Gibson Unveils Billy Gibbons 'Pearly Gates' Les Paul
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Gibson Custom announced a guitar fit for every sharp dressed man, the Billy Gibbons Pearly Gates Limited Edition Les Paul Standard. And now you can own it. Billy Gibbons’ favorite axe has always been his beloved Pearly Gates -– a rare 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard with legendary angelic qualities. It has appeared on every track of every ZZ Top album to date, and sings with a “God-like voice” unlike any other guitar. And now, the master craftsmen at Gibson Custom have recreated it in excruciating detail – right down to the last scratch and ding. Gibbons’ legendary Pearly Gates –- a rare 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard –- is like no other guitar in the world. The Gibson Custom Shop and Billy Gibbons himself took painstaking steps to make sure the replica of this sacred instrument is true to its every form. There are three different models, all in very limited quantities.
Gibbons was a young musician weaned on blues and rock in Texas. After years of listening to such greats as Eric Clapton, Gibbons began his search for his first Les Paul guitar. His search included a ’58 Flying V but the guitar that he was destined to find and nickname “Pearly Gates” was a ’59 Les Paul. It didn’t come to Gibbons right away but through a girlfriend, a thirties model Packard automobile and part in a movie. Gibbons notes that in the early days of the band they acquired a Packard automobile. It was a huge vehicle that caused a stir on the road. Not long after they acquired the vehicle one of their girlfriends needed a way to get to California to try out for a movie part. The band gave her the Packard to get there and the girlfriend got the part. Thinking the car had special powers, they named it “Pearly Gates.” Later the girlfriend sold the car to a collector and sent the money to the band. The money arrived the same day Gibbons got an offer to buy an old guitar, a ’59 Sunburst Les Paul, he bought it. After calling the girlfriend to discuss the circumstances both agreed that the money went for a good cause and since it came from the Packard they decided to keep the name “Pearly Gates” for the guitar and the rest is history. Billy continues to make divine music to this day on the legendary instrument. The ’59 Gibson Les Paul is one of the most desirable guitars today.
The Billy Gibbons ‘Pearly Gates’ Les Paul Standard will be produced in a very limited quantity of only 350 guitars – 250 will receive Gibson Custom’s patented V.O.S. finish, 50 will be aged to look exactly like the original Pearly Gates, and another 50 will aged and personally signed and played by Gibbons himself.
Figured maple tops selected just for ‘Pearly Gates:’ Each one was carefully selected especially for the Gibbons’ ‘Pearly Gates’ model, and each is as beautiful as the top that adorns the original.
Carefully matched Heritage Cherry Sunburst finish: Gibson Custom has matched the faded Heritage Cherry Sunburst finish almost perfectly. The naturally darkened edges give way to the beautiful patterns of the maple grain. Even the original’s distinct red mahogany back is intact. Granted, no two guitars could ever have exactly the same top and finish.
Get Billy’s tone with Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates humbuckers: Gibbons uses Pearly Gates only in the studio. In concert, he relies on Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates humbuckers to replicate its legendary tone.
Built like Billy’s original Pearly Gates in every way: No detail was overlooked. There’s all nickel hardware, gold top hat control knobs, vintage Kluson-style tulip tuners, and a lightweight aluminum string-over stopbar that lets you set up the strings just like Billy. The one-piece mahogany neck with a 1959 rounded profile also sports the same long-neck tenon found in every Les Paul Standard from Gibson’s Golden Era. You also get period-correct CTS potentiometers and bumble bee capacitors.
The Billy Gibbons Pearly Gates with photo print signed/framed, COA in Pearloid with black stamped lettering, case sock with signature and Pearl Gates printed on front, case lid with silk screened signature has an MSRP of $25,882 USD. The Billy Gibbons Pearly Gates with COA signed, case sock with signature and Pearly Gates printed on front, case lid with silk screened signature has an MSRP of $15,294 USD. The Billy Gibbons Pearly Gates with COA, printed signature, case sock with signature and Pearly Gates, case lid with silk screened signature has an MSRP of $11,176 USD.
All details at gibsoncustom.com.