With a legion of fans still worshiping his unparalleled shredding abilities 28 years after his blazing career was cut short, Randy Rhoads is firmly established as one of the brightest stars in the metal-guitar heavens. After forming Quiet Riot while still in his teens, Rhoads stepped up his game when Ozzy Osbourne asked him to audition for his own band in 1979.
Along came Rhoads, a practice amp in one hand, and his beloved 1974 Les Paul Custom in the other – and before the young guitarist had even finished his warm-up licks, Osbourne told him “you’ve got the gig.” What followed was an amazing ascent, but a too-swift ending, which earned Randy Rhoads a unique place in rock history.
To honor this achievement, Gibson Custom is releasing the Randy Rhoads 1974 Les Paul Custom, an instrument crafted in the image of Rhoads’s own much-loved, much-played instrument, and limited to only 100 hand-aged and 200 VOS guitars. Gibson artisans have worked closely with the Rhoads family to perfectly reproduce the exact rich amber color of the original guitar. Rendered in period detail, the Randy Rhoads 1974 Les Paul Custom captures the essence of this hard-rock favorite of the early ’70s, including numerous details that were particular to the model’s production for a relatively short period of time. Specific woods, pickups and dimensions have been painstakingly recreated by Gibson Custom, and the precise look of Rhoads’s own guitar also has been captured.
One hundred examples of the Randy Rhoads 1974 Les Paul Custom will be hand-aged by Gibson Custom to match the playing wear and road abuse experienced by the star’s guitar, while another 200 will be treated to Gibson Custom’s VOS process to present the look of a gently aged instrument. This is the closest any fan, player or collector can get to owning Rhoads’s own guitar… without owning Rhoads’s own guitar.