknown
Additional info This picture is taken by Guy Fletcher in the studio in March 2009. The ES-330 from 1960 is indicated by the red arrow.
The guitar was used on Behind with the rent and Madame Geneva's on the Kill to get crimson album.

 

Brand Gibson
Type ES-335
Year 1958
Serial number Unknown
Additional info On the Sailing to Philadelphia tour (2001), Mark used it on Wag the dog and Baloney again.

In March 2009, Guy Fletcher took a picture in the studio featuring the various 330/335 guitars. After seeing this picture, a guy on a Les Paul forum mentioned: "That's my old 58 ES-335 in the pic with the LP Special. I sold it to Rudy for a phone # price and I'm sure Mark paid plenty! It was MINT and a real player - perfect neck set and great playability with a full-size ABR-1." Click here for a picture that was posted by this person who owned this guitar. This early 1958 has no fretboard binding.

The Japanese magazine The guitar featured a great article in 2001 listing all of Mark Knopfler's guitars which he used on the Sailing to Philadelphia tour 2001. The article featured seperate photos of each of these guitars. Click here for a photo of this Gibson ES-335.

 

Brand Gibson
Type ES-335
Year 1959
Serial number Unknown
Additional info This guitar was used on Baloney again on the Sailing to Philadelphia album. Click here for a nice magazine cover of Guitarist, October 2002, featuring this same guitar. Mark Knopfler mentions in the interview that it is the ES-335 (blonde) from 1959.

And in Vintage Guitar Magazin from May 2001 this is mentioned:

VGM: The picture inside "Sailing to Philadelphia" shows you in a gymnasium with a Gibson ES-335TDN and a tweed Fender amp.

MK: It’s a pretty good combination; I played it on “Baloney again” That’s a ’59 335 – again with a nice, fat neck – that I got through Rudy, and the amp is a ’59 Bassman.

 

 

Brand Gibson
Type ES-335
Year 1960
Serial number Unknown
Additional info This picture is taken by Guy Fletcher in the studio in March 2009. The ES-335 from 1960 is indicated by the red arrow.

 

Brand Gibson
Type Advanced Jumbo
Year 1938
Serial number Unknown
Additional info Mark used this guitar during the Chet Atkins Musician Days in Nashville in June 1998 and during the Sailing to Philadelphia promo tour in 2000 for Baloney again. On the Sailing to Philadelphia album, it was also used on Speedway at Nazareth and Wanderlust. The guitar is later used on Before gas and TV and Remembrance Day on the Get lucky album (2009). It is also pictured on the litho print in the Tracker box-set.

 

Brand Gibson
Type Southerner Jumbo
Year 1953
Serial number Unknown
Additional info Mark used this guitar on Sailing to Philadelphia, All that matters, Back to Tupelo and Sucker row. It is also pictured on the litho print in the Tracker box-set.

 

Brand Gibson
Type Les Paul Special
Year 1958
Serial number Unknown
Additional info This picture is taken by Guy Fletcher in the studio in March 2009. The Les Paul Special is indicated by the red arrow.

 

Brand Gibson
Type Les Paul Special
Year 1959
Serial number Unknown
Additional info This is Mark's first Gibson guitar, he bought it in 1971. Mark used it on Cafe Racers and on the first Dire Straits album. The upper picture was taken on a gig with the Cafe Racers in 1976, a few years before Dire Straits. This 1959 edition has two cutaways while the 1958 version has just one.

This is what Mark Knopfler said in an old interview:
We played in pubs in London. I just had this thirty-watt amplifier; we used to stick it up on two wooden chairs," he recalls nostalgically. "I used to play a Gibson Les Paul Special with a pick. It was a double-cutaway Les Paul Special that had been refinished black, probably a 1960. I bought it for 80; this would have been around 1971. My friend Steve Phillips and I painstakingly stripped it and got it back to its original cherry finish, and it was everything to me. I don't know whether I slept with it, but it wasn't far off. I absolutely adored it, and still do. I used it in the Straits when we started. I was actually just looking at a picture of us when we played on Clapham Common [London, 12th October 1977] for Charlie Gillett, and there I am playing the Special. So that's where Gibson started in my life, and that guitar will always have a special place in my heart.”

The lower picture
was taken before Farrer House, Church Street, Deptford at the very first Dire Straits gig on 9th July 1977. As you can see, by then the guitar was already refinished into the cherry colour and the Bigsby Vibrato was removed.

 

Brand Gibson
Type J200
Year Unknown
Serial number Unknown
Additional info Mark used this guitar on various performances together with Chet Atkins. For example used by Mark at the Secret Policeman's third Ball in 1987 to perform Imagine and I'll see you in my dreams.

 

Brand Gibson
Type Dove
Year 1965
Serial number Unknown
Additional info This acoustic guitar was used on the song Piper to the end. I have no picture of Mark with the guitar. This picture is taken from the limited edition litho print that could be bought during the Get lucky tour 2010.

 

Brand Gibson
Type Chet Atkins Country Gentleman
Year Unknown
Serial number Unknown
Additional info The upper picture is taken at the Chet Atkins Musician Days in Nashville, June 1998. Is Chet giving this guitar to Mark here? The term Country Gentleman has been synonymous with Chet Atkins since the 1950s. Gibson revived Chet's famous archtop model in 1987. This picture is taken from the Premier Guitar website, article from November 2009.

The lower picture is taken by Guy Fletcher at a soundcheck during the Shangri-La tour, Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, USA, 13th July 2005. The show was in aid of the Chet Atkins Music Education Fund. Guy mentioned: On a couple of tunes, Mark and Richard used two of guitars which belonged to Chet. These came out of the Hall of fame for the evening.

It looks like the same guitar as the upper picture, but the colour of the body and switch are more red. Is it a different guitar or is it just another light that creates a different colour and is it actually the same guitar as above?

 

Brand Gibson
Type L-5 CES
Year 1960
Serial number Unknown
Additional info This is a very rare photo featuring Mark Knopfler's Gibson L-5 CES (right guitar). Mark used this guitar on The Notting Hillbillies album Missing... presumed having a good time (1990). The guitar on the left, a Gibson Super 400, belongs to Steve Phillips and was also used on that album. Click here and here for a picture of Mark playing that guitar.

 

Brand Gibson
Type ES 175D
Year 1960
Serial number 510514
Additional info Mark got this guitar from Rudy Pensa in the 80's and used it on Would you could you on Willy DeVille's album Assassin of love (1987). This picture is taken from the Mark Knopfler Guitar Styles book, so it is Mark's actual guitar. Unfortunately, I have no picture of Mark playing this guitar, but there is a picture of Richard Bennett playing it during the Get lucky recording sessions, March 2009. Click here for a picture taken from the Love over gold tour book which shows the guitars that were used for that album. The Gibson ES 175D can be seen in the middle. It has also been used on the Brothers in arms album. And here you can see the guitar in the background of Mark during the Let it be session in 1987.

 

Brand Gibson
Type ES 5
Year 1951
Serial number Unknown
Additional info The picture on the left was taken by Guy Fletcher during the recording sessions at British Grove Studios, February 2014.

Click here for a picture can be found in both the "Live in 85" and "Live in 85/6" tour books. This Gibson has been used for the recording of the Brothers in arms album. See also a picture here of John Illsley in the live room at AIR Montserrat, with a selection of guitars that were used on the album. The Gibson ES 5 is easy to recognize there.

Years later, Mark used it again on the 1990 UK tour of The Notting Hillbillies. Click here to see a picture of Mark using this guitar on a concert at The Academy, Plymouth, UK, 16th April 1990.

Click here for another picture taken in 1990 when Mark performed together with The Notting Hillbillies.

 

Brand Gibson
Type ES 5 Switchmaster
Year 1957
Serial number Unknown
Additional info These pictures are taken from the Mark Knopfler Guitar Styles books, so it is Mark's actual guitar. Unfortunately, I have no picture of Mark together with this guitar.

 

Brand Gibson
Type L-3
Year 1926
Serial number Unknown
Additional info This is actually Steve Phillips' own guitar and used on The Notting Hillbillies album Missing... presumed having a good time (1990).

 

Brand Gibson
Type J-45
Year Uknown
Serial number Unknown
Additional info When Mark is asked in an interview about the guitar he used on Iron hand (studio version), he answered: "That was an old [Gibson] J-45. I just sang and played. I wasn't feeling too well."  I don't have a photo of Mark playing this guitar and the picture shown on the left is also not Mark's actual guitar, but a similar model.

 

Brand Gibson
Type Chet Atkins SST prototype
Year 1999
Serial number Unknown
Additional info Mark got this guitar which Chet Atkins signed for him on the body. It says: For Mark, a great friend and musician, Chet Atkins, CGP '99.

It is a one of a kind Gibson 'Chet Atkins' SST prototype which Mark gave away to be on display in the Country Music Hall of fame. This is one of several guitars which Chet gave to Mark. Click here for another picture of the guitar and here for the award of appreciation Mark received on 18th April 2002.

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