The Gibson Gary Rossington Les Paul is one of the most desirable Gibson Les Pauls ever made. It debuted in 2002 for a list price of $3500, and sells for more than double that amount today.
Below is the original press release by Gibson on the Rossington Les Paul:
For release Thursday, July 18th 2002
Gibson Custom debuts LE Gary Rossington Les Paul
Gary Rossington, original guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Gibsons Custom, Art & Historic division are teaming up to produce the Limited Edition Gary Rossington Les Paul. The signature guitar celebrates Rossingtons pioneering spirit and the enduring musical legacy of his hard-driving, Southern Rock sound.
The finish on the Rossington Les Paul is aged and well-worn to replicate Rossingtons instrument, which he acquired from a woman whose boyfriend had abandoned her, leaving behind only his guitar. At one point Rossington broke the headstock and used a pair of small screws to repair it. While the new model replicates the screws, it does not replicate the break.
Other features of the Rossington Les Paul include a figured maple top with one-piece mahogany back and Rossington sunburst finish, nickel-plated 57 Classic pickups, aged nickel hardware, a 59 Les Paul neck, rosewood fingerboard with trapezoid inlays and cream pickguard.
Product Shot Front:
Product Shot Back:
The limited edition model only 250 will be produced comes with a Les Paul reissue case, Skynyrd Certificate of Authenticity, wall-hanging display case with photo backdrop, Custom care kit and Gibson/Skynyrd grease monkey shirt.
As a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rossington helped define Southern Rock music with memorable guitar work on such classics as Free Bird and Sweet Home Alabama. Three of the bandmembers, including lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, died in a plane crash in 1977 and guitarist Allen Collins died in 1986 from complications after a 1982 car crash. The band will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2003.
Ordering Info: Gibson, 800-4GIBSON; www.gibson.com
Interestingly, Gary Rossington’s real Les Paul, Bernice, was a 1959. Gibson’s press release says its a R9 neck. But, the picture you download from Gibson has a filename with R8 in it, R8 is written inside the body, and the neck profile is generally thicker than a R9 profile, more inline with a R8 profile.
The Rossington Les Paul was the first “signature” aged Les Paul Gibson produced. It was a joint project between Tom Murphy, a legendary relic artist, Gibson’s Custom/Historic division, and Lynyrd Skynyrd guitar player Gary Rossington.
Only 250 of these guitars were produced. It took Tom Murphy over 2 years to finish the run. He had to hand age each guitar, and painstakingly reproduce every scratch, ding, dent, finish checking, and overall wear from Gary’s original 1959 burst Les Paul. Additionally, the changes Gary made to his guitar are also reproduced: non standard gold hardware, Schaller tuners, and even the 3 screws used to fix a headstock break (minus an actual headstock break of course!). The fingerboard edges/binding have been subtly rolled, really giving the impression of a guitar that has been actively played and toured for 40+ years.
I’ve played over 100 Gibson Les Pauls in my day, from 50s and 60s examples to Custom Shop guitars of today. In my opinion, the Rossington is the best guitar Gibson produced since 1959 (I’m ok with heavier guitars with huge necks). Here is a picture of mine: