Ike Everly Guitar #23

photos by Lorelei Rubik (

Ike Everly guitar #23 is a very special guitar in so many ways. It is the 23rd Ike Everly model guitar made by master luthier, Robert Steinegger. There are about 55 or so Ike Everly models in existence today, built over many years. Most are black with black pick guards. There are one or two blonde ones with cherry back and sides, with one cutaway. There is one left handed one that was custom made for Paul McCartney. George Harrison was given one after an Everly Brothers concert.

It’s basically a J185 shape, but made much deeper to give a fuller sound.  The Gibson Everly Brothers models, while beautiful, were made narrow to be easier stage guitars.  And they do look great, but it was not the fullest sounding guitar. The Ike Everly solved this with it’s deeper body.  

They, of course, have the full Everly brothers treatment.  Stars on the fretboard, two pickguards mimicking the one Lefty Frizzell used, but having two, instead of one.  The Ike Everly looks like a Gibson Everly guitar but with no compromises.

My name is Jason Everly and my father, Phil, gave Ike Everly #23 to me when I was about 19. It was sort of a right of passage for my father to give me one of these.  I knew how significant it was at the time and I couldn’t believe it. I had my own Everly. I’ve played it all over the world. My father has too. Quick story…

During one of the Everly Brothers tours, one of the tour trucks was broken into and my father and my uncle Don’s guitars were stolen along with one of Albert Lee’s Mandolins.  My uncle’s guitar was recovered, but my fathers wasn’t. I’m not sure about Albert’s Mandolin. Dad called frantically for me to send him mine. I did and didn’t see it again for over a year.  

I recently changed the pickguards to tortoise shell from the normal black pickguards.  Robert Steinegger made them for me many years ago, but I never put them on. It reminds me of the original Gibson Everly Brothers model this way and it reminds me of my father.

Writing this makes me miss him more than normal, but it also reminds me how lucky I am to have this story to tell.

God Bless

Jason Everly

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