A commemorative Les Paul with a unique story to tell.
When federal agents raided Gibson in 2011 to seize stocks of ebony and rosewood that they claimed were in violation of the Lacey Act, they also took away several completed necks and bodies made largely from wood that was uncontested. Now that the Federal charges have been dropped, in a deal agreed between Gibson and the Justice Department, several partially completed neck and body blanks have been returned to the factory, ready to be incorporated into Gibson USA’s new Government Series, a wry celebration of an infamous moment in Gibson history.
The Government Series Les Pauls—which are powerful and superbly playable guitars in and of themselves—include a number of completed necks and entire rough guitars, all still stamped with the 2011 serial numbers they were given before being taken away by federal agents. Interspersed among the general production run of the Government Series, the confiscated and returned components will be “golden tickets” of a sort, rendering these particular guitars instantly collectible.
Regardless of each guitar’s origins, whether seized or not, each wears a commemorative Government Grey finish in vintage gloss nitrocellulose, with black hardware, and a pickguard that is hot-stamped with the Government Series emblem. In addition, each guitar carries a pair of Gibson’s powerful Dirty Fingers + humbucking pickups, and the full traditional Les Paul pedigree for unparalleled tone and playability.
The Government Series Les Paul is built on a foundation of the same traditional tonewood combination that helped to make the Les Paul Standard legendary when it first arrived six decades ago. A carved solid maple top lends bite and articulation to the sound, while a select mahogany back—treated with Gibson’s modern weight relief for the perfect blend of playing comfort and sonic resonance—contributes superb warmth and depth.
Both body and fingerboard are left unbound, and the commemorative pickguard is included in the case, rather than mounted on the guitar, to enhance the stark, bold look of the instrument. A solid, quarter-sawn mahogany neck is glued in and carved to an extremely comfortable “Studio ’50s” profile that measures .818” at the 1st fret and .963” at the 12th. It is topped with a genuine, one-piece rosewood fingerboard with 22 medium-jumbo frets and traditional trapezoid inlays. Classic Gibson construction ensures optimum playability, too, along with traditional specs like a 24 ¾” scale length, a 1 11/16” width across the PLEK-cut Corian™ nut, and a 12-inch fingerboard radius for smooth, easy bending.
The Government Series Les Paul’s aggressive looks are backed up in the tone department by a pair of new Dirty Fingers + humbuckers. Built with three newly structured Ceramic 8 magnets and over-wound coils on the Treble pickup to compliment the hot Rhythm pickup, and packed with 44 AWG wire, the New Dirty Fingers + humbuckers provide unfathomable crunch and unparalleled sustain. A traditional two volume, two tone control section features complementary black Speed Knobs, and the guitar’s Tune-o-matic bridge, stopbar tailpiece, and Grover™ tuners are all plated in black.
Each guitar comes protected in a special olive green Government Series hardshell case, and includes a Certificate of Authenticity hand signed Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz, an owner’s manual, adjustment literature and truss-rod tool. Includes case.