Gibson adds Kirk Hammett’s 1960 “Sunny” Les Paul Standard to its Certified Vintage Collection

Kirk Hammett holding a 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard
(Image credit: Ross Halfin)

Gibson has bolstered its blossoming Certified Vintage Collection of electric guitars with a model affectionately named “Sunny” – a 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard previously owned by Kirk Hammett.

1960-dated Les Pauls are rare and valuable as they are, so Sunny’s connection to the metal guitar great makes it even more special, with the heavily used six-string set to join the collection of ultra-exclusive vintage guitars that are to be sold via the Gibson Garage under the Certified Vintage Collection umbrella.

The latest inductee – which we don’t imagine will be hanging around for long – was originally sold by its first owner’s widow to a prominent collector in the ‘80s, before featuring in the 1996 book, The Beauty of the Burst.

From there, it changed hands and was eventually bought by Hammett, who is said to have used it extensively until 2022.

In a statement, Hammett paid tribute to Sunny’s “immaculate condition” and lauded its “present and bright” tone, which was the inspiration behind the guitar’s affectionate nickname.

“Sunny is special because not only is she in immaculate condition, but her tone is so present and bright, it’s like the sun cutting through clouds on an overcast day,” Hammett commented. “Hence the name ‘Sunny.’ That’s the truth. The name came because she was so full and bright sounding.”

In terms of specs, Sunny sports a Honduras mahogany body and two-piece figured maple top, as well as a 22-fret Brazilian rosewood fingerboard. Other original appointments include an ABR-1 bridge, a pair of PAF humbuckers and a Stop Bar tailpiece.

As an added bonus, the inside of the control cavity cover – which houses Bumblebee capacitors and Centralab potentiometers dating back to 1959 – flashes the signature of Les Paul himself.

As for restorative efforts, it’s seemingly only the tuners that have been changed, though they were swapped for period-accurate '50s-era Kluson replacements.

The new custodian of Sunny will, as well as the guitar itself, receive a whole bunch of extras that will come as part of what will undoubtedly be an eye-watering price tag. These include a one-of-one book from Gibson Publishing that contains photography of the guitar and a new interview with Hammett himself.

Oh, and get this – the buyer will also get another literal Les Paul with a choice of either a VOS, Gloss or Murphy Lab-aged finish from Gibson Custom’s Made 2 Measure program.

Gibson announced the Certified Vintage program earlier this year, introducing it as an opportunity for customers to buy some of the rarest, most exclusive models from the brand’s history directly via its Garage.

The initial drop comprised a ‘59 Les Paul, an ‘82 Moderne, a ‘61 Les Paul SG Standard and a handful of semi-hollow models, while the first expansion pack contained a Designer Series Flying V from ‘85 and what was theorized to be possibly the first ‘59 Les Paul reissue ever produced.

For more information on the guitar, and the Certified Vintage Collection, head over to Gibson.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.