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New Gibsons Guitars honors Guitar Legends

Customs from left to right: Johny Winters, Steve Jones, Lee Ritenour, Mick Jones and Alex Lifeson.

New Gibson custom inspired models honor guitar legends Steve Jones, Mick Jones, Alex Lifeson, Lee Ritenour, Johnny Winter and Joe Bonamassa.

Announcement from Gibson

NASHVILLE, TN ( July 15, 2008 ) – Gibson Guitar, the world’s premier musical instrument manufacturer and leader in music technology, announced several additions to the Gibson Custom line of Inspired By guitars that salute several major influences in music history.  These models, honoring Steve Jones, Mick Jones, Alex Lifeson, Lee Ritenour, Johnny Winter and Joe Bonamassa, join an already historic line up of reissues and Custom Shop models developed by Gibson Custom in Nashville.

Mick Jones Les Paul Custom:

British guitarist Mick Jones appeared on recordings by George Harrison, Peter Frampton, Spooky Tooth and the Leslie West Band before forming the rock band Foreigner and going five times platinum with their 1977 self titled album.  The Gibson Custom shop honors his success with a recreation of his original Les Paul Custom.

The Mick Jones Les Paul Custom features a one-piece solid mahogany body with aged ebony finish and gold-aged hardware.  With a Mick Jones profile, the one-piece mahogany neck includes pearl block inlays.  Two ’57 Classic exposed coil pickups are also included in the guitar’s design along with a black metal jackplate and black Schaller strap locks.

Alex Lifeson ES-355:

For 33 years, Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson has personified the consummate rock innovator.  His 1976 Gibson ES-355 has been by his side throughout most of his ride to stardom, both in the studio and on the road.  The guitar, which has been responsible for many of Rush’s breathtaking layered soundscapes and helped Lifeson expand the definition of popular music, continues to be an integral part of the Lifeson’s live shows.

With a laminated plain maple top, back and rims, an alpine white finish, and gold hardware, the Alex Lifeson ES-355 model features an adjustable wide-travel Tune-O-Matic bridge and a Maestro long vibrola tailpiece.  The three-piece maple neck is designed with a 1960’s slim taper profile.    Also included in the design are ’57 classic pickups and a 6 position Vari-Tone switch with a bypass switch. This model sold out in record time and the demand for a second line continues.

Steve Jones Les Paul Custom:

The mid-‘70s Les Paul Custom with pin-up stickers played by Steve Jones during the Sex Pistols rise to fame after 1977’s Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols has become one of rock and roll’s most iconic symbols.  The Steve Jones Les Paul Custom is a tribute to one of rock’s most unsung and unlikely heroes and the guitar he used to make history by playing the first wave of English punk ever produced.

The body of the guitar features a carved Maple top, a one-piece mahogany back, multi-ply white/black binding on top and back, aged yellow finish and gold–aged hardware.  The one-piece mahogany neck is designed in a ‘70s profile with pearl block inlays. Also included in the design are 496 R and 498 T pickups.

Lee Ritenour ES-335:

One of the world’s leading jazz guitarists and winner of 17 Grammy Nominations, Lee Ritenour was heavily influenced by the contemporary jazz styles of Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass and Barney Kessel.  A sought after session player in the mid ‘70s, Ritenour has gone on to be known for his own distinctive sound and fluid style.

A recreation of Ritenour’s original guitar which sold out in only a few days,  the Gibson Cutsom model features an antique faded cherry finish and nickel aged hardware along with a laminated plain maple top, back and rims and a Nashville TOM bridge, stop-bar tailpiece.  Pearloid dot inlays adorn the one-piece mahogany neck designed with a Lee Ritenour profile.

Johnny Winter Firebird:

There have been few guitarists able to interpret classic blues and blues rock with the mastery and expressiveness of legend Johnny Winter. And there have been few guitars which have sold out as quickly as this Gibson Custom model.  For decades, Winter has relied on one guitar – a 1963 Gibson Firebird V.  The Johnny Winter Firebird model is a painstaking recreation of this iconic instrument down to every last detail and feature.

The body of the guitar features solid mahogany wings, a vintage sunburst finish, and nickel hardware.  The Nine-ply mahogany/walnut neck runs through-body and is styled in a Firebird rounded neck profile.  Also included in the design are mini-humbucker pickups and a 2 volume, 2 tone, 3-way selector switch. For those who didn’t have a chance at this first model, Gibson Custom plans on releasing a Johnny Winter VOS model in the future.

Joe Bonamassa Aged Les Paul Goldtop:

Joe Bonamassa played his first guitar at the age of four and stepped up to a full-scale model by seven, mastering many of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s signature licks.  At ten he was playing regularly around the state of New York, garnering the attention of blues legend B.B. King.  Two years later he was opening up for King, and eventually stars like Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Stephen Stillls, Joe Cocker, Greg Allman and George Thorogood.  Bonamassa has gone on to singlehandedly transform blues rock with his own unique fusion of both old and new ideas and distinct interpretation of blues.

The Inspired By Joe Bonamassa Aged Les Paul Goldtop is a tribute to this extraordinary guitar virtuoso.  The body features a carved maple top and 2-piece light mahogany back, while the neck is 1-piece mahogany with a 1959 profile and a 22 fret rosewood fingerboard.  The design also includes a Bonamassa Truss cover, Grover kidney tuners, BurstBucker 2 (R) and BrustBucker 3 (T) pickups, and CTS pots and bumble bee capacitors.

About Gibson Guitar
Gibson is known worldwide for producing classic models in every major style of fretted instrument, including acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins, and banjos. Gibson’s HD.6X-PRO Digital Guitar and the Gibson Robot Guitar represent the biggest advances in electric guitar design in over 70 years. Founded in 1894 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and headquartered in Nashville since 1984, Gibson Guitar Corp.’s family of brands now includes Epiphone, Dobro, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias, Echoplex, Electar, Flatiron, Slingerland, Valley Arts, Maestro, Oberheim, Sunshine Piano, Take Anywhere Technology, Baldwin, J&C Fischer, Chickering, Hamilton, and Wurlitzer. Visit Gibson’s website at www.gibson.com



About Jomar Reyes

Jomar Lectures in Creative Industries as well as Digital Media in Marketing at the Danish Institute of Studies Abroad. He also runs the Strategic Media Company, a corporate consultancy agency based in Copenhagen.



  1. Pingback: Return of Gibsons Reverse Flying V « Music Producers Forum - 22 July, 2008

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