When Chuck Berry launched into the face-melting opening riff of Johnny B Goode, it was on a Gibson guitar. Jimmy Page, Johnny Marr, Noel Gallagher, Thom Yorke, Brian May – to name but a few from the glittering firmament of famous axemen – are devotees all of the legendary guitar maker.
The style names of the instruments themselves are the stuff of rock legend – to own one is every amateur strummer’s dream. Each year, on top of its standard releases, the Nashville-based brand produces a Custom Shop range of special edition and vintage-inspired models. Highlights from this year’s collection include an elegant koa-wood-finished Flying Eagle ($8,299); a Les Paul Ice Flame ($8,199), its body frosted like the surface of a frozen pond; and a Modern Flying V ($4,499), an elegantly curved take on the futuristic original 1967 Flying V.
For those wanting to take personalisation a step further, Gibson offers its bespoke Made2Measure service (from £3,600), which enables clients to specify every detail of their chosen iconic model, from body finish to fretboard design, electronics, pickup and neck size and weight. Electric Les Pauls, SGs and ES-335s, Firebirds, Explorers and Flying Vs are all available to order, as are storied acoustic models such as J45s, Hummingbirds and J200s.