With episodes featuring the likes of Slash, Joe Bonamassa and Rick Nielsen, Gibson TV’s The Collection series is a goldmine for guitar fans.
To continue its impressive form, Gibson TV has tapped Brad Whitford for its latest The Collection episode – a 55-minute marathon that sees the Aerosmith icon dissect his most beloved models.
From a mysterious 1953 Les Paul Goldtop that came with black parts all the way to his mental custom-made “Bitch Blue” B.C. Rich 8-string guitar, Whitford’s collection is quite the sight to behold, with episode host Mark Agnesi working to help unpick the history behind each model.
A particular highlight from the collection, though, is a 1958 Les Paul Custom Reissue model, whose hardcase still carries the mud it collected way back during Woodstock ‘94. An early Gibson Custom Shop piece that was hand-delivered to the gig by Tom Murphy, the zebra humbucker-loaded single-cut was used for Aerosmith’s entire set at the festival.
“I just fell in love with it,” he said of the guitar. “It’s got that terrific neck, with something different about it but something familiar.”
Elsewhere, Whitford showed off another instrument that personally connected him with the host: a 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard Goldtop that Whitford bought from Agnesi when the latter was working at Norman’s Rare Guitars.
The “time capsule” guitar was previously owned by a particularly precious owner, who cleaned it after every use and kept it stored in its case under the family sofa. In fact, the guitar came to Norman’s Rare Guitars in such perfect condition that the team were at first skeptical of its authenticity.
Whitford – along with Derek St. Holmes – can be seen jamming with that same guitar in a separate video posted to Norman’s Rare Guitars' YouTube channel six years ago.
Other honorable mentions from Whitford’s The Collection episode include a ‘68 Goldtop – purchased to replace Whitford’s first-ever Les Paul, which featured on the first Aerosmith album – a 1960 Les Paul Special Double Cut, and even a ‘56 Fender Stratocaster.
A common theme throughout Whitford’s collection is his evident love for the Gibson Les Paul – an affection that began way back when Whitford was listening to Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page, whose iconic tone first encouraged him to buy a Les Paul.
“I was into Zeppelin when that first record came out,” Whitford replied when asked about some of his biggest guitar heroes. “I got to see them on their second tour in the States, and their second album hadn’t come out yet but they were playing some tracks.
“Jimmy was playing his 'Burst through two stacks, and it was the best I ever saw him play,” he continued. “He played the solos from the first album note for note. I never saw Jimmy play like that again.
“I saw him play so beautifully and so spot on, and the very next day after that performance I bought my first Les Paul.”