On this day in 1902, the Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg Co was registered in Michigan, US. Now based in Nashville, Tennessee the company name later changed to Gibson Guitar Corp. and renamed Gibson Brands, Inc. in 2013.   

Gibson was at the forefront of innovation in acoustic guitars, especially in the big band era of the 1930s; the Gibson Super 400 was widely imitated. In 1952, Gibson introduced its first solid-body electric guitar, the Gibson Les Paul which became its most popular guitar to date, and is renowned as one of the most iconic guitars ever made— designed by Ted McCarty and Les Paul. These, and many Gibson instruments are highly collectible.  

In honour of the monumental anniversary, we’d like to pay homage to some of Gibsons most iconic ambassadors.

Eric Clapton has used a variety of Gibsons throughout his career. The second electric guitar Clapton owned was a red 1964 ES-335 that he used with The YardbirdsCreamBlind Faith and as a solo artist. In 2004 Clapton donated the guitar to an auction to benefit the Crossroads Centre, where it sold for $750,000 – a world-record auction price for a Gibson. In 1965 Clapton bought a 1960 sunburst Les Paul that he used while a member of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and Cream. This was the first of several 1958-60 Les Pauls that Clapton has used, contributing significantly to these models' popularity. Clapton also owned a 1957 goldtop Les Paul Custom that was refinished in deep cherry. He later gave this guitar to his friend George Harrison, who dubbed the guitar with the nickname "Lucy". In 1967 Clapton acquired a 1964 SG painted by the Dutch artists collectively known as The Fool; he used this guitar on the Cream albums Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire. Other models Clapton has used extensively include a Firebird I and a 1958 Explorer that he used on his 461 Ocean Boulevard and EC Was Here albums. 

George Harrison used a Les Paul, an SG, an ES-345TD, a J-160E and a J-200. One of the most famous Gibson guitars is George's "Lucy", named after red-haired comedienne Lucille Ball.  

Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day uses several vintage 1950s single and double cutaway Les Paul Junior models. Gibson has also produced two Billie Joe Armstrong Signature Les Paul Junior models (one double cutaway, and one single cutaway) as well as a very limited run of signature acoustic guitars.

Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top has used several different Gibson models over the course of his career including Goldtop Les Pauls, Flying Vs, Explorers, ES-5 Switchmasters and Les Paul Juniors. His main guitar is a 1959 Les Paul Standard nicknamed "Pearly Gates". He says "Pearly has such an unmistakable character that we felt it was necessary to find another instrument with a similar sound to use as a spare guitar. We accumulated dozens of guitars, but nothing quite matched her. But instead of tossing these other acquisitions away, they kept accumulating. It's an ongoing saga that never ends".

Sheryl Crow uses a Country Western model, Hummingbird, L-00 Blues King, J-200 Western Classic, 96 Advanced Jumbo, 96 Southern Jumbo, J45, ES-120, ES-125, ES-335 and various Les Pauls. Her original Country&Western model from the Sixties was exactly measured and reproduced as the "Sheryl Crow Signature" in a limited edition with autographed label on the inside.

The Edge from U2 uses several Gibson models including a 1976 Gibson Explorer Limited Edition, a Les Paul Custom, a 1983 30th Anniversary Goldtop, an ES-335, an SG and a J-200.

Ace Frehley of Kiss used a three-pickup Les Paul Custom as well as an Ace Frehley Signature model and an EDS-1275. He also used a Les Paul Standard.

Joan Jett the first female to receive her own Gibson signature electric guitar model, a worn white Melody Maker, after years of faithful use of the model.

Bob Marley used a Les Paul Special. The guitar is buried with him in his mausoleum. Gibson has released a Bob Marley Signature Les Paul Special.

Jimmy Page uses a 1959 Les Paul ("Number 1", acquired from Joe Walsh), a 1959 Les Paul ("Number 2"), a 1973 Les Paul, an EDS-1275, a 1977 RD Artist, an ES5 Switchmaster, a Goldtop Premium Les Paul and a 1991 Custom Shop Les Paul (built to be an exact replica of "Number 1" and re-nicknamed "Number 3"). Page also owned a modified 1960 Les Paul Custom "Black Beauty" with a Bigsby tailpiece and a 3-pickup configuration. This guitar was stolen in 1970 and never recovered. For acoustics, Page used a Hummingbird, a J-200 and an A-2 mandolin. Gibson has released a Jimmy Page Signature model Les Paul replicating the features of "Number 2". Page used an EDS-1275 double neck guitar during his live performances of "Stairway to Heaven", "The Rain Song" and "The Song Remains the Same".

Slash of Guns n Roses uses many different Les Paul models including his own custom shop Les Paul model. He has also used an EDS-1275. In addition to his custom shop Les Paul, Gibson has manufactured two other Slash Les Pauls.

There are literally thousands of prolific musicians who choose Gibson guitars as their weapon of choice. The legacy of this instrument manufacturer is deep-rooted in rock and blues, and is the choice of many aspiring musicians wanting to give their craft the best possible sound. 


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