I subscribe to Gibson tweets and Facebook postings, and yesterday I got an update about three new Gibson Custom Shop Les Pauls that Gibson is releasing. One of these is yet another Slash Appetite for Destruction. Gibson came out with one of these earlier this year that retails for around $4000. It’s a nice guitar in honey finish. This latest addition comes in two flavors – VOS and Aged – and is signed by Slash, with only 100 being made by the Custom Shop. Here’s Gibson’s blurb:
Slash Appetite For Destruction
Working hard to record Guns N’ Roses’ 1987 debut, Appetite for Destruction, Slash was experiencing nothing but frustration trying to achieve the tones he was seeking with a range of contemporary electric guitars he was using. Then someone handed him a reissue-style Les Paul Standard, and that was all she wrote. With this legendary rock machine in hand, Slash laid down the deadliest rock riffs of the decade—propelling songs like “Paradise City”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, and “Welcome to the Jungle”—and fired up the biggest-selling debut album of all time in the process.
Slash has been a devoted Les Paul player ever since, throughout his years with Guns N’ Roses and later with Slash’s Snakepit and Velvet Revolver. He has taken a number of Gibson Signature models on the road, and owned and recorded with near-priceless vintage late ’50s ’Bursts. To honor his achievements on the instrument, Gibson’s Custom Shop introduces the Slash “Appetite for Destruction” Les Paul, a guitar made in the image of the axe that launched a thousand riffs.
This one has an MSRP of $9,174 for the VOS and $12,468 for the Aged edition. You can read the details here, in the article entitled “The Guitar That Saved Rock N’ Roll;” hence the title of this article.
I’m sure collectors will get excited by this, and having a couple of Custom Shop guitars myself, I don’t doubt the quality of workmanship that went into producing the guitar. But I am scratching my chin about any of the Appetite for Destruction guitars, and also mildly chuckling. Why? The AFD guitar is a replica of a replica!!! Again, that is not to say that the guitar is bad; in fact, it apparently most closely matches the specs and more importantly the tone of the original guitar as Slash remembers it. Plus, if people are big enough fans to buy the guitar, I say definitely go for it!
By the way, for a more detailed article describing that original replica, you can read it at Premier Guitar! It’s definitely worth the read.
I don’t see these guitars as a real negative against Gibson. I think the fact that Slash played a replica on the album (and subsequent tours), is the ultimate compliment to Gibson. Be that as it may, I still find it amusing that it’s a replica of a replica, and that it took a replica to drive Gibson produce a guitar of this caliber.
As for the AFD guitar “saving rock n’ roll,” let’s be honest: That original replica probably saved Gibson’s ass, as the company’s sales at the time were apparently languishing with all the hair metal and glam rockers turning to Strats, Charvels and Jacksons. Plus, it is well-noted that Les Pauls of the era had some huge quality issues; all serving to draw players away. That Slash found his tone in a Les Paul, and in turn drew in a huge fan base not just to the music, but to Les Paul guitars was a major coup for Gibson.
It’s great that Gibson recognized the importance of that guitar by creating its own replica of it. It’s the implied gratitude of “Thank you for saving our asses!”