So you thought Gibson had mined to death their relationship with Slash? So did we. But a press release from the inscrutable US guitar legends has just landed in the PM in-tray, announcing two Slash signature Les Pauls (one from Epiphone, one from Gibson), as if there had never been any before. Maybe the ones released back on 1st April 2008 were an April Fool's joke?
Even more bizarrely, Gibson's press release opens with comments about the 'Olympic theme' and 'going for gold'. Dude… the Olympics are over.
Putting our weary cynicism aside, the two new Les Pauls should be interesting. The Epiphone version — the Epiphone Les Paul Goldtop — is limited to 2000 guitars worldwide and features "a hand-selected, premium, solid-mahogany back based on historically correct specifications and topped with A-grade maple". Using a traditional roller-type carving machine, Epiphone have painstakingly carved each body, creating the sexy curves and subtle 'dish' along the outer edge of the top that transform it into an authentic Les Paul, Gibson say.
"The neck is crafted from premium mahogany then glued into the body using a TiteBond wood glue, utilising a long neck tenon typically found on the Les Paul models from the late 1950s and early 1960s. This provides additional strength, which ultimately results in sweeter tone and longer sustain. The neck also features a Slash custom neck profile, patterned exclusively from the neck on Slash's original Les Paul, and a Rosewood fingerboard fitted with 22 nickel/silver-alloy medium-jumbo frets. The pickups are the same ones used by Slash in many of his Les Pauls — Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro-IIs — providing the same crunch, power and performance as Slash when he cranks it up on stage."
Other specs include an Epiphone LockTone Tune-o-matic bridge with stop-bar tailpiece, vintage nickel hardware and tulip-button tuners, fully shielded electronic cavities, 12-inch-radius fingerboard, custom 'Slash' truss rod cover and the stamped 'Limited Edition' logo on the back of the headstock. Each guitar comes with a hardshell case featuring a custom Slash logo, a certificate of authenticity personally signed by Slash with a limited-edition, HD laser-cell print of Slash housed in a leatherette presentation booklet with the Slash logo embossed in gold on the cover. Also included is a custom, Slash-inspired, leather, metal-studded guitar strap and 24 custom Slash guitar picks.
The Gibson version is limited to a mere 1000 examples.
No UK prices have been announced, but we understand the Epiphone version will sell in the US for $999, while the Gibson equivalent is priced at $2199.
Gibson Europe +44 0800 4442 7661