Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and Gibson’s Cesar Gueikian share the story behind Greeny’s ‘59 Les Paul sibling

Kirk Hammett and Cesar Gueikian
(Image credit: Ross Halfin)

There are few, if any, electric guitars as coveted as the sunburst 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard. And the ’59 burst known as Greeny – made famous by Fleetwood Mac legend Peter Green, later played by Irish blues-rock great Gary Moore and, since 2014, owned by Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, who has made it a staple of his work with Metallica – is one of the crown jewels of what is already a beloved model. 

With its trio of esteemed owners, heavily weathered appearance (and backwards-installed neck pickup) and coveted out-of-phase middle-position tone, Greeny is, no doubt, one-of-a-kind.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.