Few Gibson Les Pauls are as revered as the legendary “Greeny” model, which is now in the possession of Kirk Hammett after passing through the hands of Peter Green and Gary Moore.
Now, the Gibson Custom Shop and Murphy Lab teams have announced the Collector’s Edition 1959 Les Paul Standard Greeny Burst – a laboriously crafted electric guitar that is purported to be “an exacting replica of the original Greeny down to the finest detail”.
Owing to its illustrious history, both Gibson branches have pulled out all the stops to recreate the hand-made, ultra-limited Collector’s Edition Greeny Les Paul – which will be limited to 50 units, and only available directly from the Gibson Garage.
For a recap of its exploits, the ‘59 Burst was used by Peter Green throughout his time with Fleetwood Mac, and was fashioned with its trademark out-of-phase middle switch position after the neck pickup’s magnetic polarity was reversed.
Green later sold it to Moore – with the Northern Irishman using it for three decades with Thin Lizzy and as a solo artist – who in turn passed it on to Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, the axe’s current keeper.
Safe to say, the well-worn Les Paul has picked up a fair amount of wear and tear over the years, and it’s wear and tear that the newest Collector’s Edition model aims to precisely recreate, right down to the most minute scratches.
To do this, Gibson worked closely with Hammett through the prototyping process, and utilized comprehensive scanning and high-resolution macro images to identify every area of wear. The worn neck profile was also replicated using the same scanning technique.
The colorway was also matched to the original, and was aged using the ground-breaking techniques pioneered by Tom Murphy and the Murphy Lab.
In terms of specifics, the Greeny features a lightweight mahogany body with a two-piece figured maple top, which is complemented by single-ply cream binding around the top and fretboard.
Speaking of the fretboard, it’s composed from period-accurate Brazilian rosewood, which means the Collector’s Edition Greeny will only be available in the US owing to a CITES ban that bans the exporting of the rarer rosewood strain.
The ‘board is joined by a custom profile ‘59 Greeny neck, 22 frets, nylon nut and reissue Trapezoid inlays. Other touches at that end of the guitar include Sperzel tuners and an artfully aged headstock.
As for hardware, the Greeny features an ABR-1 bridge, lightweight nickel Stop Bar tailpiece, two true historic gold control knobs and a further two true historic gold knobs with silver inserts.
In the electronics department, meanwhile, two custom Greeny pickups make the cut, and have been honed in an effort to capture the original’s exact tone. Of course, the reverse-mounted neck humbucker features a flipped Alnico 2 magnet, with the control circuit featuring Bumblebee capacitors and vintage audio taper pots.
Included in the package is a stenciled hardshell case that bears the names of all three Greeny owners, a guitar pick tin with six Dunlop Kirk Hammett Jazz III picks, a Kirk Hammett black leather guitar strap and a certificate of authenticity with a signed picture of the Metallica man.
There’s also a chance that some lucky owners will receive an invitation from Gibson to take part in some other Greeny-related activities. These include an evening with Hammett himself, a welcome reception with Gibson’s leadership team, a tour of the Gibson Garage and Gibson Vault, and a visit to the Custom Shop.
No price for the guitar has been given, but given everything that’s gone into its creation, we imagine it will be quite substantial. As mentioned above, the guitar can only be ordered directly from the Gibson Garage.
However, on Gibson's announcement post, the company's brand president Cesar Gueikian commented, “This is just the beginning,” so whether a more affordable version of Greeny is currently in the works remains to be seen.
To find out more, visit Gibson.