The '59 Gibson Les Paul Standard is no doubt one of the most desirable electric guitars, and the Billy Gibbons' 1959 Les Paul "Pearly Gates" is one of the most coveted versions. Gibbons has played thi... Read More
The '59 Gibson Les Paul Standard is no doubt one of the most desirable electric guitars, and the Billy Gibbons' 1959 Les Paul "Pearly Gates" is one of the most coveted versions. Gibbons has played this magnificent guitar on every ZZ Top album and its sweet, heavenly tones have intrigued guitar builders who have tried to imitate its unique voice.
"I have yet to find an instrument to equal its raw power." -Billy Gibbons
Gibson engineers have worked closely with Billy during the development of this unique model to ensure that it meets the highest standards demanded of such a legendary instrument. Over a period of months, Billy contributed input on every aspect of this iconic guitar from the look and playability to the sweet sound of the humbucking pickups.
Figured maple tops selected just for "Pearly Gates"
You won't believe the figured maple tops. Each one was carefully selected especially for the Gibbons' 'Pearly Gates' model, and each is as beautiful as the top that adorns the original.
Carefully matched Heritage Cherry Sunburst finish
Gibson Custom has matched the faded Heritage Cherry Sunburst finish almost perfectly. You'll do a double-take the first time you see it. The naturally darkened edges give way to the beautiful patterns of the maple grain. Even the original's distinct red mahogany back is intact. Granted, no two guitars could ever have exactly the same top and finish. This is as close as it gets and any guitar collector or musician will notice the unbelievable finishes.
Get Billy's tone with Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates humbuckers
Gibbons uses Pearly Gates only in the studio. In concert, he relies on Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates humbuckers to replicate its legendary tone (product # 301100). They're sweet, but slightly rude, with great sustain and a bright top end that make harmonics jump out of the guitar. Isn't that what Billy Gibbons does every time he picks up his 'Pearly Gates?'
Built like Billy's original Pearly Gates in every way
No detail was overlooked: There's all-nickel hardware, gold top hat control knobs, vintage Kluson-style tulip tuners, and a lightweight aluminum string-over stopbar that lets you set up the strings just like Billy. The one-piece mahogany neck with a 1959 rounded profile also sports the same long-neck tenon found in every Les Paul Standard from Gibson's Golden Era. You also get period-correct CTS potentiometers and bumble bee capacitors.
The Gibbons Touch
Gibbons, long known for his iconic sound, stage presence and undeniably charged lyrics, inspected the guitars at the Gibson Custom plant recently and brought along Nashville based friend Ronnie Dunn from the country music duo Brooks and Dunn. He then took time while in Nashville to personally sign the certificates, pose for press photos and participate in several interviews.
This is a limited run of 50 guitars that have been given the Gibson Custom Shop Aged process.
Also available are 50 guitars given the Custom Shop Aged treatment and signed and played by Billy (product # 502270) and 250 instruments receiving the Gibson Custom Shop VOS treatment (product # 502272).
Custom Shop Aged
The Custom Shop Aged process duplicates the wear and aging that Billy's guitar has undergone over the years. Aged hardware and plastic parts include the tailpiece, tremolo, and pickups that show the wear to the nickel finish that replicate the natural result of years of use. Other Aged details include the permanently burnt-in prints from finger acids and a little rust in the screw slots. This is an incredibly realistic aged effect. The tuning pegs are yellowed, and the edges on the multi-ply binding show the effects of time. The RHYTHM and TREBLE labels on the toggle switch are partially worn away. The guitar truly has the look of a 40-something warrior from the rock and roll heyday of the '60s.
Vintage Original Spec series instruments receive a special nitrocellulose finish treatment yielding the patina of a gently aged vintage guitar while handcrafting enhances comfort and playability. Each VOS model has a solid mahogany back; historically accurate, long-neck tenon for strength and sustain; and period-correct neck profile, hardware, and electronics.
Every guitar comes with a guitar sock silkscreened with "Pearly Gates" and Billy's signature.
These 50 Aged guitars include a leather-bound certificate of authenticity signed by Billy and are strung with a set of .010 gauge strings.
The 50 Aged/Signed guitars (product # 502270) include an engraved leather-bound certificate of authenticity and portrait signed by Billy and are strung with Billy's special .008 gauge set.
The 250 VOS guitars (product # 502272) include a Billy Gibbons Inspired By certificate of authenticity and are strung with a set of .010 gauge strings.
The "Pearly Gates" Story
Billy Gibbons was a young musician in Texas when he began the search for his first Gibson Les Paul guitar. The '59 Les Paul guitar, later nicknamed "Pearly Gates," didn't come to Gibbons right away, but circuitously, because of a girlfriend, a 1936 Packard, and a movie audition. In the band's early days, Gibbons had a Packard that he loaned to a girlfriend who needed to get to California for a movie audition. She got the part. The car, which Gibbons had nicknamed Pearly Gates, was sold by the girlfriend who then gave the proceeds to Gibbons. The money showed up just in time to fund the purchase of the '59 sunburst Les Paul that in its turn would become known as "Pearly Gates."
Billy continues to make divine music to this day on the legendary instrument. The '59 Gibson Les Paul is one of the most desirable guitars today.