Slash signature Les Pauls must be selling pretty well because word is that the Gibson Custom Shop is working on another one, Slash’s fifth by my count. I believe that would make Slash the guy with the most signature Les Pauls ever:
> In the late ’90s the Gibson Custom Shop produced the Slash Snakepit Les Paul (75 total), and then an Epiphone version.
> Next up was a tobacco sunburst plain-top Standard, produced in 2004. Not sure if an Epiphone version was produced (Slash fans, chime in!).
> Then came the plus-top (flame maple) Slash Gibson Les Paul Standard in antique vintage sunburst, followed by an Epiphone model.
> That was shortly followed by a Slash Goldtop (released in 2008) and matching Epiphone model.
Now Gibson is in the beginning stages of producing an “Appetite [for Destruction]” Les Paul, which is interesting because the Les Paul that Slash used for that record wasn’t a Gibson: It was a replica of the holy grail of all Les Pauls, a 1959 ‘burst, made by luthier Chris Derrig.
Here’s the story of how Slash got the guitar, as told by Slash to Vintage Guitars magazine:
“When I was in the studio doing the basic tracks for Appetite, [G&R manager] Alan Niven brought this Les Paul for me to use because I was having a really hard time getting a good sound. I was getting a little frantic at that point because we weren’t on the kind of budget – nor did I have the attention span – where we could wait around forever.
“It became my main guitar for a really long time. And because I couldn’t afford a whole handful of that sort of thing, I took it out on the road for all of Guns’ early touring. In fact, I almost lost it during an early tour. It was stolen from me once in the crowd. I was being an idiot, leaning over the audience and getting pulled in, and some guy just grabbed it. I freaked once I realized that it was off my person, that I’d completely lost control over it. But our security guys went out and caught the guy before he left the building. That’s happened to me a couple of times.”
So this might be the first time that Gibson has decided to make a replica of a replica of a Gibson. No word on when the guitar will be available in stores, but expect it to cost major bucks like any Les Paul signature axe.
Here’s what Slash twittered about the guitar:
“The new Les Paul is going to be tight, the best Slash model yet, without a doubt.
“We’re going to call the new Les Paul ‘Slash Model’ the ‘Appetite’ guitar. It is modeled after the guitar I recorded that album with.” But then he wrote: “We’re not calling it [the] ‘Appetite Les Paul’ literally. [That’s] just the working title. It will be a Slash ’59 reissue when it comes out.
“It will be my tribute to Les Paul, the man and mentor.
“It will have special features not found on normal reissues, exactly like the ’86 handmade LP I’ve been recording with since ’87.” [No word yet on what those may be.]
Significantly, the Derrig-made ‘Appetite’ guitar had Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro II pickups (with alnico II magnets) in it, which have remained Slash’s favorite pickups. (It’s possible that that guitar originally didn’t have Seymours, as someone who knew Derrig posted in a thread on thegearpage.net.)
Alnico Pro IIs are in all Slash signature Les Pauls, even the Epiphones – but won’t be in the ’59. Here’s what he twittered about that:
“Working with Seymour Duncan [on] designing special pick ups for the new Les Paul.
“The pickups are Alnico [Pro] IIs, but with subtle design differences to make them as they were made in 1986.”
Then, presumably after trying them, he typed: “The new pick ups are bad ass.”
Why is this significant? Because there have been rumors that the older versions of certain models of Duncan pickups are better. True or not?
Duncan employee Evan Skopp said this about it on the Seymour Duncan forum: “Slash has hundreds of Les Pauls amassed over twenty-something years, each with Alnico II Pro pickups and each sounding pretty much the same. However, he has one guitar in particular [the above guitar] that has a brasher, more aggressive sound than all his other Gibsons. That’s the guitar he uses for recording. The idea was to create a pickup set he could use in his live guitars that would duplicate the more aggressive sound of his recording guitar.”
Evan wouldn’t say anything more than that.
> Andy Brauer, a guitar and amp tech in north Hollywood, twittered this recently: “Met today with Slash and techs from Gibson Custom Shop. Gave input on design of a new Slash signature Les Paul model. Exciting stuff.”
> According to a Slash fan site, Slash uses Ernie Ball Slinky R.P.S. strings, gauged 11-48. He likes to play with the heavy picks and prefers purple Dunlop Tortex 1.14 mm picks.
Sites That Link to this Post
- WoodyTone! - Some Details On the New Slash Pickups! | January 11, 2010