A Look Back at Slash's Les Paul Standard Copy
For a time, one of the most recognizable Les Paul users in the world wasn't actually playing a Gibson.
With the release of Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction in 1987, the band’s guitarist, Slash, emerged as one of the most influential guitarists of the 1980s and ’90s, with a style – and a guitar – that harkened back to the classic blues-based rockers of the 1960s.
Ironically, this vintage-looking Les Paul – the one Slash used on Appetite for Destruction – is not a Gibson.
It is a replica made by Kris Derrig of MusicWorks, a guitar store located in Redondo Beach, California. The top, like those of the most sought-after original Les Pauls, features highly figured book-matched maple, but with no cherry tint around the edges of the top.
The serial number is ink-stamped in the style of a 1959 Gibson, but the neck profile is actually that of a ’58. The special sound of this guitar comes from a pair of Seymour Duncan Alnico II humbuckers with black-and-white “zebra” coils and some vintage electronics that the maker had in his shop.
Despite the fact that Slash’s favorite Les Paul was a replica, his influence on sales of real Gibson Les Pauls was so great that Gibson welcomed him as an endorser and in 2010 introduced a replica of this replica as the Slash Appetite for Destruction Les Paul.
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Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.
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