Gibson, Les Paul Custom, 1977 - Gregg Parker (Ozz)


Les Paul Custom
Serial Number: 
Custom Ebony Finish
Gibson Humbucking pickups
The Story Behind

This Gibson Les Paul Custom, was one of the main guitars of Gregg Parker.

Coming out of Chicago’s South side, Parker’s guitar style represents a blend of friction and finesse and power and intensity. Getting his live playing experiences touring gigs with Chicago Soul acts all over the country in the seventies since the age of 16, and the rock circuit around Chicago, he realized that rock was his chief passion with Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin as major influences. In 1974 headed for LA, he became lead guitarist and bandleader in Buddy Miles‘ band, touring nationwide with Santana and Funkadelic. Shortly after he formed the semi-legendary supergroup Ozz in 1978, and signed with Epic in 1979, releasing several albums. With ties to Motown execs Parker reconnected to his r&b roots, touring with Marvin Gaye and Edwin Starr in England in 1982 and relocating to London as session guitarist for the British music scene in the 1980s, at Abbey Road and Trident Studios, recording for bands such as Imagination, Dave Ball of Soft Cell. Parker continued to create various rock projects, including Parker with Mitch Mitchell in 1985, releasing a scorching rendition of ‘Black Dog’, selling out the Embassy Club and appearing on The Tube’s heavy metal special. An EMI publishing deal, new label and UrbanRobot album in Germany was followed by the return to his hometown and establishment of the Chicago Blues Museum under his leadership.

Here the story about this guitar:

"The guitar came from legendary Manny's Guitar Store out of New York, a gift through Ronnie Wood." as Gregg says.

Indeed, after founding Ozz, Parker signed with Epic in 1978. A year earlier while working on material in the Bahamas, his manager and mentor had surrounded him with music industry giants such as members of the Rolling Stones and Beatles, and Parker played and recorded with them, including with Ringo Starr and Ron Wood. When Woody’s guitar technician Chuch McGhee went to the United States to bring back some guitars for Woody to use in the Bahamas, he traveled to New York to pick some new ones up from the legendary Manny’s music store.

Parker’s manager arranged through Woody to have Chuch bring back a black Gibson Les Paul Custom for Gregg, to use for working on the Ozz material while in the Bahamas. Parker received it as a as a surprise gift on Christmas. While back in Hollywood, Parker and Ron Wood continued the friendship and musicianship started in the Bahamas. Parker’s manager – after seeing Woody’s and Keith Richard’s Zemaitis collection used in the ‘Some Girls’ sessions - arranged again through Woody to get Gregg a custom Zemaitis to record on the Ozz albums. Again, Chuch McGhee brought the custom guitar to the Record Plant in LA in 1978 to be discovered by Parker on the recording studio’s control desk on the first day of recording.

Both his Les Paul Custom and Zemaitis gave both Ozz albums ‘No Prisoners’ and ‘Assassin’ their signature sound and helped them to obtain rock and heavy metal cult status. Recording sessions in England for his own projects as well as for top groups of the British music scene at Abbey Road and Trident Studios also featured his two favorite axes.

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