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Gibson to auction Paul McCartney-, Slash-played Les Paul guitars for Ukraine relief

Three custom-made Gibson Les Paul guitars featuring the colors of the Ukrainian flag
(Image credit: Gibson)

Guitar giant Gibson has created a number of special Les Paul electric guitars in honor of Ukraine, which remains at war with Russia.

The guitars – each of which are finished in the Azure blue and gold colors of the Ukrainian flag – have been used onstage over the summer by the likes of Paul McCartney, Slash and Fher Olvera of Maná, and are set to be auctioned off later this year to raise funds for humanitarian aid for the Ukrainian people.

Also set to go under the hammer are autograph books that have traveled alongside the guitars, which have been signed by McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Slash, Olvera, Nile Rodgers, Mark Knopfler, Lzzy Hale, Margo Price, Alex Lifeson, Blossoms, The Fratellis, Kasabian, Madness, Maisie Peters, Paloma Faith, The Charlatans, The Vaccines, Toyah, My Chemical Romance, and actor Jason Momoa.

Paul McCartney plays a custom Ukrainian flag Gibson Les Paul onstage

(Image credit: MJ Kim)

Bidding for all of these items will open – via Julien’s Auctions (opens in new tab) – on October 11, and will conclude with a live auction that will take place, both online and in-person at the New York Hard Rock Cafe, from November 11 through November 13.

All proceeds from the auction will go to humanitarian need for the people of Ukraine, as well as rebuilding efforts once the conflict ends.

Slash plays a custom Gibson Les Paul sporting the colors of the Ukrainian flag onstage

(Image credit: Katarina Benzova)

“I’m happy to auction this beautiful guitar of mine to benefit the fine people of Ukraine,” McCartney said in a statement. “Hopefully it will help them through this aggressive Russian invasion.”

“It is an honor to represent the brave sovereign state of Ukraine,” added Slash. “I'm proud to support them during this conflict.” 

“Once again, Gibson Gives rises to the occasion!” said Rush's Alex Lifeson. “I’m proud to count myself in as a supporter of the Guitars For Peace initiative in aid of the people of Ukraine.”

In addition to the auctioning of the guitars and autographed books, Gibson has created a Guitars For Peace T-shirt, the proceeds from which will also go to Ukraine via the Disasters Emergency Committee (opens in new tab). A portion of the funds raised will also be used to re-establish music programs in Ukraine after the war ends.

To purchase a Guitars For Peace T-shirt, visit Bonfire.com (opens in new tab).

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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player (opens in new tab). Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder (opens in new tab) and Unrecorded (opens in new tab). Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.