Iconic Guitars

Vintage guitars, re-issues and relics found on the web or in stores

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Your five iconic guitars

Gibson Lifestyle has just put out a list of five iconic guitars from the Gibson Custom Shop. I know they limit themselves to currently sold models but I beg to disagree with that list (come on...the Johnny A. when you have the Jeff Beck LP 54 Oxblood advertised on the same page!).

So let me propose my list of six iconic Gibson electric guitars (couldn't get it down to 5). I'd be interested to get your lists in the comments.

1. The Gibson Les Paul Slash VOS

I'm talking about the replica of the Les Paul Slash took on tour for Apetite for Destruction in 1989 that the Custom Shop issued in 2008 (400 were made)
I own one: it is beautiful with its barebone style and VOS finish. The sound is just amazing - what heavy tone you get through those Seymour Duncan Alnico II pickups.
You regularly find some on eBay at around the same price it costed when it came out.

2. The Robby Krieger SG

Nothing rocks as much as a good old SG. I covered the Robby Krieger SG in details when it was announced as the newest addition to the Inspired By collection in the Gibson Custom Shop. I feel this was the biggest miss in the Gibson Lifesyle list.

3. The 1959 Korina Flying V

What a stunning guitar. You can't get more iconic than that for it was such a breakthrough design back then. And it still stands out. The Custom Shop Flying V especially stands out with its minimalist natural finish. Even the gold hardware that I am usually not a big fan of looks awesome on this V! It has the original configuration, notably with the through the body V tail piece.
Of course I had to have a Flying V in the list since I am a sucker for those - yet I'm banned by my wife to buy one :)

4. The 1958 Les Paul Plain Top VOS

To me, the best reissue from the three "hot" years of the Les Paul (1958, 1959, 1960). Hands down. I like that '58 LP's don't have flamed tops and I like their distinctive chunky necks which give you such a big sound. The VOS finish on the Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul reissues makes those guitar really beautiful and comfortable to play. Every time I take one for a ride in a store, I get smashed on the wall by the heavy tone. Just start playing Whole Lotta Love on one of these and you'll see what I mean.
This guitar would actually be first on my wishlist.

5. The EDS 1275 Double Neck

Probably a cheesy choice. I can hear you scream "No Stairway to Heaven" like in the guitar shop of Wayne's World. Yet, I'm sure you're also thinkink -like Wayne: "one day she will be mine". The instant Jimmy Page grabbed one, it became an iconic guitar. And I had to have a Jimmy Page guitar on that list - unfortunately, the Gibson Les Paul Jimmy Page Signature model is not available anymore. Slash also used to play a black Double Neck 1275 during the Use Your Illusions tour, notably for Knockin' on Heaven's Door - as made famous by their Tokyo live videos and their performance at the Freddy Mercury tribute. Give me a guitar tech to carry it and change the strings and I'll definitely add one of these to my collection.

6. BB King Lucille!

What an iconic guitar too. I had to have it one the list! Plus my list had to have a semi-hollow body guitar on it. I have played a Lucille in stores a few times and the tone and sustain are un-be-lie-vable. It's very very BB King. Very very bluesy. The look is a bit too much and a bit too retro but still. Oh, and I like the absence of F-holes (I'd like to know the story for that). BB King wrote and rightly so: "Lucille is real, when I play her it's almost like hearing words, and of course, naturally I hear cries."

Voila! :) This is my list. What's yours?